Busy First Week

My Christmas Dixie cup for coffee at work.

My Christmas Dixie cup for coffee at work.

So we had a lot of things going on this week.  Most days ended with us stuffing our faces at a local Korean place, then going to sleep between 9-11 (mostly on the 9 side).

Monday:  We had our medical exams.  These were very nerve wracking mostly because we had no idea what was going on.  We were just shuffled between two floors around to about 4 or 5 different rooms and we had no idea if we were “passing” or not.  The first thing we had done was our weight and height.  The scale had this machine on top of it that would come down and hit you gently on the head to get your height.  I had no idea that was happening though so I wasn’t even standing straight and David ducked out of the way and it hit his shoulder… so he had to do it again. Then we got our hearing tested.  They put headphones on us and when you hear a beep in one ear you are supposed to raise that “ear’s” hand.  It kept getting quieter and quieter and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hear the next one and then it was over.  The eye test was a normal eye test except they had numbers, letters, and… symbols (think fish and umbrellas).  This whole time they were telling us to breathe because I think they could tell we were freaked out.  I’m sure I looked all bug-eyed.  Then we got our blood pressure done and ours were both a tiny bit high, probably because we were so freaked!

After that room we went downstairs to get a “dental” exam.  She looked in our mouths for two seconds, said “clean” and then that was done.  Next we had the urine and blood tests.   For the urine test you had to pee in a dixie cup (almost exactly like the one pictured above now that I think about it) which was different.  Then we got our blood drawn to test for HIV/Aids.  The weirdest part about that was that the nurse did not wear gloves!!!!  It was crazy!  I mean, I know Koreans are super healthy and such but still… that was weird and you could probably get fired for that in America.

Finally it was back upstairs to get chest x-rays for TB.  I got put into a little room with like 25 lockers and was just pointed toward a locker.  When I opened it I found a gown shirt but I didn’t know if I was supposed to put my clothes in the locker or what.  So I secretly (and as uncreepily as possible) tried to watch this ajumma (older woman) next to me to see what she did.  That is pretty much my life here.  I watch other people to see what they do and copy.

After that we were finally done and I snapped this gem (click to enlarge):

Look closely and it is hilarious.

Look closely and it is hilarious.

 Tuesday:  David already told you about our first camp.  He mostly helped out in “Hospital” class and I mostly helped in “Cookie”.  At one point in cookie class we accidentally lit a baking paper on fire…. so that was scary and funny.  Luckily, we got the fire put out before too many cookies got burnt.

Wednesday: We got our medical test results back.  This was also scary because even though we were 99% positive we would pass, it was still the difference between deportation and our year abroad.  Luckily, WE PASSSED!!! Then it was off to the immigration office in Cheonan to apply for our alien registration cards.  We should get them next week or the week after.  Then we can get wifi, health insurance, and (most importantly :P) cell phone contracts!

Thursday: We had kindergarten camp and our first day of teaching.  I taught three lessons of “Dance” and one “Rudolph paper bag” class.  David taught “Immigration” for three classes and “Rudolph paper bag” for one.   Luckily, kindergarten classes are only 20minutes long because they have such short attention spans.  But they were awesome!  Enjoy some kindergarten cuteness:

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One thing I really like about children in Korea, especially young children, is there is a HUGE culture of sharing.  For example the kids parents all packed them ENORMOUS amounts of snack food.  They know that their kids share everything so they pack lots extra.  At one point one of the girls gave me a little cracker or something, then I looked up and about 15 different students were gathered around me trying to give me snacks.  I got to try a bunch of different crackers and chocolate.  I also got a Satsuma and an Oreo (so apparently they have Oreos here).   And they thought it was the funniest thing ever when I would say thank you to them in Korean.

Friday: Friday was pretty stressful because we had another camp but only about three hours to plan the camp after the kindergarteners left on Thursday.  So we were stressed out.  Also it was middle school (not my cup of tea), and the classes were a lot longer, 45 minutes.  On top of all that, the activity I planned only took about 15 minutes with me trying to stretch it out as long as possible.  So then we would go out in the hall and play some games but only one class understood how to play.  The last class of the day would not listen at all and were horrible demon children (not really but they were pretty bad).  David had a grand ole time though so it might have been just me.  Although we did go to bed at 9ish last night and “slept in” until 7:30ish so that is also telling.

Saturday:  Today we are going to attempt to go into Cheonan and watch Desolation of Smaug as well as do some Christmas shopping.  Wish us luck!

P.S. Sorry this post is so long!

As a consolation prize for sticking around to the end, you get a picture tour of our work! Yay, you!

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One thought on “Busy First Week

  1. Hey there!
    When you were explaining your medical exam it brought back memories of my first physical in Germany. They brought me to an exam room with two doctors and a nurse. They told me to undress, no gown or cover and they stood their watching me disrobe!!!! The whole time speaking German as if they hadn’t taken a single class of English. Very wierd :). Cross cultural medicine is very interesting. Anyway, we’re keeping you in our prayers as your adventures continue!!

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