|Posted by Marissa on July 4, 2011 at 12:03 AM||comments (0)|
Hello and a warm welcome to Marissa, who started volunteering today. Marissa observed our volunteering session this week, where Jason finished reading Where the Wild Things Are, and liked what she saw. We're excited to announce that Marissa has decided she'd like to keep coming, and maybe even encourage a few friends to join in!
Marissa found us through this site on a tip from our mutual friend Ashley Stoffers, a volunteer from last year. Small world!
|Posted by Esther Kim on December 21, 2010 at 8:46 PM||comments (0)|
About two weeks ago, I visited Daejeon’s Children Home for the first time with my friends and fellow ETAs Dara and Sonja. This being my first time volunteering at an orphanage, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, from the moment we stepped inside, we were welcomed with open arms. As we waited to speak to the director, the people who worked there even served us dinner upstairs where the children also eat. We met the director of the orphanage who was so kind and provided us with a lot of information on the children and the orphanage itself. Although there is a language barrier, we were able to communicate well, and I think our first trip there for the semester was quite a success. We were able to ask a lot about the children’s family backgrounds and what we could do to help them out during our visits.
After discussing some of the logistics, we were given time to see and hang out with the children. The children instantly recognized Dara, who began to volunteer here last year in her first year teaching in Korea. The kids were so happy to see her as they screamed “Hi!” and jumped around to get her attention. I was also pleasantly surprised to see how sweet these children were. They treat visitors and the adults so well and are equally polite to each other. I know that we unfortunately don’t have the time to go and visit all the time, but I hope that our short visits really do bring them happiness. These children at the home truly are a family, and I hope our visits to the orphanage continue to make a positive impact in their lives.
|Posted by jj silverstein on December 16, 2010 at 10:44 PM||comments (0)|
I want to tell you about these awesome kids I met last night:
No, not these kids:
Nope, not these kids either:
No, not Mariah Carey:
Dudes, I'm not talking about any of those people. Those are other people. I'm talking about the kids over at DSACH (are we using that acronym? I don't think it's appropriate).
Last night was my first time visiting, and these kids were super awesome, and not just because they can draw way better cats than I can. I was especially impressed by the level of compassion and caring they show for each other. The older boys and girls are always looking out for, and constantly helping, the younger kids.
Not only is there a strong big brother/sister vibe going on, but their is also an amazing amount of respect for peers. Having seen high school boys fight over scratch and sniff stickers, I was amazed at the calm curiosity and creativity of these super chill children.
It couldn't have felt more natural and relaxed if I had been at home with my personal set of crayons during my daily drawing time.
Basically, Internet space-land, I can't wait to go back.
|Posted by Marissa on December 16, 2010 at 8:56 PM||comments (0)|
Yesterday, JJ and I visited the orphanage and spent two hours with the kids.
First, we checked in with the orphanage director, who gave us permission to share some pictures of the children with you. I struggled a bit -- it's still difficult for me to communicate in Korean when I don't have another Korean-speaker who can translate for me if I stumble. But she was, as always, very patient and warm, and she graciously agreed.
After that, we met with some of the young girls downstairs in the girls' area. JJ and I had brought some paper, markers, pencils, and stickers with us, and the little girls wrote their names in Korean and English letters (with some help from the older girls). I couldn't believe how polite they all were when they were drawing and decorating -- even in my high school classes, arts & crafts projects often devolve into squabbling over particular colors or supplies. But here were a dozen elementary school girls, saying things like:
"Can I have the panda stickers?"
"Yes, how many?"
"One, Two, Three, Four, Five. Here are five stickers."
I was suddenly really grateful for every morsel of Korean language I'd studied, so I could understand even a fraction of the cuteness taking place!
The kids were excited to show off the English they had learned in school, and several of them made Christmas cards when they were finished with their name pages. Ko Eun's card says "I love you" and "Merry Christmas"!
Then, we had dinner with the kids -- the kitchen staff prepared soup, kimchi, octopus in spicy sauce, and rice. It's clear that the home cares about preparing nutritious traditional food. The children say grace together, and everyone eats well, with the older children helping the younger ones. The high school-aged girls each seemed to take turns with Ji Soo, the youngest baby at the home, feeding and cleaning her. A few of the elementary school kids caught sight of JJ, whispering "미국 사람" ("American person") or "남자!" ("man!")