January 2012 started…

April 22, 2012

January started with a bang and a birthday in Seoul!

And lots of deathly cold weather that never lets up.  You even will find ice on the floor in a public restroom…when you gotta go, you gotta go..

 

In 2006, I went on my second missions trip to Kiev, Ukraine.  I was partnered up with a young college graduate named Shekinah.  Being from the South, we like to give nicknames for people, or at least I do..keke…….and I called her Shekinah Glory.  I am still praying for her to experience some of His Glory.  Anyways, for some reason, we have kept in touch.  It might be because I felt bad when I lost her walking in the streets of Kiev.  Yes, I lost my partner who I was responsible for and she was freaking out because she was a minority in the streets of Kiev with lots of people looking at her.  In reality, it was probably because they had never seen a little bitty black girl before.  She and I were so new to missions that we did not know the reality of this.  I don’t remember all the details but she was found and just a little upset,he he…Since then, she’s traveled on other mission trips but mostly to Morocco, where her heart will always be connected.

The unexpected happened and Shekinah brought all of herself and all of her glory to Korea to see me and Asia in the coldest month of the year.  We had a great time even though I had the flu and she then caught it from my kids when she came to hang out with us at lunch time.  Good thing it was cold outside and with sickness and the Austrailian tennis opening was happening, she was in heaven and inside while I was at work.  This was also a  transition time in her life as the company she worked for was being sold and she only had a few months for her to decide on what to do next.

God met her here in Korea with dvd bongs, noribongs and gaming bongs.  She never got bored and then He kept on showing her His lovingkindness, which is better than life, when she returned to the States. He lead her to apply for a new job and even to buy herself her very first car.  No more public transit for Shekinah, now, she’s living it up like a big dog:)  And God is still not leaving her alone until He has all of her heart with its good, bad and the ugly and then once He gets it all, He will do a miracle and turn her shame into beauty and her mourning into JOY.  I love getting to be apart of the process to see the new birth and the countenance of her face changed into sweet love.  I truly believe Shekinah is allowing it because of her strong conviction that God has called her to live in a foreign land but also because of the call of Isaiah 61:1-11.  She also heard recently that hurt people hurt other people and that healed people heal other people.  She’s such a blessing to me because God has kept us friends and I get to see the transformation He is doing in her life and her heart. Love you Shekinah!Image

Can you find her in among all the men??  Sadly, this was the only picture we took together.  We did enjoy our time together against the odds of illnesses and cold weather. She even got to enjoy her 1st snow ever.  She’s a Florida girl so it was quite fun.  I’m proud to help prepare her for a life overseas one day maybe!

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Snow in February and it did not get any warmer but lots of love was being discussed in my classroom as it was Friends and Friendship Month.  We had many partner activities where the two JK classes buddied up and began sharing, negotiating and compromising on what projects they wanted to create and who they wanted to give them too during Valentine’s Week, 100th Day of school in the 100th Year of SFS, and JK Pizza DayImage

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Learning about themselves, others and how to cooperate, compromise and treat your friends nicely is a hard thing for four year olds.

For me personally, February meant doing a few fun Korean things such as going to a game board bong or room and experiencing a bakery with a huge birdcage in it…very Fun!

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Of course, this diva had to pose in the birdcage!

 ImageMarch Madness came with fire and robbers in JKW.

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and it ended with many budding community helpers.

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March ended beautifully in Thailand.  My sister, Lisa,and our friend, Debbie came to meet me in Bangkok and we went on to Fantasy Island by da boat da boat.  Some of you who are my age will know what tv show I am referring to.  The island of Koh Yao Noi was very secluded and we were the only Americans at the hotel.  I didn’t mind at all.  It was great for relaxing and we had a wonderful view all day long.Image

My Spring Break trip in Thailand ended in Bangkok.  This is my third time to visit this city and my good friend, Jaimee, from the Harbour Church, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Jaimee is a Children’s Pastor there and little did she or I know when she invited me to come work with her, in July of 2008,by setting up the children’s church and teaching her teachers on creative teaching, she actually would be helping me prepare to live and teach overseas.

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Me and Jaimee riding the water boat taxi.  It was my first time, quite adventurous!

In Bangkok, I was also able to attend the East Asia Regional International Teacher Conference during this trip.  I learned more about how children can learn how to socialize, which that is basically what I teach in the younger years.  Also, I attended a talk on a new pedagogy from Italy in Early Childhood Education that has become a big interest that excites me here lately.  It is called Reggio Emilia and I am hoping to study and research it some how.  Hopefully , it will be in context with a new job opportunity as well as incorporatedit into my doctorate studies.  Only time will tell how it will all work out but I’d love to go study in Italy for a while.

One of my children’s parents invited me to their 30th Anniversary Art Gallery opening and what an experience it was.  There I also had a surprise.  I met an Italian couple who had been working in Seoul and about to return back to their home in…you are not going to believe it….the city of Reggio Emilia.  I couldn’t believe it and I’m still stunned by it.  Along with living there, the lady of the couple owns a bed and breakfast there that has teacher stay there when they come study this type of teaching.  I don’t believe in coincidences but I do believe in God ordained moments and I would like to think this is one of them.  So now is the waiting game for the right door to open and the right time to go. I could get really excited emotionally but I will contain myself and let God make it happen instead of me pushing things together and pressing the time to be my time and not His.  My new Italian friend is the blond in the middle and my co-worker/twin from China is on the left.

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My Early Childhood Team members, Chris and Karolyn, were the ones who told me about Reggio Emilia and peeked my interest.  I don’t have a picture of our awesome team.  Hopefully, I will by the end of the school year.  My team and I presented our newly designed Seoul Foreign School Early Childhood Philosophy and Standards and Benchmarks.  We had a 50 minute slide show presentation of all what is taught and expected for the 3 and 4 year old children that come to our school.  The elementary school parents and administrators were our audience. This work took almost 3 years to accomplish and we are still working on new report cards.  It was a big deal for us and we blew it out the park!!!  Good Job Early Childhood Team!

And now, April is almost over.  My class and I have been exploring Spring in Seoul, going to the Science Museum and we are going to the zoo in May.  Pictures will come sooner than the last time. Sorry about that..

Even though, my time here is getting close to an end, I am in still need of prayer. I tend to easily revert back to my old self, stressing about what I can make happen next in my new chapter of life that is going to soon open up, when all I need to do is commit my plans to the Lord and let Him lead me and open the doors for me that are the right ones for me to walk through.  Also, these are the doors that no man can shut.  How comforting is that promise.

A few things God has shown me is:

Isaiah 42:9- Behold, the former things have come to pass, and the new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them

I hope He is doing a new thing. I believe in the unseen of this because I sent all of my teaching supplies to an orphanage and its school in the Philippines:)  I believe I’m ready for a new thing as well.

Also- Jeremiah 33:3

The Lord appeared to him from far away therefore, I have loved you with an everlasting love and therefore I have continued my Faithfulness to you!

Wow..I’m floored with this and I’m struggling to trust He’s got a plan for me in Mississippi.  I know it will work out so good for me!

Please pray for me to grab a hold of this peace and trust and not let go!  I only have 7 weeks here and I want to live it up!!

Sorry for the long time span and I hope you enjoyed the pictures! xoxoxo

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3 Months In a Nut Shell

December 5, 2011

I can’t believe I have not written about the last three months of my life here in Korea.  I know of two words that can describe it….SUPER BUSY…..I’ll start from September and finish in December.

Fall begins with a blessing of getting to see American Football on the Military Base

It was great to be in the atmosphere and hear the live whistles blow on the field.

Fall Leaves at Yonsei University, my back door...

Korea Week!

 

Kukje Art Gallery Field Trip

Lisa, my sister, came for her birthday!!

 

Thanksgiving Feast!

 

Teacher Fun at my school's Christmas party...Guess who knew the American Chef:)

These pics are just a few of the highlights that I’ve been having for the Fall Season.  I also experienced a Korean Folk Village, Seoul Tower, Thanksgiving in Daegu with my Tres Dias and base friends(along with that was good ol’ collard greens and turkey, only available at the base) and VIP guest at a K POP concert(the bass player found my wallet and returned it, so of course, I had to squeeze in another request!).

Now, the count down is on for my arrival stateside for the Christmas holidays to check on my family.  Recently, my sister has been really sick and my mom is recuperating from her 2nd back surgery in two months.  That being said, along with God’s direction, my decision has been made to return back to the states permanently after this school year is completed.  I truly believe the order God calls us to is Him-1st, Family-2nd and Job-3rd.   So…I am going home to my family to comfort my parents in the later years, the best I can.  Plans are also being made for future graduate school to go along in the mix….Stay tuned and Happy Holidays!

First Stop, The Famous Great Wall which was built to keep out all invaders…

The Ming Tombs-Don’t cross through this thresh hold or your soul will go to stay with the Emperor’s!….Seriously…hmmm….and I really can’t walk through this?? An insult to the culture, it would be for sure!

On to, Tienanmen Square..an Unreal Place.  A picture still exists for the beloved Chairman Mao who proclaimed the  People’s Republic of China in 1949.  You have to see it to believe it the solemness still there.  And who has heard of the 1989 Student Rioting that turned into Massacre? Remember the Picture of the Tank Man? Anyone?  Well, the commoners of China haven’t…Facebook?  Google? and only Government TV still… Really there is another world out there that only tourists know of!  Hard to Imagine for me!

The Forbidden City…Really, really a huge place…

Can’t believe it was hidden for so long..Seems it was constantly under construction from fires from winds and sacrificial cisterns and Eunuchs.  The fires came randomly mainly to keep work for the Eunuchs and workers to live there and you should have seen the loads of concubine rooms!

And now, The Temple of Heaven-

Yup, I am standing on the Royal Stairs and inside the temple, there are 12 stone cows set up for the sacrifice rituals.  Yikes, good thing for me anyways, there hasn’t been an Emperor since 1911, which marks the 100th Anniversary.  Interesting enough,

the anniversary for the 90th year of Communism was also celebrated in 2011.  In, 1921, the Communist Party was founded in Shanghai.

All in all, the rich culture of China is long lasting and slowly changing.  The oppression and the SMOG are still very thick.  God is way bigger than this and does protect His Chosen ones.  Ps. 10:17 -O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted.  You will strengthen their heart and you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed so that the man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Rereading this makes me think:  hmmm…This very verse might have parallels to my own nation.  God, your mercy is unfailing and unending.  Have mercy on us all…

On another note, I was totally impressed the artistic roof tops and tiles….

                            Can you see the Great Wall at the top?

Summer Palace

and some Panda’s for the Kung Fu Westerners!  I couldn’t help but try a little Kung Fu!

How random, there was a wedding in our restaurant and I didn’t offend anyone by crashing it!  Red means happiness so all brides wear red!

I unexpectedly got to hang out with some special friends from the USA!

  We found some snack foods! Packaged Chicken Feet and

Sausgae Lollipops…… Did I or Didn’t I? Na…Heard they were quite tasty though.

Then we had old men bicycling us around in rick shaws.  We were hoping he was going to make it!

My twin and flat mate riding in the Rickshaws in the Hutuongs!

And we did eat some amazing authentic Chinese food and western food!

                                 Peking Duck in Beijing!  The best!

And as usual, this trip was with wonderful people and being teachers, we ran to the School House to eat lunch!  Thanks to my good friend Candace from So. Fla and Seoul for hooking me up with sweetness in China!  A great trip had by all!

School in Full Swing!

September 10, 2011

My Sweet Mama eating her favorite…Hot Dog from Sams!

I can’t believe we have finished 18 days of school with kids…It seems just like yesterday I was stepping off a Korean Airlines plane and onto Korea soil.  Before I left Mississippi, my mom decides to schedule all of her doctors appointments when I am there so I can take her!  I was happy to do it especially because I see it as an opportunity to make memories with her.  Since then, she has had many tests run on her back and now has her third back surgery scheduled for next Thursday.  It seems with all the osteo stuff and degenerative disk disease, two more of her vertebrates are shot.  Her words verbatim and there is only a 50/50 chance of pain reduction.  I would greatly appreciate your prayers during this time especially since my next visit home isn’t until Christmas.  Also, my contract renewal at school is up and I’m pretty sure where God is leading me but I plan to post at a later date…Korean Thanksgiving is here upon us and I am traveling to China maybe even get to see some friends who are visiting there Florida.  Below are pics of me and my kids at school.  Hope you enjoy!! Hugs and Kisses

Seoul sunset from my apartment building roof top..you have to catch it while the sky is clear!

Center Time in my class-it was blue day!

Practicing our poem and Green Day

Yellow Day and Center Time Outside our class

These girls love to take pictures!

More Blue Day and Center Time

King Fu Panda Noodles...China here I Come

Pre China Trip Planning at my house!

Kimchi Che Gae

Sunset in Seoul from my rooftop