Archive for December 2006

It’s really winter now!

As most teachers already know, getting into the Christmas spirit in Elementary school is fairly easy – cookies, presents, decorating and everyone still believes in santa. However, I just wasn’t feeling it last week. So, to change all that the girls here got together and planned a Christmas Sleepover. It was a ton of fun. I spent my day making pizza dough for homemade pizzas that night, then we decorated Sophia’s house in fairy lights and tacky wreath reindeer from her classroom. We made a huge batch of mulled wine and stayed up late chatting and watching christmas movies. In the morning, it got even cheesier when we made a homemade batch of cinnamon rolls and went door to door in the apartment complex dressed in santa hats and caroling. Those who actually answered their door got hot chocolate and fresh rolls. Come on, that’s a pretty nice way to start your Sunday don’t you think?

The best part of the whole weekend though was that it snowed! The entire weekend! Here are some photos of our school on Sunday morning (no, I didn’t go into school but it’s one block away and looked the coolest in the snow)


All this snow inspired me to join some teachers on a snowboarding trip Sunday evening. We headed about an hour south to a small little resort where I actually learned how to snowboard. Now, I have only skied a few times and I had never even stood on a snow board before so I was a little apprehensive. Luckily, one of the teachers here turned out to be a snowboarding instructor and before you knew it I was heading down the hill with only one fall. For those of you who know anything about this, it turns out I am ‘goofy’ (this means I prefer to go down hill with my right foot leading). At the end of our evening I was able to go down the green slope alternating heel toe. It was great! We got there around 7pm and stayed until 11pm making it back to the apartments by midnight. I know, I know – it’s a Sunday night but it was absolutely worth it and honestly, there’s not much teaching going on this week with all the decorating, caroling, assemblies and parent events.  So, you can add snowboarding to my list of hobbies! Can’t wait to get back here and try again in january.


Add comment December 18, 2006


Guess what! I found a whole load of photos from Vietnam hidden on my computer.  So, here you go, Enjoy!

So back to Hanoi we go…….

catch-up-on-website-196.JPGsitting by the church beside our hostel…

catch-up-on-website-172.JPGtrying to figure out where in the world we are…

catch-up-on-website-173.JPGanother photo of being grateful for finding the hostel

catch-up-on-website-030.JPGcatch-up-on-website-044.JPGcatch-up-on-website-010.JPGour days at the cafe…

catch-up-on-website-006.jpgthe best meals we’ve had…

catch-up-on-website-179.JPGbeing turned back from an overnight trip after the hurricane hit..

And now time to relax in sunny Hoi An…..

catch-up-on-website-203.JPGcatch-up-on-website-079.JPGstarting with 30cent beers!

catch-up-on-website-120.JPGcatch-up-on-website-117.JPGfeeling like princesses under the mosquito nets…

catch-up-on-website-067.JPGcatch-up-on-website-214.JPG catch-up-on-website-123.JPGI loved the motorbikes around Hoi An and rented one for each day.

the main reason we loved Hoi an was the beach of course…..


Then there was the full moon festival with the dragon dancers.


catch-up-on-website-211.JPGokay so we got a little bored one day….

And finally to overcrowded, busy Ho Chi Minh…

catch-up-on-website-192.JPGActually I think this might be one of the only photos we have – trying to find a hotel room. We just weren’t that impressed.

And finally some scenic views of Vietnam. It really is a beautiful place so who knows – there are lots of international schools there!



Add comment December 3, 2006


I had a GREAT thanksgiving! We headed south to Soransan National Park for the weekend. It’s about 3 hours south of Seoul, right on the coast.  We headed out straight after school on Wednesday, laden down with food. We were determined to still enjoy a thanksgiving feast so the night before we left we cooked up a 22lb turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, cornbread, pumpkin pie, apple pie and gravy. All of this got carted in the van we rented from the school. I even got to savor my first rest stop food. Unfortunately, it’s really gross. I ended up with a sweet corn dog and water. We found a little minbok (Korean guesthouse) in this tiny little town just beside the park.  catch-up-on-website-296.JPG It’s pretty cool – $30 for a room and 3 -4 people can fit inside. There were 9 of us so we had 3 rooms. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the rooms don’t have furniture – you get blankets and pillows to lay out on the floor. catch-up-on-website-282.JPGThe room that you rent…… catch-up-on-website-283.JPGWhat it looks like once you’ve settled in. Behind the main building, there was an extra building with a little living room and kitchen set up. This was where we hung out and had all our meals. catch-up-on-website-243.JPGcatch-up-on-website-281.JPGNot the prettiest view though. Both Thursday and Friday we got up and headed out climbing. It was a great rock to climb and I even led a 5.10b! catch-up-on-website-279.JPG Each day we brought along a picnic, hammocks and board games to fill in the time. catch-up-on-website-276.JPGcatch-up-on-website-260.JPGcatch-up-on-website-274.JPGcatch-up-on-website-261.JPG It was a great bonding time for the girls – Robin, Kyomi, Leah and me. catch-up-on-website-238.JPGcatch-up-on-website-236.JPGcatch-up-on-website-235.JPG Some of the funniest moments were when we were belaying each other. If you didn’t realize, Leah, Denise, Robin and I are some of the smallest girls so belaying the larger men turned into a workout of it’s own. catch-up-on-website-230.JPGcatch-up-on-website-232.JPGcatch-up-on-website-259.JPG It was cold each day and the rock was granite so we did get a little cut up.. and banged up. catch-up-on-website-244.JPG Once we were cold, bruised and tired, we headed off to the bath house at a nearby hotel. It was the perfect way to end the day. It was certainly better than the hot vitamin C drink that the locals kept trying to get us to drink.catch-up-on-website-253.JPG On Thursday night we enjoyed our thanksgiving feast and Friday we ate leftovers and played games. That night the boys bought a ton of roman candles and played war. Really! They lit them up and fired them off at each other. Now, they weren’t completely stupid – they wore helmets and old shirts that could handle some burn marks. I was pretty skeptical at first but after watching it, it was really funny.


Saturday morning we were up and home by late afternoon. We still had Sunday to relax and get ready for work on Monday. It really was a perfect weekend.


2 comments December 3, 2006

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