A reminder

19 07 2011


A cultural difference..

28 06 2011

Though I’m sure that the reasons for children ending up in an orphanage are all across the board in all different countries. I would never say that in more culturally…..open minded countries that children don’t end up in orphanages unless something terrible happens to their family. After working at the Children’s Home, I know this is definitely not true.
I have often wondered how it is possible that there are no, or at least there doesn’t seem to be–any single mothers in Korea. Koreans generally like to say that they do not have sex out of wedlock, or one night stands, but one look around–at the love motels on every corner–you would quickly figure out that it isn’t true. Additionally, I have heard that the use of contraceptives is far less then in the United States. So the question is, if people are having sex, not using protection….how are they so ?lucky??

This question was answered for me on saturday, after spending the day volunteering at the Emmanuel Children’s Orphanage in Gimcheon. The day was obviously rewarding, and interesting all the same. It is always nice to spend a day not thinking about yourself, acting like a child, and just spending time with kids that don’t have a lot. Many of my students asked me how its possible to work at an orphanage here when I don’t speak Korean. After spending 5 minutes with the kids at the orphanage, you will understand that the fact that you are caring, and generally interested in the children there can cross any language barriers. It was easy to play, hug, and entertain the children without words.

One of the most surprising things was that we found children walking around the carnivals with parents. Which was confusing obviously—if they are in an orphanage, why do they have parents, or vice versa? When I asked one of the seasoned veterans of the orphanage, they explained to me that most of these kids had parents. Their moms visited them almost once a week, but had brought them to the orphanage after a divorce, so that they could get remarried. Their new husbands knew nothing about their past children, and never will. If they knew that they children weren’t part of their bloodline, they wouldn’t accept them. So the women drop them off at the orphanage, and secretly visit them. I asked if that meant that the kids would never be adopted, because their moms’ never actually give up rights to them she said yes…they can’t be adopted, but will grow up in the orphanage having their mom visit them when they can.

The kids seemed to have fun and had many people around them that loved for them, and cared for them… but that is one of the hardest cultural differences for me to accept… I’m pretty sure I won’t.

On a lighter note–it was nice to spend time with the children at the orphanage, and be reminded of what it’s like to play with kids, when they aren’t your students 🙂 (not that I don’t love my students).

Day 22: What I would find in your bag…

13 06 2011

Well, on any given day you would find a smorgasbord of strange things. I empty my bag when I get home usually, so I will just tell you what was in it yesterday.

1. You will always find at least 3 fun games to do with friends: currently, a game that I play with my children where you have to pick an verb and an adverb randomly and act them out together. Madlibs, and a deck of cards. When there isn’t a deck of cards, there’s a deck of uno cards.

2. My Canon camera, wrapped in a scarf. Always wrapped in a scarf, because I don’t like to carry my camera bag.

3. Hand sanitizer, because sometimes you have to use a squatter toilet in Korea… which never comes with a sink.

4. Tissue, because also Korean toilets don’t always necessarily have toilet paper.

5. sunglasses.

6. at least 2 books. Usually one fun book aka a novel, and one not so fun book aka something non-fiction that I feel necessary to read. When the not fun one gets boring, I switch to the fun one.

7. gum, always gum

8. 17000 lighters or no lighters at all. Never just one, always far too many for one person or none at all.

9. probably another outfit, always prepared.

10. a toothbrush

11.ipod touch

12. cell phone

13. wallet

Day 21: Something you crave for a lot…

13 06 2011

Jimmy John’s–all day, everyday.

Day 20: The meaning behind your blog name

4 04 2011

Mystics’ Club–

I made this blog so long ago that it’s hard to remember. I knew it had something to do with Eastern Mysticism, and a story that I read in the class in college. If I remember correctly, it had to do with a group of people that had “mystical experiences” and reached enlightenment for a few moments, days or months, because of them. After having their mystical experience, which was hard to describe, they were never the same. The mystics’ club was not ascribed to one certain religion, but many or none. Every person we read about was part of a different religious group, or lacking one. Because I am on a constant search for enlightenment, without actually knowing which path to take, I think that’s why I chose the name. It also sounded cool…

Day 19: What makes you different from everyone else

25 02 2011

This is a hard topic. It’s easier for other people to say what is different about you, then to say it yourself.

I think that no matter what happens, I try and usually succeed at having a positive outlook on what happens. I truly try to live under the idea that nothing is bad unless you think it’s bad. It’s a hard thing to do, and I don’t think many people know how to do it.

Another thing that makes me different from everyone else is the support system that I have–not to toot my own horn–but I have a family that has been there for me through every bad and hard decision that I’ve had to make. Then there’s my friends from high school, and university, and Korea. Usually, when you go to college, the friends from college trickle away, which didn’t happen with me. I then thought that maybe I would grow apart from friends when I moved half way across the world, but my recent trip to America made me realize that it didn’t happen. Because of that, I am truly blessed.

Because of all the amazing people in my life, I have been able to make it through very rough times, and smile about it. But I don’t think I necessarily needed them, they just helped. Maybe that’s what makes me different too…. not needed to depend on others for happiness.

Or perhaps it’s my curly, crazy, bob dylan hair that makes me different–I’ve never seen anyone with hair quite like mine. Or the fact that I’m 5’0 and no one ever notices. Snooki aside, and even in Asia, there aren’t usually people as short as I am. What do you think?

Day 18: Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future

22 02 2011

and today’s choice is:

Hyun Bin

Please please please?