Thursday, May 7, 2009
The Gorgeous Weather is Here.
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,
Posted by Darci Kroes at 5:50 PM