Saturday, September 27, 2008

For my Mummy part II

Here is the second instalment of my blog dedicated to my dearest, devoted Mummy! Why? Because she is my mother, I love her ;).

So it is nearing the end of September and Autumn is definitely aknockin at the door. The weather turned COLD literally overnight. Twenty four hours ago I was wearing shorts and a singlet. I am wearing a black sweater right now.

I think that I am ready for the cold though. Its just part of the reality of the way things are and I am going to have to learn how to like, nay, love it.

So any way lots to catch up on.

I have recently started tutoring for two lovely ladies and their children. The Mother of one of the boys i teach (her name is Mi Jin which means beautiful truth) is helping me learn Korean for about an hour before i start to tutor. It has been wonderful getting to know them and hanging out with them and their kids. After tutoring we went to this area about an hour north of Seoul. It is a small artist community with all these galleries and little cafes. All the buildings are done in this earthy, modern, constructivist style with wood and concrete and angles. It was really beautiful. Clara (one of the women I tutor for) her son had a piece of art displayed at this one gallery for a kids art show thing. The show was dedicated to the Dok Doo Island controversy. This Island is still being fought over by Japan and Korea. Korea says its their land... Japan says its theirs.... why do they both want it? Good question, probably because the other country does too. Any way there was a bunch of food and playdo and you do printmaking if you wanted. They also had a bunch of drummers there doing a great drumming performance. It was really fun. I got stared at a lot....

Then the week went by pretty quickly. We are going to be putting on a little concert for the parents in the next few months. I am in charge of the 4/5 year olds which will be .... interesting. I am not sure what we to do but it will have to be at least 30 mins long. I have been enjoying teaching more and more. The School I am at, Guri Wonderland, is great! I am really happy there, they have been taking great care of me. One of the Korean teachers, Yuri, is going to stay late after school on Tuesdays to help me with my Korean which is so so nice.

Yesterday was Saturday and after language class Alicia and I went to Insadong (the old town of Seoul) and met up with a friend of hers from Australia. We had tea at this place called "The Old Tea Shop" and i nearly cried the place was so beautiful. It was all ornate wood furniture and little cushions the tables were big porcelain bowls filled with gold fish and covered in glass. The best part was the birds the just flew free around the room. A little canary came and sang to us for a long time.

I continue to look forward to fall, and am learning every day. My schedule here has almost become monastic in some ways. I wake up at 5:45, walk around the lake for a bit, have breakfast read the bible, meditate, go to work, come home, study Korean, read the bible and meditate and go to bed. I had no intention of things being so... I don't know... devotional in nature, but I have the time and its really the only thing that I feel like doing. I have been making sure that I go out and met with people at least part of the time. And if there is a day I don't feel like doing my monastic thing, i don't. But most of the time I want to which is such a blessing. I have been praying for God to teach me to pray. I feel really healthy and happy, and know that I will learn in time.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! I love you all so so much. Here is a quote compliments of my dearest devoted Mother:

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come
out of you.'
Karen - age 7

I am all eyelashes and stars for yall!

Miss Maggie Iba

Monday, September 15, 2008

For my Mummy

Here is a truly quick one, just to let yall know that there are more pictures on the way. This last weekend was Chuseok, which is a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas here in Korea. It was wonderful and I climbed a Mountain... that was the high point I would say. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to keep me in them over the next few weeks. I love and miss you all soo soo much!

Here is a wonderful quote compliments of my dear friend Clementine.

"A man needs to travel. By his own means, not by stories, images,books or TV. By his own, with his eyes and feet, to understand what he is. To some day plant his own trees and give them some value. To know the cold to enjoy the heat. To feel the distance and lack of shelter to be well under his own ceiling. A man needs to travel to places he doesn't know to break this arrogance that makes us see the world as we imagine it, and not simply as it is or may be. That makes us teachers and doctors of what we have never seen, when we should just be learners, and simply go see it." - Amyr Klink

God be always with you.

Miss Mags

Thursday, September 4, 2008

For My Dear Pappa.


Here is a quickish post because my Pa said that he checks my blog everyday even though there has been nothing new for weeks. I love you Mum and Daddio and miss you so so much.

So today I have been in Korea for 5 weeks exactly. It seems like its been exactly that long too. I have been working on the language a little bit everyday and am feeling more and more confident that I will not suffer the same fate as countless other English teachers who end their year in Korea with not much of a handle on Korean.

We started a new semester in September which is really good because I needed a fresh start just to get myself oriented. We have gotten new books and new materials which is nice and I am in charge of "Arts and Crafts". I am starting to feel like the two things that I thought I would never do, teaching and art, could actually be a fun way to make a living (like I might actually enjoy teaching art!!! go figure). Granted I would need students who understand a little more of what I am saying. I find myself wanting to discuss things like asymmetry and how contrast can draw the eye towards the most essential aspect of a composition.... and then I remember I lost the lot of them at "Today we are going to learn..."

I have been reading a lot (I am running out of books by the by so please if you want to send me something hint*hint* send me a really good book). So thats been great and there is a beautiful little lake and park 5 mins away from my apartment. I have been taking walks around it every morning and It has been such a gift. There are always heaps of older ladies and gents taking their little baby grandchildren around and its just about the cutest thing ever. I am starting to recognize some of the ladies and I try to say hello to them ever time I see them. Once I get a little more Korean down I will try to start some conversations.

One thing that I have noticed here is that Senior citizens are much more involved in the raising of children. I often see Grandparents and Fathers with babies more than I do Moms. Also, people here are much much more comfortable with physical contact, and I mean that in the best possible way. Ladies will walk down the street with their friends holding hands and it is very natural and there is not even a question as to whether they are homosexual or not. Its just the way it is. I will constantly see business men in these grey suits, arm in arm, or with their fingers interlaced, and I think, "Golly, Americans really should get more comfortable with friendly physical contact". Its not good for a persons physical contact to be almost strictly romantic in my opinion. I think in America, business men should start holding hands more....

I am going to start meeting with a Korean fellow that I meet through this language exchange website. I am excited to start sitting down with someone and learning some more applicable things. I am a little worried that this is also kind of like an unspoken-possible-dating-thing too... so be praying for me that things with be educational, fun, friendly and strictly platonic... ya know?!

I love you all so so much am thinking of you. Please shoot me a email if you have the time, and let me know how life is faring.

May God shower you with every blessing and may She give you the strength to receive them all. May His love enfold you and ignite you. Our God is a consuming fire.

All my love,


That is my name in Korean!