Archive for yoon ji

Celebrating chuSukkot

This weekend was both Chuseok (the Korean Thanksgiving) and Sukkot (one of the major Jewish Harvest Festivals). I was super lucky to be invited to celebrate Chuseok with two families: Anna and YoonJi’s. I feel like part of their families 🙂

Anna’s family had a nighttime BBQ where half of the guests were Israeli, so I got to practice my Hebrew and eat yummy salads. The BBQ was held at her aunts house in the heart of Seoul, AND she had two dogs! Life is good.

Next, I went over to YoonJi’s for a more traditional Chuseok. Her family laid out a lot of food for the ancestors to symbolically eat, to thank them for everything they did while alive, and then the family gets to eat all of the food! Great great great! We also went to the Korean Folk Museum in InsaDong and got to see one of the old palaces – check out the eloquent video:

Now, at the same time of course, it’s been Sukkot 😉

Sukkot too!


Check out the hot Chabad Sukkah! (A sukkah is a portable hut, for the unfamiliar. Jews build them just for the holiday, to remind us of how our ancestors lived in huts as they moved through the desert. It’ll come down after the holiday!) It’s kind of cool that there’s a Jewish community in Seoul. They even go bowling: (SIDENOTE: omg my transitions today are so bad! hahah! I’ll blame the bad writing on it being late)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Everyone knows I’m a terrible bowler -Bowler? Is that the right word? Korea will never be the same after my granny-shot!

SO between Chuseok and Sukkot, I’m holidayed out. This weekend will end the Jewish Holiday Season with Simchat Torah (AKA jewish drinking holiday) and then it’s a looooong wait to Hannukah – which is a good thing! It’s been a good time though, mixing between Jewish and Korean customs – and language.

Some people have asked “Naomi, how’s that Korean coming along?” Yeahhhh…. In the Part #2 to the Urim market, you can see me bust out some mad skillz as I buy things at the market. Watch out! o_o



Tonight Yoon Ji invited me to a gallery opening at her job, BODA photo-studio-place.

It was amazing.

And, other SMOE teachers came too 🙂 Nice nice nite.

Orientation is almost over, and then we’ll be unleash unto Korea. All 500 or so of us SMOE teachers have been under quarantine at a university campus just outside of Seoul, because of the swine flu. While not terrible, this means that for the past three days I’ve seen a grand total of 5 buildings. Whooo! Go brick! Go concrete! Blew me away, 100%. Hahah, I can’t wait to get back into Seoul!

There’s some unknown-ness about what Monday (our first day of work) will be like. I’m going to prepare a multi-level lesson about myself, all introductionary: arts, AmeriCorps, Miami, Michigan, Jewish, blah blah blah. Middle School in Korea is 7th, 8th and 9th grades, and I’ll probably only be teaching two of those levels.  I think the activities that we’ve done have prepped me pretty well. o_o Hahaha, maybe I’ll be eating those words come Monday!

Oh yeah ~~ Video of Amma/YoonJi/Naomi shopping. ❤ eeel, eeeel. So cute!

a video burst

I’ve been in Seoul for a few days now. Still jet-lagged, but having tons of fun. Right now I’m at orientation, and I’ll be here until friday — there are tons and tons and tons of teachers!! It’s been so cool to meet everyone, and find out about your schools (but no word on districts yet).

A short vignette before the videos roll:
Yoon Ji and I were coming back late the other night on the subway, and I really had to go to the restroom. Knowing it would be another 15min before we made it home, we followed the neon orange arrows on the station floor to the public restroom. Relief! I lunged for the nearest stall, finally, finally — only to find what!? At first I thought it was my eyes, or lack of sleep, or some strange construction. As is stood there, dumfounded, I realized it could only be what I had feared the most: a squat toilet. No amount of practice could have prepared me for it. “YOON JI!!” I cried, “YOOOON JI??!”

“Oh,” said Yoon. “A squatter. Hm. Use stall number five instead.” And so I backed out of stall number three, into stall number five, and found what I so desperately desired: a throne. Yes. Yes yes yes. Seoul is so beautiful.

Hopefully, tonight I’ll get some better sleep, so I’ll stop head-nodding in the presentations. :p