Thursday, December 6, 2007

the unexpected life~

I have too much time on my hands if I can write more than one blog today. Well, it is true. Yesterday I met the general manager of a local popular restraunt, including his team of supervisors. We talked for a nice, long time. He said he'd call me TODAY to inform me of his decision, but he made it sound so positive. In the back of my mind I was wondering about what his hesitation was, and why didn't he just hire me on the spot? On the other hand, I do like the extra time if has afforded me to THINK more about the position, and to get even more EXCITED about it everytime I think about it. Mind you, I have been teaching English in Korea for the past 2 years, so this would be my FIRST job in the states in that amount of time. I SHOULD spend some time thinking about it!! So, the phone's been ringing this morning, but, it hasn't been the GM (general manager) yet. What am I going to do today? I thought I'd do some extra cleaning, always a good thing, and will keep my parents happy. I'm also planning to walk around the neighborhood to SOAK IN AND ENJOY the California WARM sunshine!!! That is one thing I absolutely LOVE about southern California. Having said that, I'll get some extra time today to rest, relax, make a few phone calls, and read my Bible. I love how one of my friends told me recently, that God has something BETTER in store for us. I'm looking for that, His goodness, in my life; I believe that I have it, but I also believe He's giving me this time with my family and friends as a SPECIAL GIFT, so I want to ENJOY it as much as possible.

do you like to hold hands?

How cute are my parents? Even after 40 years of marriage, they hold hands for all to see!! Last nite we watched an old movie on tv with Richarad Gere and the beautiful Miss Julia Roberts. Can you guess which movie it was? Did you guess "Pretty Woman"? I was glad for my parents physical sign of emotion between them. It was very cute, and adoreable. I want to be the same way when I get up in years too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

friendship connections

So, last nite I had this very warm feeling in my heart. Why? And, last week, after having a girl's nite out with my mom, aunt, and another friend, I also had a warm feeling in my heart. Last week I met my friend Andrea for lunch and afterwards, you guessed it: a warm feeling in my heart. When I was in Korea one of the girls (Jo) taught me the importance of social networks. That's just a fancy way of saying that she showed me through her words and actions how to meet with other people and to connect with them. And, I've brought that experience back with me. As I've been able to meet and talk with my local friends, I am experiencing a warm glow in my heart. It is everything I have ever been searching for for all my life; it is LOVE; and that is why my heart feels full.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

culture shock, or not?

So, I did my laundry today. I love pulling my clothes out of the dryer and feeling how soft they are. And, they smell good too. (I didn't use a dryer to dry my clothes in Korea; I did the hang dry option, as many locals do too.) The other culuture shock issue I've been experiencing, on a very mild scale, is the feeling that people don't understand me here, or why I took off to Korea, or the experiences that I had abroad. Sometimes people ask me seemingly strange questions. But, overall, my culture shock has not been as heavy as I would have expected, so far. And, that's okay. Thank God, thank God!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I want to take some time to remember. I want to remember all the good things God has done in my life. This list is by no means exhaustive, but, it is a start of remembering His faithfulness to me.

  1. God has always provided food, clothing and shelter to me. Shelter through Hanna when I was in between places summer of 2005; shelter through Jo when I needed a home; Jo gave me sister-hood, mother-hood, family-ness.
  2. Jobs and employment~God has often provided me with just the right job at just the right time: my job at Polly's when I was in college; my job at the Warehouse where I worked for one Christmas season; my job teaching at Little Fox; even at Jung Chul; He never fails!
  3. My friend Andrea from college; when I prayed for and needed a friend, God gave me her. He's also given Cate, Jo-Jo, and many others; Hanna, and Dave, are some of my lifelong friends.
  4. Food and provision~God has never failed to feed me enough, and has provided for my needs. Should I not be thankful? Of course I am, that's what this blog entry is all about.
  5. be continued...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Become a Better You, excerpts from Joel Ostteen's book

  1. "Time is short. Find one thing that you're passionate about and start giving yourself to it. And God will lead you one step at a time." p.80
  2. "If we're going to live in peace with ourselves, we must learn to put our food down and say, "I may not be perfect, but I know I'm growing. I may have made mistakes, but I know I am forgiven. I have received God's mercy." p. 86
  3. "Nothing that you've done is too much for the mercy of God." p. 93

Monday, November 19, 2007


When someone apologizes to you it's an amazing thing. It takes guts and courage to do that. So, when my dad made his apology to me last night, needless to say I was pleased yet flabbergasted. We all make mistakes, hurt each other and say things we later regret. It is such a nice feeling to have this situation cleaned up, especially before the holidays!! I have something to really be thankful for this year; a newness and freshness in my family relationships, at a time before I leave abroad again. What a gift family time can be!! We should choose forgiveness, no matter what. Let God deal with the other person. Forgiveness frees us to live, and, we might even get a response from the other person in due time. Let us follow the way of our Master and Creator.


Mr. Magorium's Toy Emporium
Lions for Lambs
Bee Movie

Pretty Woman
The Wedding Planner

So, I've been spending some of my time lately, with family and friends, at the movies. This is a list so far, of the movies we have seen. Lions for Lambs was a way too serious movie, just know that ahead of time if you go see it. Bee Movie was cute and lighthearted. Mr. Magorium also enjoyable for kids and adults.

Friday, November 16, 2007

God strengthens me~

And the God of all grace, who called youto his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strog, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1Peter 5: 10, 11

God promises to restore and revitalize us after a time of suffering. How thankful and encouraged can I be to know that God is a God of his word, and that he will keep his promise to me, to us, in due time. God strengthens and refreshes me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

sunday life up by 11am....ah, what to say...SHOULD be getting up by 9am...well, weekend was good...though the girls were tired, we played together and I made breakfast for the family...waffles, bacon, hash browns, orange juice, eggs, sausage, plenty for sister mia came over to bless us with her wonderful presence...joeseph and stephanie came as well...after breakfast and cleaning up, we all went shopping...i got my much craved for fructis by garnier shampoo and conditioner...and, sephoria, you could become my new best friend...a makeup store...afterwards, we headed to the grocery store to get this delicious salad mia wanted to make...and, we got home, dad cooked lamb on the bbq...we ate like royalty, and laughed and talked during dinner hour...mia made chocolate cake, which pleased my dad to no end...i'm very glad that i'm here this month to enjoy some family time...mia's leaving the day after thanksgiving, so it'll be a long time before I get to see her , and other family members, again...

Friday, November 9, 2007

reverse culture shock

So, it's been a week since I've been "back". How many people would love to be "back"? How many people would love to be in my shoes, having the opportunity to visit and see family and friends? I expected to have more reverse culture shock than I have actually experienced so far. Well, there's been some interesting things that have happened, such as thinking in Korean when I'm trying to speak English or even Spanish!! I'll think "nay" for "yes" or "si". I thought I'd miss Korea more than I really do. Of course, I'm walking everywhere, and taking the bus; but, that doesn't seem strange to me; I like the exercise; I just hate not knowing how to read the bus schedules; they seem so confusing to me. All the bus drivers have been SO NICE, I told my bus driver last nite, "you rock!" LOL. I don 't like the unknown factor; that is, which job will I choose after resting through November. I haven't had a desire for kimchi yet; last time I flew away from South Korea I CRAVED kimchi alot. Maybe because it's only been a week, or maybe because I was readier than I realized to come back; whatever the reason, I'm not experiencing the reverse culture shock to the degree that I expected I would.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

family reunion

Sunday was brunch with my family. How amazing it was for ALL 7 of us to be together. We had an El Torito brunch; the waitress, Norma, seemed to be on my dad's "good" side. We reminisced together, as a family, and were unable to remember when was the last time we were all together as a family. It was an unplanned event, but, nevertheless, a very special one. A special time of being together; I can't wait until the pics are developed, and until we do it again. By the way, last nite, my brother and his girlfriend and I went to see "Bee Movie" with Jerry Seinfeld. I liked it simply because Jerry's voice was in it!! Like one friend recently said to me, perhaps I needed a time of rest, even if I didn't realize it. I got caught up this week on some items of business. Now I hope to enjoy the rest of my time with family and friends. Until next time...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

trip home

I'm just amazed at what a wonderful trip I had from Korea to North America. And, what a godsend it was, and what a blessing it was, to interact with people who were NICE to me. One act of kindness from others really can, and really does, make a difference in people's lives, this time it was my life. From the time the taxi driver picked me up at the hotel, to buying my bus ticket for the airport, the ticketing woman who checked in my bags, the man from immigration who asked me a few simple questions, and the security officers, all were cordial and helpful. The way it should be. Amazing; amazing. And, I have a heart full of gratitude because I had been experiencing the hardness of life lately, and needed some gentle refreshing rain fall down soon. And, it did. It was no problem getting out of the country as some had predicted I heard through the grapevine. My layover was in Taiwaiin, Tapei; the airport was so nice!! Lots of museums and scenic artistic tapestries to look at while waiting for one's plane. The other good news is that this month my sister is also in the neighborhood, so I'll get to see her and have some time together. I am much appreciative for having this month to spend together as she'll be leaving for her new job after Thanksgiving. If I wasn't home this month, I would have missed her for another year!! Praise praise praise the Lord~! I could write more, as usual, but wish to keep it short. Blessings to each reader of this blog!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

statement of faith

Personal Statement of Faith~a work in progress, written by Monica Velez

1. Creation-In the beginnign God created mankind and earth, and it was good.
2. Fall-Adam and Even sinned; they were tempted by a crafty serpent.
3. Salvation-God freely offers salvation to all.
4. Sin-Sin has separated us from God.
5. Grace-I believe grace is the goodness of God. We've been given the gift of grace for daily living. We started our faith in grace. We're saved by grace and we live in grace. We need grace everyday of our lives.
6. Redemption-Jesus Christ brought us out of darkness into his glorious light.
7. Atonement-Jesus Christ is the atonemetn for our sin.
8. Trinity-God the Father, is our Provider. God the Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.
9. Bible-I believe the Bible to be the Word of God, correct and true, and useful for living.
10. Jesus Christ-I believe Jesus Christ came into the world as a human being. He was fully God and yet fully man.
11. Missional-I believe the purpose ot the church today is threefold: one, to glorify God, two, to strengthen believers, and three, to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
12. Works-Works are and should be a manifistation of faith, not a means to salvation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

thinking aloud

My Korean English student and good friend, Jay Ho; we met yesterday for coffee, and talking. He is always so helpful to me for my living situation in Korea. I am very thankful to God that I met him, and I hope that we are always good friends, unlike other Koreans who have "come in and out" of my life. So sad, so sad!! As for my current situation, I have many things to think about; many things on my plate. This is sort of like a "think-aloud" but in written form, where I am trying to gather my thoughts together. I do have to leave the country. So, I thought I'd go visit my friend in China for awhile. She's a teacher in an international school. Then I thought I'd return to Korea for visiting until my job started. However, I need to obtain my actual diploma and it is a hassle by mail beacause they don't take credit card. Imagine that. Anyways, then I thought, well, why not go home for Thanksgiving then? I could hang out at home in SUNNY southern california while I wait for my visa to be processed. Either way, whether I wait at home or in China, I'll have some time on my hands. These are my options for now.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I'm prone to making spontaneous decisions, so that is perhaps why I am feeling really good about all the thinking I've been putting into my decision lately as to what to do next. The best word I can come up with at the moment is a sweet sense of empowerment. That seems to be what I feel. It's taking me several weeks to get my head screwed on straight and to think long and hard about my next job or future steps. I have a better idea now not only of what I might do, but also what I won't do. I'm so glad I listened to Vicki and Jo's advice to think about it now or let it bite me in the butt later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

the options

I have to select a new job by the end of the month or leave Korea. These are my options so far:
  1. 1. Teach kindergarden 30 hours a week in Busan near the lovely beach and have access to worship on navy base each week.

  2. 2. Teach in a public elementary school up to 22 hours per week in Kyounggido, a large province about one hour away from Seoul, the capital.

  3. "Hold out" for an elementary teaching job in Cheonan, the current city I reside, to be close to friends I have and be familiar with surroundings.

Pay is roughly equivalent for each position. Housing is also decent for each one. What to do, what to do.

Went to lunch with Jolie today, a friend from church. Was good to see her and talk with her. After our lunch time together I took this photo. Weather now in Cheonan is fall, cool and chilly in the 60s by day. I'm wearing a warmer coat nowadays. Yesterday went to an orphanage in the afternoon. Just talked and played with the kids. Looked around the premises. My heart was so warm from the experience. I told the director I would like to visit again. The girls and I met for dinner last nite: Jo (the social butterfly), Vicki (from Africa), and So Young (a korean gal). After dinner at a Vietnamese restraunt, we went out for drinks. It was good to talk and be together with the girls, but I regret drinking alcohol now. I'm not opposed to drinking at all, but, I woke up this morning without a desire to get up; I felt like staying in bed all day long, and even now am "tired"; all I feel like doing is sleeping. I am wondering if the alcohol from my pina colada had an adverse reaction with my medicine I'm taking. Other than that, and the choice of job I have to make, life is all right. I could write more (as always), but, it's back to the job search I go, reading the contracts I've been given in fine print. Read and think.^^

Saturday, October 13, 2007

my accomplishment

I am proud to say that I have worked continuosly teaching English in Korea for just about 2 years this time around. I am proud of myself for lasting as long as I did. The other English teaching job I had lasted for 9 months, just shy of one year in 2003. Good job to myslef; I did good!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

love never fails

I've been staying at a friend's house for the past week. She has these beautiful but dying plants on her veranda. One morning when we were doen eating breakfast together, she got up to water her plants. There is this one particular plant that she kept watering little by little every day. It became a bud, and then it bloomed, into a flower!! It is the most elegant shade of pink you have ever seen. As I pondered on this plant and what my friend Jo has been doing for it, it reminded me of relationships and people. As Jo watered the plant and it grew into a budding flower (I'll try to put up a picture of it later), so too, as we love others it helps them grow. Lately Jo, and many others, have been "loving on me", and, if it weren't for them, I might not be where I'm at today. I know that is true! I have alot more to write, but for now, I have ALOT of thinking to do about my future. Should I stay a 3rd year teaching in Korea? Or study Korean? Or fly to another country? Or go back home? Or work on a TESOL certificate at home? Visit my friend in China? So many things to think about. Fortunately, I have OPTIONS!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

a song of consecration

I was spending some time with God this morning in prayer and thanksgiving for all the help He's given me recently. A song popped out or emerged from me, so I wrote down the lyrics and chords. This seems like a song of consecration, worship, love, and adoreation.

You are the Holy One (G Em)
You are the Lord God Most High (C D)
You're the Love I've been searching for
I've searched for all my life

I lov You (C D G)
I praise You
I honor You

May my life be a pleasing offering (C D Em)
I offer my life to You once more

May my life be pleasing to You (CDG)
May my life be pleasing to You
May my life be pleasing to You
May my life bring glory to You.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

friends come and go

I want to write alot write now, but time is not permitting me to do so. Here, in the land of the morning calm, friends come and go often. We have to enjoy the time we get here on this earth to be with those special friends together. Saturday a 5k race that I will walk, and Sunday a day of goodbyes to boys flying away, back to the states. Girlfriend is flying away too, in less than 3 weeks. Make the most of it (our time together). Reading proverbs daily, as much as possible. More later...thank God for Jackie organizing a hiking outing last weekend...was good to exercise some...and, thank God for friends like Hanna and her family who have been so loving and so warm to me. I love my new mad-cute cell phone!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

spontaneous day

I am in the process of rearranging the furniture in my room. It's tiring work physically to do it by myself.

I went to sleep last nite around 3 am, so, I wasn't sure what time I'd be getting up the next day. However, after 8 hours of sleep, I was good to go, and happy about that as well. I got a phone call on my home phone from Cara to hang later that day. What a nice surprise. So we met, along with SoYoung, another gal from our church, for a movie, Bourne Identity. I like action and adventure movies, so I was pleased. Plus, during the movie time I "forgot" temporarily, that i was even in Korea. I really like when that happens!!

After the movies we were all hungry so we went out for an early dinner/later lunch. We ate shabu-shabu and a noodle soup. It might sound gross, but its really not. It is so good. Both are some of my favorite Korean dishes, so, again I was pleased. I was also glad to get to become better acquainted with SoYoung. Believe it or not, I had never met her before today! We were all in agreement that Starbucks would become our next destination. We're like, we love Starbucks!!!

On the way to Starbucks I got my ears "double-pierced". Yes, that's right. Now, I hope not to get an infection. It'll be okay!!

So, on to Starbucks, and, again, like 10 other western people were there. (I decided I don't like the word sounds so unfriendly to, I prefer to use the term western now). We ran into Fiona and her husband Ron, Byron, his friend Kim, and co-worker Julia; Avie stopped by later along with 2 of his girlfriends and LIndsay; and of course, Youngmin, our church's worship leader was there too, with his own korean buddies. It's just like home!!!

After everyone left, I engrossed myself into the book I'm reading. I went to TGIF's because I was dying for a quesadilla. After that I came home and am relaxing now.

A day with people was alot more fun than a day alone. And, all unplanned at that!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the best day of my life, monday

Sunday night, I did what I often enjoy doing on a Sunday night, and that is to enjoy the hot baths and sauna at the public bathhouse. Sometimes I go with my friend Jo, but she's gone on a hiking trip this weekend, and my other friend Julene was gone out of town too. So I ventured to the public bathhouse alone, and, OMG (oh my gosh) it was like SO CROWDED for a Sunday evening. Everyone and their mothers were out. No offense. It was kid-city there. Despite being alot of people there, I was still able to get in a hot bath, and had a relaxing time. I also brought along a book with me. Currently I am reading, "Redeeming Love", a non-fictional novel by Francine Rivers. I don't typically get into novels, simply because I have little to no time to spare to the luxury of reading for pleasure. However, since day 1, this novel has gripped me like no other has in a long long time!! The first chapter, or prolouge, as it is called, troubled me, for a terrible event happened to a young girl. However, the pieces of the story are all coming together for me, and it has been a nice way to pass the time away this week, since we are on a major Korean holiday. Some of my friends went out of town, took to the beaches and various mountains. Me, I opted to stay home, and "housesit" for one of my friends, Julene, and, it's been like a mini-retreat there for me.

Last nite I ran into Eric who asked me how I was doing. I told him I was a little bit hungry and going out for a small snack. He offered me his homemade chili that they had just made, and it was soooooo good! And, they gave me fruit and homemade apple pie too, made by kim and betsy. But, the BEST thing they gave me was their company and their time. So, it wasn't specifically to me that they were giving me their time to, but, I got to enjoy and share some time together with other English teachers in Cheonan, and, my heart was all the more warmer by it. I went home so thankful and so grateful for time spent with them, as opposed to alone, my constant companion, getting old! The company was nice, and, being good company was even better!!

So, after the sauna, (back to my story), I spent the night there. I got up by noon, which was good for me (as opposed to sleeping in all day or until 2 or 3 like other times). I made it to Starbucks Cafe and there ran into another half a dozen WESTERN people, western as in other English speakes as myslef, and non-Korean people. The Caves, precious couple from our church and their daughter. Gordon, back from Canada. Sam, the guy from Kansas City. Getting to say hello to these folk though short, was a "high" and a highlight for me. Randomly running into people I know, or at least am familiar with. Got into my book. Lindsay came later, and, God bless her, she was hoping for someone to hang out with. She hung out with me at Starbux, and we spontaneously had dinner and a movie and noraebang and video arcade time together. I originally met Linsay a few weeks ago at church, and she lives in my friend's old apartment, and has taken over his job. Funny how it's a small world.

So, one more day of holiday, tomorrow (Wednesday). I am on a wild goose hunt, madly and desparately searching for a new job. My plan was to "hold out" for an elementary job, simply because I feel more confident and comfortable working with them. However, should a middle school position open up sooner, perhaps I ought to take it. At least that way I wouldn't have the stress of FINDING a job. I'd only have the stress of ADAPTING to my new job. Life at the crossroads. I feel like I am such a bad person for having 3 jobs in one year. But, the truth is, I am not a bad person because of THAT. I have to keep reminding myself the TRUTH.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

accpeting changes

Recently I had a new insight. I have finally come to terms with a particular relationship, and especially, the ending or changing of this "special relationship". It took me a long time to get here, to realize that I was better off ACCEPTING this change in our relationship. But, now that I have accepted that he is no longer around, I can still have a smile on my face. If you had told me 6 months ago that men are like busses, there's a new one always coming around, I would have chopped your head off and not listened. The human heart is a strange thing, and healing takes the time it takes, and, that's okay!!

lazy saturday

Today is a rainy day. I was thinking about going to the beach if the weather was good. Oh well, Starbucks is closer and I'll just bring a good book. I bought some tea lights, so now when I take a bath there is a nice glowing ambience in the bathroom. It is a major holiday now in Korea, so we get like 3 days off next week too. I'll just relax and enjoy the time off, in a book or packing. I like that next week is only a 2 day working week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

my current life

right now i am staying over at a friend's house, "housesitting" while she makes her is soo nice to stay there...i get to take a bath in a tub every happy am i??? and, i hear my neighbors every now and then, and run into them every so often...for example, i ran into eric we got to chit chat for a moment before i had to run to work...i also ran into kim down the hallway and we said hello...that is more interaction than i have had with people in a long work all i do is work...there is minimal interaction with adults...we are all too busy to talk with each other...anyways, my co-workers are unable to speak decently enough in english also, so, i am quite isolated from meaningful interaction throughout the week...i am quite proud of my job performance of my job duties is to call every student...i am proud to say, that, after 6 months of failing in this task, i finally figured out how to do it more successfully...i use my time after the students go home to call them daily and regularly, and i've also implemented a time calling schedule, where i make appointments with each student for when they get their phone has been alot, and when i say alot i mean ALOT of work...but, i feel quite accomplished with myself, and, even though my head teacher told me yesterday that the number of students i called "wasn't enough", i still hold my head up high...(like it's my fault that a student doesn't keep their appointment...or isn't home or available when i call), like dave told me today, i gotta "keep my eyes on the prize"...that means, i hope my next job will be's gotta be...and, i am looking for a homestay now....since living alone has sort of taken it's toll on me, another friend, jo, suggested that i do this....she's so, i've been trying for the past 2 days to let people know i'm interested in far, no luck...but, if that doesn't work out, then something else will...oh, a homestay is what we liken to renting a room with another family...the good thing is, i have options...more later...did i ramble enough? heeheehee....the beauty of blogging, in my opinion, is, that, i can write whatever i want because its my blog!!! i miss my sister miahhhh...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

a fresh start

it is job is coming to a close...i am saying sigh-uh-nar-uh to my old job and hello to my new job...instead of focusing on what i cannot do, i must focus on what i can do...there's gotta be a job out there for not so stessful, where i will feel good about what i'm doing, and enjoy the working atmosphere...wishful thinking? i hope not...many changes are sure to come in the upcoming weeks...i gave my boss a 3 month notice and he gave me a 3 week nice...just an early answer to prayer, right? not unexpected of them of's business, right? not personal...and, how nice of them to conveniently inform me on friday nite before the start of my weekend...i swear, i keep promising myself, this blog WONT turn into a negative job-bashing forum....hmmm....the job countdown begins...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

independence hall part 2

sunday a few girls and i went to independence hall...this photo is a rendition of japanese soldiers crucifying korean army...gruesome...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

i am a slave

i feel like a slave...i work from 1:30 until 9:30pm, every day...without a break...there is no dinner break for me...i am phone calling students through my non-existant dinner break, eating food ordered in because the school refuses to feed me of the other teachers refuses to talk with me is a wonderfully haha hostile environment...OMG(oh my gawed)...starting today, i am refusing to work 8 hours without any break...i will take a dinner break whether they like it or my my job....and quit in november...i think i need a less stressful there such a thing? is there one out there for me? God i hope so!! Talk with them? tha'ts the problem...they don't understand english well enough...they get angry at me when i speak my mind...they see everything as i am wrong...they're so hard-headed...why try anymore?! i love my students tho~today, smelly stickers and game day for tuesday-thursday students~wola~

a modern day psalm

Father do you love me?
Why don't you ever write?
Mother do you love me?
Why don't you ever call?
Brother do you love me?
You are so involved in your own life.
Sister do you love me?
You are living your own life;
a life that doesn't include me.
Look God, can't you see?
Look God, don't you care?
Where are my friends?
Where are my close companions?
You said its not good for man to be alone.
What about me?
Look at my bed.
Alone at night.
Is this the life I was meant to live?
Answer me God.
Or, in Byron's words, respond.

a modern day psalm, written by monica

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

jenni and monica

jenni from south africa, and me...she was kind enough to let me stay over her house sunday nite...we ate this really delicious spicy pork's one of my favorite dishes to eat, especially in the winter time...she taught me some african geography...i am slowly learning...i didn't know there were like some 50 countries or so within the african continent...and, madagascar is not only a movie, but, it is the 4th largest island in the you didn't know that...jenni is an intersting that she's met me, she's not so anti-american...hehe...seriously though, she lives out in boonie land, so i don't see her that often...but, when we do get together, it is nice,and always a learning experience for me...i learn that not everyone shares the same world-view as me...and, that's okay!!!

independence hall, cheonan, south korea

a group of us girls, jenni from south africa, jo from england, and cara from oregon, and myself, took the afternoon bus to independence hall, an informative, educational museum about south korea and their history...the japanese were so mean, cruel, and brutal to them...i liken independence hall to our "museum of tolerance," informing about the history of the jewish was a short but lovely afternoon, and i hope to go there again...the bus ride was only 20 minutes or so from downtown...the weather was terrific...the company was thing that impressed me the most was the torture was like this teeny tiny 1 foot by 6 foot rectangular cement box that the japanese used to torture captured, on that note...bye!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

sunday an unexpectedly NICE day~

i awaken around 9am...oh good, just in time to get ready for worship service...but, can i sleep just a tiny bit more? like 5 minutes? oh, i don't wanna get, the clock keeps ticking and next thing you know it's like 10:30am, the time worship service, i opt to roll over and sleep some more, only because i hate to be, i missed a well, after my lunch at outback, i met a korean friend, jay ho, for's always good to talk...and, i'm reading this book called, "Yes or No, the guide to better decisions" by Spencer Johnson....after dinner i met julene at the sauna (public bath house) for more talking and bathing together...well, it's the korean cultural thing to do...its similar to a jacuzzi, only its a room full of them, with different water temperatures...some are hot, some are cold, some are cool, and some are warm...some have "bubbles" and some are just was a godsend to talk with julene, since i haven't really spent time talking with anyone much lately...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

i hate my boss!

my stomach it something i it a side effect of it nerves...oh my god who knows? well, my head teacher asked me what did i eat? and she showed genuine concern for me...she even sent me home early...she told me to go home and get some, that's what i call a good boss...LOL...okay, maybe that's not the criterion we should use for a good boss or whatnot...but i will say this...if there ever was a way to motivate me (as an employee) sending me home early one day a month (or per week...LOL) would definately and has definately increased my motivation aka (also known as) my morale at work~if you've read this then you know my title of this blog was a hoax...i caught your eye, didn't I?...LOL...

fall in korea~

fall in korea...what's it like? warm or cool? long or short? as august approaches an end, so too does summer...with the end of summer comes fall...ya, no duh...some might think...however, for me, a truly southern cali gal, the end of summer for me means winter is nearly here...and, how sad am i...okay, not truly sad, but, you know...fall is a typically a shorter season in korea...that means winter will be here...not that winter is a bad thing...but, winters in korea are a COLD thing...we're talking below zero cold...we're talking in the 30s and 40s, as fall approaches, so too the weather cools....the weather "cools" down to about the 50s and 60s...60s is bearable for this cali girl, but, 50s??? oh no!! when its the 50s i'm wearing my winter clothes...HA HA HA HA HA is soooooooo true!! Let's face it...i just love summer, the beach, the sun...what am i gonna do? well, so fall is coming and some people are happy...not this girl...EXCEPT, with winter means one day closer to going THERE'S a thought!! grandma, thanks for reading my blog!! grandma, you're the best!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

for my precious grandmother

the previous note was a dedication to my grandmother...she PROMISED me that she would read "every" single blog i wrote~how nice is she? boy did she make me feel, in that note i wrote basically about that...also, i've been thinking about getting a dog, a small one...i also have been thinking about what i will do when december rolls around...that's when my current job is supposed to (that's only if i don't end it sooner by quitting that job)...i wrote about what i consider to be my options at this point...
  1. to live and work in cali retail store such as target or costco
  2. to stay in korea and study korean
  3. to live and work in korea as an english teacher and still study korean
  4. to volunteer in another country such as guadalajara, cambodia or north korea

oh, i've also been learning how to use my ipod these days and have been adding songs, podcasts, and videos to it in, this has been a godsend to me because i've been able to listen to one, the music or stuff i like that's interesting to me, and two, i've been able to listen to ENGLISH, which is a rarity in a foreign non-english speaking land...

so those are the things i've been up to, in a nutshell, lately...thaz what i said in my spanish post, for those of you non-spanish readers...haha...YOU'RE WELCOME~heehee

Sunday, August 26, 2007

para mi preciosa abuelita

este carta es para mi preciosa abuelita...ella me prometo que ella me leye todos mis blogs y por ese razon estoy muy contenta...como es mi abuelos? y tambien como estan mis padres? yo no se porque ellos no me escribieron mucho y no se porque no....pienso que ellos son muy occupado o no me aman...pero no, no me aman no es la verdad...estoy pensando que comprar un perrito para la, es la verdad!! tambien en esos dias estaba hecho downloading canciones y podcasts para mi muy divertido, facil y interesante...y por eso razon estoy muy feliz para escuchar cosas en ingles!! o si!! tambein esos dias estoy pensando que hacer en diciembre....mi empleado se terninare y necesito hacer algo cosa...aqui son mis ideas:
  1. vivir en california y trabajar en el mercado como target o costco yo no se exactamente
  2. vivir en corea y estudiar coreano
  3. vivir en corea y ensenar ingles aqui y tambien estudiar coreano
  4. volunteer en un otro pais por ejemplo guadalajara o cambodia o norte corea

que piensan uds? que piensas abuela? que debo hacer?

mas escribiendo luego~hasta luego!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

my love life

i want love...i want to love and be loved...there is nothing on earth or in my life more important than, when i reflect on my life and feel unloved, what a sad girl am i...yet, in reality i am not unloved...but, the sad truth is, most of the time, if not always, i feel my opinion life is not worth living without love...i hope someday soon i can live a life of comes in various forms and in various ways...through friends...through co-workers...through students...through random strangers and people, i can experience heart yearns for love...when i have felt this love, it is never enough...i always want more...i love love, and desire more love...i don't know if it is right or wrong to feel the way i do, but, it is my hope for love...from my heart...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

pictures of songnisan mountains

The first picture is near the top of the mountain as we were climbing up. The bottom picture is at the bottom of the mountain; we are posing in front of the waterfall. The Korean girl next to me was my dance teacher a few months ago when I was taking a hip hop class. The guy is one of her friends from her university. They are both university students. The middle picture is on the way to our hut, about halfway up the mountain. The hut is where we stayed overnite. It's sort of like a Korean style bed and breakfast place, and the entire place is just really nice and relaxing!!

part 2 weekend trip to the mountains

So, we are hiking up the mountain. Oh my God! It was a STEEP trek. We went far, but, not all the way to the top of the mountain. We went off the trail and got lost. I hope to go back in the fall, when the weather is cooler, and TRY AGAIN to climb this mountain. Heeheehee....The view was nice though. And, it sure was nice to get out of Cheonan for awhile and enjoy nature's surroundings.

young am singing room

After work I went grocery shopping for milk and on the way home ran into one of my new friends, Rick, another English teacher in the area, from Chicago. He was singing in the singing room with some buddies, and his buddy invited me along with them. Now, I know it was late, but, I was so excited to go and get out and have some fun. We all sang a few songs, drank a few beers, and had a good time. I needed some fun, especially after another hard day at work where all they do is see the bad in me; I'm such a terrible teacher; they don't appreciate me; they asked me for my opinion yesterday regarding my relationship with the head teacher, so I wrote them a memo describing my thoughts and opinions~oh my~what a mistake that was! Then they misconsrued my response to their inquiry as complaining. They had the nerve and audacity to say my complaining made them feel uncomfortable; what the heck~why did they ask for my feedback then~they are dummies. In all seriousness, we're not getting along too well. But, I will continue to do my best while I am employed there. And, get out and sing a song to "unwind".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

a trip to the mountains

Songnisan mountains...located south of Cheonan, south of Seoul. Went with my dance teacher and one of her friends. I was glad to have traveling companions this weekend. Made the trip more enjoyable, even if their English level was "moderate" at best!! Even though they are Korean, they had never been to this national park before. So I took them and we had a good time. The weather was good, unlike the last 2 weekends. We were surrounded by beauty and nature, waterfalls and a creek. Very very relaxing...very very refreshing...I'll take another trip there perhaps in the least, I'm thinking about it's kind of like Yosemite...a place you can go to over and over and over, and not get tired of it...but, unlike Yosemite, it's a 3 hour road trip as opposed to an 8 hour or more (haha) road trip from LA. I'll try to put up some pictures for you. My dance teacher gave me a gift for taking her(lipstick), and so did her friend(a Korean sombrero/hat). Ha ha nice was that? Imagine!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

a trip to busan

Saturday I had to work in the morning for a couple of hours. Needless to say, I was anticipating the rest of my weekend. I spontaneously planned (now there's an oxymoron) a weekend trip to the southeastern end of the peninsula, to a popular city, called Busan. (I wanted to soak in the sun and enjoy the beach.) I took the highspeed bullet train to make it there in about 2 and a half hours. The weather was gorgeous. I talked with this old man, who was born in Japan, but was Korean, and spoke 3 languages seemingly well. He was interesting, and kind. Anyways, so, once I reached the beautiful sand, expecting a wonderful play day, ah, all I heard were whistles. As I approached the shoreline, all I could see were Korean bodies everywhere but in the water. Apparently they weren't allowing anymore swimming for the day, due to a high surf? Whatever the reason, I was disappointed I had traveled all that way for nothing. The next day it rained, so I kidked it at a local cafe, reading a book. And, this weekend, though I'm planning another trip to a national park, it is supposed to rain I hear. I guess I better be flexible and play it by ear, and have a fun time no matter what the weather!! In this picture I am so excited at the beginning of my trip; I am at the train station waiting to get on the train!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

i hate my job

Look at these kids? Are they not adoreable? Then why do I hate my job so much?
One of my job responsabilities is to phone calling students. This means every month I have to call each student and talk on the phone with them for 3 to 5 minutes about whatever. I am failing miserably in this task. Therefore, I am also feeling unhappy about not being able to do a satisfactory perfomance at my job.
My options are to quit/find another job, hang in there, or talk with them (which past experience has taught me is fruitless. They are sooo hardheaded!) I don't want to quit prematurely because it's only another 5 months, and I can get my bonus at the end of completing my contract. In addition, they will pick up the tab for my airfare. Who wants to lose that?
I will hang in there I suppose, and realize that I can't do everything. Unfortuanately, that also means that students will suffer: grading essays will be done later, lesson planning may or may not get done, and preparing for class instruction will be insufficient. But, the students will have gotten their monthly phone call, so business is roaring...tsk, tsk...
That's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

반코...only staying in my room

Here i am in Jeju (a korean island), on the last day of my bus tour (Tuesday) near songsan, famous for its waterfalls and scenic views. Was nice and relaxing to walk around there.
반코 or, bongko, is a korean word that describes my day means, only staying in my room...after a couple of hours of work this morning, on MY saturday, i ate my beloved kimchi chigae, which is like a pork and kimchi stew, then i headed to my room and slept all was nice, since i rarely get to do that, but also alittle bit lonely...i wanted to go to the beach or the mountains today, but it was raining, i opted to stay home and sleep...i hope next weekend the weather will be better...i want to do something FUN~!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunset at Jeju Island

This is Iho Beach (that's pronounced E-hoe in case you're wondering). I watched the sunset Saturday nite after spending the whole day there soaking up the sun and playing in the water. It was my vacation, and I got to do what I wanted to do! Now that's my kind of vacation! I stayed nearby in what the local Korean people call a "pension", which we would liken to a condo-style housing arrangement. I was on the 2nd floor with an equally beautiful sunrise view looking out over the water. I was pleased with the pension because they provided you with toiletries (like shampoo and conditioner), a mini-kitchen with stove and refrig for cooking if one wanted. More later!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

summer school in cheonan

It was our first day of summer school at our English academy. There are 8 students in my first class, comprised of 6 middle school boys and 2 elementary girls. (We are supposed to be a "conversation class", though the curriculum seems otherwise, the curriculum THEY/the schol gave me to use.)

Our class went something like this; first introduce yourself; then talk about what time you got up and did you eat breakfast and what did you eat. By the time we were done with these "preliminaries" there was like 10 minutes left of class, for "real" teaching. But, I think all the time is learning time, whether it is directly or indirectly. So, as for me, I had a blast with this class.

The student's abilities range in that class from very good understanding to not catching all that I say. We laughed alot in class, these students are a good bunch, and I am looking forward to working with them this summer.

getting along at work~

My school asked me to create from scratch 60 lesson plans for the summer. They wanted 3 levels of lesson plans for 20 days each. Of course, I had to do this on my own time, on top of my full workload, and, without any additional pay. Needless to say, I wasn't happy about this.

But, I tried my best to produce something of value, in their timeframe. And, I did it. I went in on a Saturday, usually my day off, and worked on the project for 2 hours. I also worked on it for another at least 3 or more hours (because who's really counting anyways) and turned it in on time as they requested.They had 2 weeks to look at it before it was to go to print, and if they had wanted to make suggestions they could have done so in that time period. But no, they waited until the last moment, the day before it was due to print, at 9:30, my time off, as I was leaving, and the head teacher asked me if I could stay for a moment to go over it. Hmmm....I said no. They said please. I said no, I'm sorry. And, I left.

I was very very tired. And, I was off!! They wouldn't pay me for any "extra" work I do, so, why should I have stayed? They had 2 weeks to review and go over it with me, if it were that important. Well, the next day I find out they decided to print something else anyways, and now I am expected to teach from what they produced. What irony!

I think I was simply fed up with being worked to and beyond my limit. For a speech contest they even asked me to "help" the students with their speeches (providing pronunciation help). This of course, took time, and ate into my prep and break times. So, I was stewing about that and just exploded one day last week at my head teacher. She was trying to give me directions or say something to me. But, her English is so bad, and slow, that I couldn't follow her. So I plainly told her so. She told me my attitude stressed her out. Well, since then, they haven't asked me to do "more". Maybe standing up for myself wasn't such a bad thing after all.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

a new computer

Well, i didn't get a new computer...but,my Korean friend who wishes to remain annonymous helped me fix it...what a guy!! Someday, I might post a picture of him here. But for now, we are headed to eat Mcdonald's and then I'm meetingJo for the sauna. That's where we will relax at the public bathhouse, where there are different pools and rooms to go into for relaxation, Korea-style. Thanks for reading this. Until next time....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

mud festival~

Tuesday, July 17th, was a holiday in Korea. It was Independence Day I think. So, we had the day off from work, which meant, PLAYTIME!! Vicki, Hanna, and I headed to Daechon Beach for the ever so popular "Mud Festival". It was a FUN FUN FUN time, not just because it was sunny, not just because we got muddy, not just because we ate good food; these are my GIRLFRIENDS, and, it was fun to TALK and HANG~OUT together.

saturday in korea~

Wow~my first blog on blogger dot com^^I am greatly indebted to the cool Jackie Bolen for helping me set up my blog~she gave of her time and energy to do that~so thanks Jackie!!

Today was one of the best days of my life in Korea. It began with working on a Saturday, my first Saturday working at my school, because we are on a special summer schedule that includes working for a couple of hours on 3 Saturdays in the summer. The nice thing about today was that it was only one class instead of two, and then off to meet Gillian from Australia for lunch. We ate at this Gimbap Chungook Korean Restraunt, and then I was off to meet a friend from church, Julene, who also happens to be from California, so I think she is really cool. Hehe...

Anyways, Julene and I went to Starbux together, and we ran into Youngmin and Jackie, and talked with them for a bit. It was fun to see them there, random and unexpected. Youngmin plays guitar at our church, and Jackie is going to be teaching at a university next year. Hmmm...I'm not sure if I should be writing all this or not.

Then, Julene and I talked and talked and talked until Jackie and Cara, Jenni, and Jo joined us. So, it was nice to see the girls. Also so random!! LOL...

Cara joined me for buying a new camera since some mean person stole mine last week out of my locker at the sauna!! ANYWAYS, I got to buy a new camera at the SONY store, and it was on sale, so I was glad about that. and, I like the way it looks, and am looking forward to using it next weekend when I go to Jeju Island!!

So, after buying our cameras, (because Cara bought one too) we went to the Christian bookstore next door and guess what we bought? We bought Korean-English toddler's Bible with a CD so we can study Korean and the Bible~how funny are we??? Yet, we were so excited about it because we both like Korean alot!! I can't wait to start listening to the CD in Korean together!!!!!

Then we met up with Jackie for dinner at another Korean restraunt by Jackie's place, which also happened to be near where we bought our new cameras. We ate kimchi chigae, a pork and kimchi was sooooo is definately one of my favorite Korean dishes. THEN we hung out at Jackie's place to watch videos and we ended up talking, and it was really cool just to talk. I felt like a little girl tonite, being at Jackie's place; we quizzed each other in Korean using these flashcards Jackie had made~I just remember feeling free to be myself Saturday nite with the girls, so that was one thing that made me happy.

What made this weekend really special so far, for me, was the TALKING with people; I talked with Gillian; I talked with Julene; I talked with Cara; and, I talked with Jackie. My heart is especially warm because one of my friends and I had a bit of a falling out, but, this weekend we reconnected again. And, that has made me happiest of all. And, I think the feeling might be mutual. This concludes my first blogger dot com entry #1. Entry # 2 will be coming when I feel like it!! LOL