Saturday, November 11, 2017

Day 81: Volunteering and Pepero day!

Today was my first time volunteering with Beyond the English Divide - the non-profit group I became part of back in September.
The other times they volunteered I had been too busy so I was excited about joining today but also nervous~!

I met in Sinchon with one of our other volunteers, Levonu, and her friend, Maria, and together we went to Suwon station where we'd be meeting the others later.
Suwon station was a LOT more fancy than I'd thought (they sold shoes, purses, bags, and there was a supermarket!) so we spent our waiting time there looking around and buying waffles for lunch.
We also bought peperos for the kids since today is Pepero Day! I'll get back to the concept of Pepero Day later~

At 15.30, we met up with Emma, Gulnoza, and Junhaeng outside the station and from there we continued to where we'd be teaching today: Happy Land, Happy School in Hwaseong.

The others had volunteered here before so Junhaeng asked if the kids remembered some of our volunteers, then we did a quick introduction each, and then began 'class'.
The first hour there, we split up the kids in smaller sections and spent 5-10 minutes with each group before rotating to the next.
Like Maria here, some of us just talked to them and asked questions since the English level varied a lot.
Others, like Emma, were prepared with games for the kids.
Here's Gulnoza talking to her first group~
And me with my first small group. The kids were super cute and in almost all groups there would be a least one, who was pretty good at English, and one, who either wouldn't or couldn't speak at all. The one in the green listened to me but the only thing she ever said was that she didn't speak English well, in Korean.
The kids were in general pretty interested in us but after some 30-45 minutes, their concentration was running out.
After our group activities, we gave the kids a break before splitting them into two teams, that would be competing against each other. We taught them verbs, feelings, animals, and sports through actions. Through the first half, each team had to send a team member to the front of the group to perform one of the actions and then the teams would have to guess the word.
Having the kids come up to the front took longer than expected so in the end it was just us doing the actions while having the kids guess the correct words.
We ended off by handing pepero and snickers to the kids. That got them pretty excited!
And then a group picture~
Maria, who was not a member of our organization but interested in joining, was interviewed by Junhaeng, Emma, and Gulnoza, and in the evening she became a member too!

Junhaeng drove us to the station from where we all split up.
 Maria and Levonu live in Sinchon as well but they had planned to eat dinner at Suwon station before returning home and had originally invited me to join. I was happy for the offer but had already made plans for the evening.

Today both Hajun and I had been pretty busy: me with volunteering and Hajun had had a basketball tournament so we'd made plans to hang out in the evening.
Once I returned to Sinchon past 20.00, I was pretty hungry so our first stop was at Hansot to eat.
When buying peperos for the kids, I bought two extra packs for Hajun since today was Pepero Day. He seemed pretty happy.
If you look at his left eye, you might be able to see something red that kind of looks like eyeliner in the outer corner. He told me, proudly, how he'd defended the basket from a 2m tall guy. Tsk.

 Oh and he turned the pepero packages and told me that you could cut out the back part, write a message to someone, and then post it like a post card. That's pretty clever marketing.
 Hajun has a thing for taking my picture when I don't feel like it and tried while we were waiting for our food. It always results in really distorted pictures. These turned out a LOT better than 80% of the ones he usually takes.

Okay so why peperos? What are they and what is Pepero Day?

Pepero (빼빼로) is a Korean chocolate covered cookie stick type of snack and November 11th (11/11) is a quirky part of the Korean Culture. Some say that it's on this day because the snack resembles the numerals of today's date.
It's a day where some, not all, students, co-workers, friends, and couples gift these snack to each other either as sweet gestures or with romantic overtones.

After eating, Hajun insisted on giving me peperos as well but couldn't decide on a flavor. He ended up with 3 options and asked me which one I wanted. I told him that he didn't have to buy me anything but he insisted. So I told him that I'd turn my back while he chose since I already decided by myself which ones to get him. He picked some but looked suspicious and told me to stay outside while he bought them - which meant that, naturally, I followed him. He did his best to block my view, though, so I stepped aside and waited for him.
While waiting, I discovered these interesting beverages and originally took a picture to show Celine but now I feel like sharing it on my blog as well just because they look so cute and weird. I believe it's flavoured milk. 

We walked up to campus and sat down to eat some of the peperos I'd bought for him. After buying some for me, he'd handed me a bag and instructed me not to open it before I got home.
He had another basketball match the next day and was tired from today + it was pretty cold outside so we didn't stay there for long before he went back home.

Once back at the dorm, I opened the suspiciously large bag.
 He'd gotten me all three. Thank you, Hajun~☆

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back To Top