Bears at the dump.

Kitty and Santa were so lucky to get 2 excursion days this week. The first being a trip to the Gwangju City dump! Image

When Kitty saw the dump excursion on the week schedule she questioned Santa in a frenzy.  “Do you think we are going to the dump or the recycling center? The dump is really dangerous, I dont think they would take us there.” Santa was a little confused “Well, ya I probably wouldn’t want my kid going to the dump. it’s disgusting but I don’t think it’ll be that dangerous.” Kitty was in shock. “WHAT? There are bears at the dump Santa!” Still in confusion Santa replied “Wait, what? There are? How do you know?” “Aaah YA there are, I know! I saw them when I was a kid. We were in Canada and my dad wanted to see some bears so he drove us all to the dump and we watched one eat a couch in front of our car. It was so scary. I’m just saying I don’t want to see any bears again”. Santa was in tears but she respected the validity in her point. She didn’t want to see any bears either.

Rest assure there were no bears at the dump, just trash and outdated technology. Kitty and Santa felt like they had traveled back in time as they toured the plant. The 1970’s control room, resembling something out of Apollo 13, was fascinating to see still being used in todays era.

ImageThe monotors with just flames really added to the special effects.ImageIf the kids weren’t with us Kitty and Santa would have lit up some cigars and did the countdown to take off! 10.9.8….

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A grungy korean man approached them all like “Check this out” to the kids. He was definitely the coolest guy in the room hitting those buttons and navigating trash in his space chair.Image

Kitty and Santa were actually a little jealous of his mad skills. He could win them a lot of teddy bears at an arcade. Image

On excursion days the co-teachers always act like paparazzi with photos of the kids and everything they are doing. It usually consumes about 95% of the trip, waiting to take photos. This time the lights didn’t seem to flash at all. Although Santa did see one co-teacher making her kids pose next to some steam pipes. Way to keep it dangerous and edgy teacher!

The trip wouldn’t have been complete without seeing how many people they could fit into an elevator ride. 2 classes? no, no…lets go for 3 classes AND the teachers!! Clearly it wasn’t this co-teachers brillant idea but they were successful. 3 classes and 5 teachers deep. Image

“Teacheeerrrr, Jack too close” haha he loves to terrorize.Image

Lessons learned here: Always watch for bears at the dump. The garbage man’s job is like playing in a jumbo arcade room & never underestimate the size of an elevator.

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TIIIIIMBER! Excursion day.

Every Wednesday Kitty and Santa set out on an excursion with our kindergarten classes. Field trips are something Kitty and Santa remember fondly from childhood. Going to the Zoo, roaring rapids at the water park, children’s museums, apple orchards, picking pumpkins and even over night camping trips to the local state park. When we found out that every Wednesday we were going to get to go on a mini adventure, we were more than ecstatic to hear the news.

Kitty and Santa saw on the schedule that our excursion day was set for a “Forest Experience”. hmm. This should be fun, maybe a little hiking or games in the woods. In the morning an announcement over the classroom intercom came on. DING. DONG. DING.”Attention teachers! Todays excursion will be to the something in korean farm. We will be letting the children use dangerous equipment like saws and hammers so please be sure to keep a safe watch over your classroom. Thanks!” DING. DONG. DING. Santa was positive the noise in her classroom made her hear that entire thing wrong so she walked next door to see what Kitty heard. “Saws and hammers?! They are 7 years old, but really only like 5 years old!”

——-> SIDE NOTE<——– In Korea, when you are born. Your 1 years old. On New Years day all Koreans turns a year older together. Therefore, on your actual birthday you do not celebrate turning older but just the day you were born. SOO, for an example, if you were born on December 25th you would be 1 years old but then on January 1st you would be 2 years old. So in our classes of 7 year olds most of them are 5 and most the of 5 year old classes are, well, really little. You get my point?

The kids piled on the brightly decorated school bus in their matching excursion jumpsuits. On bus rides to our destinations it is the English teachers job to keep the children entertained with singing into a microphone.  We are confident to say that with the set of vocals on Kitty and Santa we will not be signing up for any American Idol contests any time soon.

We arrived at the farm 20 minutes later and were greeted with boxes of saws and small thin white gloves to wear. We couldn’t figure out if these were intended for protection or to give the kids a little Michael Jackson flare and style.

Cute little Jack + stick = deadly weapon

The kids were loving this trip, it probably was the intense excitement of seeing some drama unfold in front of their very eyes. Kitty and Santa were on watch making sure no kids were running, jumping, or hitting others with saws.

Kids, this is a sharp saw.

Teacha Teacha! Look what I found!

Kitty and Santa were told that we would be having a picnic lunch and this was a first. At home when you pack a brown paper lunch it usually includes some type of easy make sandwich, a fruit and maybe a small snack. Today’s lunch was 1/2 a cup of white rice, some egg topped with…ketchup! MMmmM! Also serving a side of kim-chi (because there is never a meal in Korea, no matter how small, without kim-chi) and pickled radish. Eat up kids!

The kids ended up all surviving the trip. The Korean teachers thought it was such a success that they told us they are going to start bringing the children here more! YAY! Kitty and Santa went home shared a bottle of wine to release some anxiety.

Next week we are going to KIM-CHI LAND – a place full of different types of fermented cabbage in fiery hot chili sauces. A word of advise from our bosses “wear red, it might get messy.” Just goes to show that cultural differences are rather large and the children here in Korea are most definitely exposed to a different type of fun.

PEACE, LOVE & CULTURE SHOCK TO YOU ALL! – Santa & Kitty