Monday, August 29, 2016

So much happens everyday here that I am not even sure where to start. Right now, our day is so full of new experiences as we are seeing Cultural differences everywhere we turn.  I'll try to quickly touch on a few highlights, I guess. And a quick disclaimer: I'm blogging on my phone and I have always felt like it hinders my writing.  Scattered thoughts? Completely my phone's fault.

1. Koreans are just as hospitable here as they are in America. Seriously.  They are so kind!  From our first day here, Chris' aunt and uncle AND cousins' cousins (so real tight relations here) have gone out of their way to help us feel comfortable here.  The cousins' cousins are 14 and 10, which is before the time in a Korean teenager's life where they have school until 10:30 pm Monday-Sarurday.  This means we get to see them and Lilly/Elise now have a friend their age! They went to a trampoline house of sorts with 예주 (Ye-ju), we went to the night market together and then last night they went over for dinner. They have just been above and beyond kind.  And it has helped Elise be less homesick, which is just plain ole awesome.

2. We are in the middle of this huge city (huge.) yet I went out to walk yesterday morning and found so many neat places.  I found a park full of older Koreans exercising. There was also some serious badminton being played. Yes, during the Olympics I found out that people actually play this competitively but it still surprises me when I see people doing more than casually playing at a BBQ.  There are exercise machines along the road and in every park that allow you to exercise different parts of your body.  They're like playground equipment for adults and I'm pretty sure America needs them. So cool.  My favorite find on my walk yesterday? A little exercise path that goes along a nice little manmade stream. It has little rock paths to cross over, exercise equipment (of course), mileage markers (darn kilometers) and it just makes you feel like you're not in a giant forest of high rise apartments for a little bit. I'm taking the kids there this morning.

3. My healthy eating! I don't know how much weight I'm going to gain on this trip but it is so hard to control your portion sizes when well intentioned Koreans are giving you more and more food.  (And the words of my Korean teacher keep playing through my head : it isn't run if the kids don't finish their food. They're kids. But if you don't, it's VERY rude!)  I was taught how to say "I only eat a little" and "just a little bit of rice" but they are useless.  Last night, it was just Halmoni and I eating dinner. I dished up our rice and just gave myself less. Once I set the table, she proceeds to pile a ton of her rice into my bowl.  I slowly powered through and ate it all even though I was stuffed halfway through. Halmoni immediately says "do you want more rice?" as she starts trying to dish up more! They're just so darn nice.  So I try to take the 6 flights of stairs as much as possible. And I'm eating a lot of kimchi.  Let's hope those are my saving graces.

Today we are going to attempt a city bus tour which allows you to get on and off whenever you please for super cheap. Tommorow? The girls start Korean school. 5 hours a day and it is free.  It is designed to help part Korean families learn Korean so it sounds like a perfect fit.


Jim said...

Don't stress out about any weight gain. You lost the weight once. You can lose it again when you come home and have more control over your circumstances. It sounds like the Kang girls are having a wonderful adventure. Well done Sarah!

Beth Tunnell said...

We love hearing about your adventures! The whole family is following along. How was Korean school for you? It must be novel to send all the kids to school!