Birthday 2013: Korean Style

            

         Birthdays spent away from family and friends don’t usually put one in a  particularly celebratory mood. Being an expatriate can sometimes be a lonely and somewhat isolating experience. However, thanks to technology, my birthday started out on the best possible note. 

           Bright and early, on my birthday, I joined a google hangout expecting to receive “Happy Birthday” wishes from my parents and sister. When I entered the hangout, not only were my parents and sister on the screen, but also around 13 other family members. 


          Never has the “Happy Birthday” song sounded so good (even with my families varying musical abilities)!

          Technology and I have a tenuous relationship at best, but sometimes I love the age we live in.  I live across the ocean, but because of technology I was able to speak with family. A family, with people living in three different countries, and three different states were able to converse as if we were sitting across the dining room table from each other. Amazing.

         The birthday cards, letters, and packages have also poured in over the last two weeks, for which I am extremely grateful!

         My day didn’t end there.  My wonderful co-worker, Clara Teacher, surprised me with a cake and the entire English office sang happy birthday to me. 

        My students, little sweethearts that they are also had surprises waiting for me in my classrooms.

My adorable C4 girls!!

Emma, Sarah, Luna, Chloe, Lana, Kelly, and Alice. Sweethearts, every one of them!

My wonderful, if not more rambunctious, C5 class. The boys are being their normal selves over in the corner 🙂

          I teared up at the beautiful messages the kids wrote for me, and was a little overwhelmed at the notes and gifts they kept putting in my hands. Sometimes children can so generous and thoughtful. 

All the kids are well aware of my coffee addiction 🙂

           Most of my presents and sweet notes came from the girls in my classes, not surprisingly. However, one of my more colorful students (Harold), drew an…….interesting, yet heartfelt, birthday not for me.

Oh, Harold, this face explains it all.

A “Happy Birthday” dong.  Dong = poop in Korean.

        Harold is a special kid, sometimes drives me crazy in class, but he at least has a sense of humor.

My treasury of gifts and notes 🙂

           Some of my favorite gifts, and also some of the most Korean. I received and pen that looks like a tube of lipstick, another “vitamin” ball pen, a panda face, a handmade bracelet by Unnee (center secretary), and also a heart bracelet from a student whose English name is……………wait for it…………… S.M. Entertainment.  She isn’t even one of my students, just has a big heart that girl.

Two new hand fans for the hot summer days ahead 🙂

             I can’t even begin to describe how much all the kind words and smiles meant to me, and how much good they did in easing the slight homesickness ache that usually develops around any holiday spent away from home.

Sweet words that go straight to the heart 🙂

I love it when I can tell if the kids have used google translate or not.  I can tell you that the words “constant patronage” are not in her usual repertoire 🙂



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