Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Hope you all are enjoying a little extra time off this week. Things are going good for us as usual. I am still waiting for some paperwork that is plugging (plodding) along so it looks like we will be here until the end of January. That is okay though, as classes start on January 4th and I am working at getting lesson plans made and talking to students beforehand. I have included a short video of Harvey doing his belly drag down the grass...and soon will include one of Pearl prostrated in front of her bag of Happy Hips crying. I don't know what the manufacturers put in those things but she is truly addicted. Him and Pearl are having such a good time at the dog park these days too and it has made such a difference in Pearl as her fear of other dogs has disappeared now.
This month now I am getting all the final things done on the unit - replacing tires, and had a backup camera installed, mostly because I don't have another person who can back me up into rv spaces at the parks and I only have two eyeballs, not the eight that would have been handy to been born with for backing up an RV, so the backup camera will help immensely. One inside addition to the unit is that I put in a "fire"place. It really heats up the place quickly, and it is pretty to watch the log burn. :-) I once read an article that said if you are a fulltime RVer that you have to put things into it that make it unique for you, so that is what I have gradually done - like a heated mattress because when I am lazy and tired it so wonderful to crawl into a warm bed (the problem is getting Harvey and Pearl OUT of the warm bed in the morning though :-)), and when dad visited he took out the factory taps and put in high arm taps in both the kitchen and bathroom. Thank goodness he is the handy sort as I have other projects coming up too. :-) Maybe next year I will think about solar panels, but so far the best 'trade-out' has been taking all the carpet out and replacing with oak laminate. After years of borrowing dad's tools I invested in a nice electric drill/screwdriver set from Home Depot and now just do the jobs myself when I can. But Dad such a nice job on the big ones that it is worth to wait for his visits.
Well I better run, as I am sitting here listening to Elvis Presley wail. It has been a long time since I have done that but a man that stops his car on the road and talks to me always has Elvis music in the background. ...As I was writing that I realized how funny it must sound, but when you walk your dogs two hours a day you meet A LOT of people...dog walkers...exercisers...people that drive the same route and wave everyday...so this is a man that drives, waves and talks...and plays Elvis loud. :-) So his music inspired me today. Anyways, to top things off, I have just experienced a miracle and need to investigate it further. My old laptop which I had been keeping under my desk here due to being dead just resurrected itself. I thought for old times sake I should just plug it in, and walah it lit up and booted with a beautiful screen. ;-/ Now is that strange or what??? Anyway, I am going to look to see if there is a loose wire now or something.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Love, d :-)
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
The group visiting have all headed down to Mexico for the winter. I am still waiting on my paperwork to be processed and then we are off and moving too. I thought it would be done by now, but I guess it is important to be patient.
Here is a picture of someone's lawn cat. It is blurry but that is kind of how many of my pictures are, so I included it regardless. The cat is one of those cement things. The guy who carved it though should get some award though - maybe like a "Michaelango award" because everytime Harvey and Pearl walk past it they go nuts like it is a REAL cat. Pearl starts to whine and cry and Harvey wants to eat it...and all it does is sit there facing straight ahead. They honestly think this thing is alive. So totally odd. :-/
Wasn't that a great study article yesterday? Our conductor stopped and really went over paragraph 10, because it seems to be one of biggest weaknesses of us all - judging people negatively without knowing all the true facts of a situation...even when we think we do...key as brought out: give people the benefit of the doubt. I really thought it was a good reminder. Very good articles being covered these days.
Okay, everyone have a wonderful week.
Lots of love,
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Love to all,
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Anyways, the weather is looking good these days. Quite cold though. Meetings and service have been great. A little excitement there too - Tracey had to save a brother outside the Kingdom Hall on Sunday. She has her Red Cross certification and a brother appeared to be having a stroke with his young son with him. Anyways, she was able to do what was necessary. I told her other than the obvious benefits of her taking her six munchkins to the meetings every week, that brother will probably be extra thankful she goes to all the effort.
Okay, have a wonderful week! Love ya, d :-)
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Love to everyone!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I am big on technology, especially since living in small quarters it has helped me keep organized and streamlined - such as instead of owning a TV, now I just watch TV on my computer so I don't have to have two appliances, and instead of having lots of photo albums laying around I use online albums. HOWEVER, I did learn that there is a lot of good to the old-fashioned method too. My handy dandy computer died a sudden and terrible death some months ago, and thousands of pictures that I hadn't backed up went with it. So now I have learned to back everything up. I do have several old albums underneath the couch though and they came in handy this week. I had to phone NET10 to activate my cell phone and on the other end was a ultra polite young man. I mean ULTRA POLITE. Everytime I said anything, he would respond with "Thank you so much for your response mam." Toward the end of my call I was so curious I had to ask him where he was stationed as I knew he must work in a call center somewhere in the world. I told him he had done wonderfully handling my call but I needed to know. He asked me to guess, and first I guessed Northern Mexico, and then India, but then he told me Georgetown, Guyana. Of all places! I told him that several years ago I had lived in a village there for a bit doing volunteer work. It was such a tiny village I didn't expect him to know as it was out in the jungle area. Kuru Kuru. He was so excited as this is the village he lives in. I told him that I imagined it had changed a lot, but he told me it hadn't. So I went to my old ratty albums under the couch and found this picture to share with all of you. This is Ruth and me in the village doing service. This is a typical home in Guyana. Most people would work in the jungle, but now there is a big call center where people can find work to if they will move to Georgetown. Anyway, it was so exciting for him and me to find someone working in a place that I, nor ANYONE, would ever imagine a company to establish a call centre.
This week has been excellent. I am off to the meeting soon. I am helping Eric move a table with my truck first. Then next week we are off to Mira Loma for an assembly day. Anyways, it has been excellent this week. I bought one of those bike buggy things and have been hauling Harvey and Pearl around town in it. As usual Pearl thinks it is totally hers and Harvey is just a privileged guest to be riding with her, so I often hear growls and barks, but the good thing is I always know exactly where they are. :-) We are getting tons of exercise walking these days too. There are so many trails we seem to be going for longer than our two hours everyday but I am loving it and so are they.
Okay, I hope everyone is having an absolutely wonderful weekend!
Love to everyone,
Monday, October 26, 2009
This week has been great, as I hope that everybody else's week has been good too. :-) The big thing I did this week was get me motorcycle off the back of my truck where it has been sitting for quite a long time. I had to do this because I wanted to move my RV to a new site and thought it would make it easier backing up if there weren't two huge handlebars blocking the window. Anyway, since my dad is about 1500 miles away (whom is an excellent motorcycle mover) I had to think of a plan B person. And I decided to call Gloria B for the job. I told her basically that her function was to just call 911 if the thing fell over on me coming down the ramps. So this is how it went. Gloria, is a girly girl as you know, so she was wearing her dress and heels with her two inch gorgeous fingernails...as opposed to me - jeans, shirt, and stubby nails ready to dig dirt with. :-/ Well, I released three pulleys on the bike and suddenly the weight of 365 lbs starting leaning over so I jumped on. Then I realized I was going to have to BACK it down the ramps. At this point because I was born with arms two feet too short for this task I had to ask Gloria to use her perfectly manicured hands to release the last clamp with her knuckle and hold on for dear life as I rolled and breaked going down the ramps. :-( I didn't want to scare Gloria, but at this point, my joke to her about only being there to call 911 was starting to look like a very good possibility. But I took a deep breath, and starting rolling and Gloria held on for dear life and we rolled the beast down. I almost couldn't believe it when we hit the ground vertical rather than horizontal. Anyway, I have shined it all up and the cheap transportation machine is ready to go. :-) ...Oh yes, I am now in Rancho Mirage, so anyone reading this that is in the area is welcome to stop by for a cup of coffee...or tea...whatever else we can find in the fridge. :-)
Love to everyone,
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Well, as of last night, I may be switching to the PROJECT RUNWAY method. My assistant left it too late and we are filming this coming Thursday night, and the costumes are still all in pieces. :-( So I am heading down to the art store to buy a load of straight pins and glue and create the costumes by hand. I am thinking that it should be a lot of fun. :-) By last night's practise though I was burnt. Traveling back and forth to the assembly for four days last week shouldered with practising every night this week just zonked me. I had to sit all the cast members down and tell them that "tonight is the night that you need to be especially good listeners and be good for me". I am usually super patient with the students but I just was so tired I knew I didn't have much left inside. I just explained that if they weren't there was a danger that they would see fire coming out my ears. Most of them understood. I really work hard at being patient with the teenagers because I know that child abuse happrens here and I often see kids in class with casted fingers, arms, and bruises. Much higher than a teacher would see in America or Canada. It is just accepted in Asia. After all this time I have become pretty good too at identifying the boys that are treated rough at home - it is in their demeanor also - so I give them jobs of responsiblity in the classes to try and build their esteem in other ways. Right now in my writing class I have the boys analyzing that chapter in the YOUNG PEOPLE ASK BOOK about teenage stress and how to solve problems. Reading what they write over their shoulders and their homelife and what causes them stress is very enlightening for me. I will tell you one story from this week that goes along with it. I was asked to write an article for the school newspaper coming out at the end of the month, so I thought instead of writing the same old boring stuff that teachers do all the time, I thought that I would write something uniquely Western - a Dear Abby (Dear Darci) type column. So I asked the boys in my writing class to submit questions for me. I told them that they could ask anything they want as they could sign them names like SLEEPLESS IN SUWON, or SAD IN SUSUNG or whatever. Well anyways, I hand out the paper and go sit by my desk and put a box at the back of the room for the boys to put their folded questions into. In a minute I see the Korean male teacher walking around the room looking at the boys writing! One boy turned to him, shielded his paper and told him it was confidential as teacher Darci had said. The Korean teacher was niffed at the boy so he took his paddle and hit him in the forehead, and then took him in the hallway and spanked the life out of him. When he brought him back I told the Korean teacher that he was not allowed to look at any more boys papers. I tell ya sometimes you have to have nerves of steel to stand up to some of the things that happen. In the end though when I opened up the box I got some awesome questions that I wrote all Biblical advice to for the newspaper. Now I will be surprized if it is printed. I will let you all know. Okay have a wonderful evening. Lots of love for everyone, d :-)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Yesterday ended our International District Convention here in Korea. As mentioned in the headline here, it was so much appreciated that the delegates came. There are about 40 of us here in Korea that appreciated them even more than anyone else. That is how many true foreigners there are in the English congregations here for the whole country, brothers and sisters that don’t speak Korean. All of us would tell you that even though we are very happy with our decision to come here and support the foreign needs congregation, it has not been easy – in fact to put it in perspective, it is pretty much the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest with a 300lb man hanging off our ankles. The Korean brothers just aren't accustomed yet to having foreigners in the English congregations. We know that Jehovah will help them make adjustments to welcome foreigners into the English congregations but the changes are slow and sometimes it is almost overwhelming, so when all the native speakers showed up from Canada, the U.S., and Australia, we really felt that Jehovah had heard our prayers and sent in the reinforcements. After the sessions, us foreigners commented to each other that we didn’t realize how it was going to affect us until we stood shoulder to shoulder singing with our brothers and sisters that totally accepted us. Every hug that we received, every smile, every conversation we had, just meant the world to each one of us, and we really wish we could personally thank those delegate brothers and sisters for coming. Many of the delegates said they thought their visit to Korea wasn’t much, but they never considered how much Jehovah was using them to encourage the small group of foreigners serving in the country. Words cannot express how much it meant to us. :-) I personally felt like I was given an unexpected treat everyday. First, I couldn’t believe my eyes when Rex Shin stood before me. Wow, I couldn’t hug him any faster. He was so encouraging. And being a Korean that lived here before, and now in Canada, he was able to offer some encouraging words about being part of the congregation here, and also just having him say that he understood how hard it must be for us due to culture and the role that plays in the congregation, really meant a lot. Then I had a really special treat – I met Hans and Minerva Pintar, my CO and his wife from when I was a teenager. It was choking for me to see him because when I was sixteen he took me aside at my Kingdom Hall and said, “you know I see big potential in you for serving Jehovah. I can see you doing big things for him.” Those kind words stuck in my mind over the years, and I thought about them often. It really is so important what we say to the young ones in the congregation. :-) Then finally I saw a dear old friend that I never thought would go abroad for a convention, or for any reason, so I was so happy to see that person at the convention – very encouraging....and surprising.
I was also impressed by seeing ones like Wes Pisoni that after all this time are still abroad working and helping out, and loving it, even though they are far away from their original friends and family. Really good examples.
Here are some pics I hope you will enjoy:
1. This is Estelle’s mom. Her and her husband left New York to pioneer in the Dominican Republic. She gave us a lot to think about, as it is so cheap to live there and the service work is wonderful.
2. This is my favourite pic of the entire convention. Matt looked so wonderful in this hanbok. And for the first time he dumped us. He was so excited that other foreigners could understand him. Actually, Matt is our best student in the Kingdom Hall. He takes every opportunity to try and speak English. Brenda and I are pretty much corrupting him though. At some point he will hear a talk about how bad sarcasm is, and the brother will give an example, and Matt will say, “that is bad sarcasm??? I heard sister Darci say it at least 100 times! Bad…baddddd…baddddd.” ;-) ...in other words if you see me on the other side of A that will be a testimony to you as to the depth of Jehovah's mercy. :-)))
3. This brother was ultra funny and cool. He is originally from Canada, and his wife and him now are living in China, so one day he dressed as a cowboy – hat and all to represent Canada, and the next he dressed as a Chinese peasant farmer. His suitcase must have been huge even for the hats he was wea
4. I also like this video of everyone singing at the end. These were the Canadians waving goodbye. The group with the coolest objects though were the Philippine brothers and sisters who had long skinny snake balloons to twirl in the air.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Well, I better run, I need to go stand at the window, stare at the rain, and figure out my game plan.
Love to all,
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I included a picture of the locks of wishes. Koreans bring a lock and put it on the fence with a wish written on it. They also do the same thing with certain forests. They bring a rock into the forest with a wish written on it and leave it. Unique. Sometimes it would be interesting to find out how certain traditions started so many years ago.
Monday, August 3, 2009
This has been a busy month but I thought I would take a moment to catch everyone up on what is going on around Korea. :-)
First I thought I would attach a video of morning exercises. Everyone does this. The beginning of school, or the beginning of the work day. If you go into Homeplus in the morning all the employees will be lined up doing this before they start work. They chant and follow the head person exercise.
Also, this last weekend we took a day and went to Namsun Tower which is in the centre of Seoul area. I think the best part for me was going to Namdaemoon Market. It is the largest market in Korea, so lots of deals to be found. :-)
Here is a picture of the menu in one coffee shop. In the specialty section they have Cancer au Lait. It helps to have a sense of humour living here because their are ALWAYS either mistranslations of words or funny grammar errors. A person can either get riled up that that Koreans are mutilating the language...as some do here...or just laugh about it.
And lastly, here is a picture of Vancouver and how close it is to Seoul. Don't worry I know that I am blurry in the picture, but believe me I look better that way on this particular day, so I included it. :-)
Okay, everyone have a wonderful month. We have our CO this week, and then the international at the end. Should be very interesting.
Love to all, d :-)
ps. Pearl and Harvey are doing great.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Well it appears that I am now an Engineer in the UK attempting to scam people out of a lot of money in Canada. I was notified this weekend that someone, or group of people, have somehow stolen my passport information and am offering people a luxury condo in Toronto. Anyways, the RCMP are taking care of it, but it is stressful for me because there appears to be several people that have been requested to send their money to a bank account. Just hoping that it is all recoverable. In the meanwhile, my passport has been canceled. They will put a rush on it so that I can have one fast, but if does make me feel a bit stressed because the North are making big threats right now. Even though I am hoping I will never have to use it, I still have an evacuation bag packed. Anyways, hopefully everything will be resolved by the weekend. It doesn't surprize me much though that someone got my passport info, because I have had to make so many copies of my passport page for immigration here, and so many copies for the Ministry of Education. I will be much more protective of who gets those copies in the future though.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Here are some pics of our fishing trip. It was so much fun! There were about 20 on board I think. Here is our group. Mr. Kim, our taxi driver, Brenda, Gina, and me. Gina was the killer fisher of the day - getting 5. It was so funny though. All the Koreans had these high tech rods, with digital readers, and hydraulic winding, etc. - nice expensive stuff. Then there was our group. We were fishing using 8 x 6" pieces...just like the Mexicans use. We would drop our lines off the edge of the boat and then when the captain rang the bell we would yank it in like crazy. Anyways, guess which group caught the most fish???!!! Yes, a good lesson for us - you don't need fancy stuff to get the job done. Eventually one Korean man put his high tech rod away and grabbed a small slab thingy too, and was catching more fish with it also. Anyways, it was an awesome day.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Last year when I was visiting, Dad noticed that I had a flimsy looking glass case and dug through his drawer and gave me an old glass case of his. It was bright red, and so heavy it felt like it was reinforced on the sides with plate steel, and it had this huge spring on the side. I accepted his gift but I was thinking to myself that I would have to buy reinforcements for my purse straps because it was so heavy. Anyways, today that case saved me a lot of money. After the meeting we stopped off to get a bite to eat. After, Matt and I hailed a taxi. As we were getting into the taxi I heard a clunk and knew something had fallen from my purse onto the road. As the taxi took off I yelled for it to stop, and as I looked in the rear window I saw another taxi hit my sherman-tank glass case with my expensive prescription glasses that insurance had paid for. The case flew high into the air came down on the road again, out popped my glasses and then another car ran the case over a second time flattening it. :-( However, when I ran back to see the damage, my glasses were safely sitting there beside the flattened case that protected them. Whew! Young Matt and I were both totally impressed with how well they survived due to that case.
Monday, May 18, 2009
This is the testing time for the boys so I had some really nice time off last week, and today is another day off. I have made myself a chore list to work through so I should be pretty busy the entire day though.
This Saturday is a wedding for one of the brothers that has been at Bethel for about 12 years. He is marrying a sister from our congregation, then leaving Bethel to join our congregation. Robin has been to Europe, Australia and some other places before so he is really nice to talk to so I am glad they chose our congregation. :-) For their honeymoon, they are going to America for 3 months to work on their English skills, so that is pretty cool too. I will share some pics of the wedding with you next time. :-)
Well, Teachers Day was last Friday, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I received a scarf and some bath products from one of my groups, so that was really sweet of them. Then the school booked a wedding hall and took us for a banquet. The Koreans ate super fast as usual but Gina and I just decided to linger and enjoy the afternoon and the great food. Much of it was western, so it was a real treat. :-) Anyways, that is a little difference from North America to here. Here they have Childrens Day, then Parents Day and few days later, and then Teachers Day. Very very nice customs. :-)
Anyways, I will run. Have a wonderful week, and lots of love to everyone. - d :-)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This week is a definite turning point for us - consistent warm, beautiful sunny weather. :-) I have the week off also because the boys are writing mid-terms so I have lots of cleaning projects going on around the home. Later today I am off to buy a garden hose. I found a pressure head and decided that I am going to wash the outside section of my apartment building, windows, doors, trim. In Korea, nothing is ever washed. When the structure was built is the last time it was cleaned, in other words. :-( I have often thought that if a person had a pressure washer here and showed people how nice things look clean that maybe they could get an awesome business going. Anyways, I don't have a pressure washer but I will have a hose and a bucket of soapy water, and even if nobody else on the street cares, I will be happy to have a clean door and window. :-) Besides, I planted bamboo and some flowers in window boxes so it will be so nice to see them against a clean background too. Korea has many good things about it, but unfortunately cleanliness is not one of the strengths. For any of you coming for the International Assembly this summer I highly recommend bringing a bottle of Purel to carry in your backpack. You will use it often. There isn't real soap in the bathrooms so you will need it there. Actually, there is soap in the bathrooms sometimes but you won't want to use it. In all the bathrooms they take a bar of soap and stab it onto a spike that comes out of the wall. Everyone is expected to rub their hands on it for cleaning. :-X (this is my pinch face). Brenda and I forgo this opportunity and just use Purel. :-/ All developing countries have their little oddities no doubt.
This weekend should be nice. My co-worker Gina is coming to the KH again on Sunday maybe - will have to wait and see. She is an avid hiker - but he poor girl fell on a steep mountain the other day and now her leg is in pretty bad shape with a cast type thing. And next Saturday I will be having some foreigners over for dinner. Last week's dinner went great and it was just SO nice to have a place for people to sit. :-)
School is also going well. I am a little concerned about one boy. He obviously is suffering from depression of some sort. It is a little complicated here about dealing with those issues because it is not viewed as a real health issue. However, one would think the government would get up to speed on it because the country has the highest suicide rate in the world - something like 40 people per day. The president just gave a speech on it last week, telling people to think twice before doing it. :-/ Anyways, about the boy in my class. When I first noticed his condition worsening I approached the Korean co-teacher and said, "I am concerned about the boy with the depression problem." Since it is not something Koreans like to talk about, her response was, "Teacher Darci, which boy do you mean?" Me: "the one who is basically staring at the wall, with flakes of skin falling over his suit". :-/ Her: "oh, oh...yes him. I will ask about him to his homeroom teacher." Most of you know I talk very straight, so later she comes and tells me that he is non-responsive to the teachers and other students, and I ask her what the course of action is going to be. "Well, we thought we should watch him". So in a country with the highest suicide rate in the world, and a desire not to confront it, that means they are either going to watch him weave his own rope to hang himself in the park, or watch him as he opens the fourth floor window and jumps to the ground. :-/ I later asked a parents class that I teach what they would do in such a situation. I told them how in the West we would immediately have the teenager at the doctor's office for a checkup and medication, or psychological help. They all grimaced. They said they would never take their child to the doctor if they thought he was depressed, but rather they demonstrated how they would hit his shoulder and tell him to "cheer up!" I love teaching my kids, but I really feel for them if they, or anyone here, hits a rough patch emotionally, because it is very frowned upon to get help. One brother in the congregation told me that his mother suffered terribly for 11 years before going to the doctor because of what other's would think. Anyways, next week I will follow up with this boy's homeroom teacher and see what progress he is making. If nothing else, Gina and I can talk to him. We'll see.
Well, I should run. I am off to the acupuncturist. Then I am taking my chair to the park to keep reading my book, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. It is based in Afghanistan - awesome so far! Then Brenda and I have plans for doing a nature walk around the Fortress Wall this weekend. Okay, everyone take care, and remember to make some fun in your live's this weekend, :-)
lots of love,