Wednesday, March 31, 2010

International Chicken Appeal

When Emily, LeeAnne, and I discovered that there was a Museum of Chicken Art in Seoul, we were immediately intrigued. What would a chicken art museum hold? Bronze busts of chickens past? Scrawlings on canvas resembling chicken scratches? Plastic replicas of famous poultry food dishes? Paintings drawn by renowned cowards? It was a combination of boredom and curiosity that lured us in its direction.

When we arrived at the tiny musée, we were greeted by three older women sitting in a room surrounded by hundreds of miniature chickens from around the world. An entire floor of polished international chicken figurines glared from behind glass windows, carefully dusted wooden hens rested on benches, proud paintings of roosters atop fences, trees, and farmers watched our bewilderment. I am quite certain that the first floor must have belonged to an obsessive and eccentric grandma who forbid her relatives to dispose of her "valuable" collection. We climbed the stairs and found an entire floor of traditional Korean chicken funeral statues. Apparently chickens were known for holding all the zodiac signs in their feathers and thus, were important symbols on graves.

Talk about a random experience!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Thai vacation.

6: # of days in Thailand,
5: # of books I read,
4: # of massages I indulged in,
3: # of hours I spent in cooking class,
2: # of friends I travelled with,
1: # of nights I stayed up after 11:00
0: # of moments I thought about work

The Plight of a Thai Jasmine Bud

A single jasmine bud pirouettes from the tree
to skip along the pool’s surface,
it dances in the ripples of the couple’s wake.
Dark fingers laced around a white bristly neck
and caress a shoulder stained with sagging tattoos.
The faded face of an old flame,
gone or continents away
peers from beneath her fingers.
Farang fantasies enshroud the embrace
Hope, Desperation, and Fear braided into invisible handcuffs.
Together they float in the luxury hotel’s pool.
Sloppy kisses, tokens of lives promised.
Stability nodding blindly
as children paddle by.

The blossom bobs silently,
cascades suddenly:
the pull of the drain overbearing,
the dainty petals useless parachutes
against irresistible currents.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thailand is...

beautiful, relaxing, and most importantly... WARM.

That is all I have to say for now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The Californian in me is flabbergasted that the refs did not call yesterday's game on account of weather. It was like no game I had ever experienced. Perhaps I am a baby when it comes to cold weather, but a snow capped field transforms soccer into some mutant sport that is more like a combination of ice skating, snow wrestling, and football than soccer.

Yesterday, our teams drove up to one of the base schools near Seoul just in time for a relatively heavy (unanticipated) snow storm. Their turf field, one lacking the rubber gravel necessary for traction (even with fair weather), was under about one and a half inches of snow at the start of the game and several by the end. Heavy snow reduced visibility and drenched everyone/everything. Not exactly the dream turf we were hoping to finally get to play on.

Kick off sounded about 2 hours into the storm. With each revolution the soccer ball made, it gathered snow and expanded into giant snow mounds, only to shatter into powder in the faces of receiving players. The damp snow collected into solid masses between the spikes of cleats, forming slick blocks of ice for the girls to tediously balance on. Bodies were flying everywhere! It became common for both opponents to run in the general direction of the ball and miss it altogether as they tumbled together in a giant snow-wrestling mass. At half time, our talk consisted of strategies for sprint and sliding, getting up off the ground, and persistence.

We tied the game 1-1. I am looking forward to seeing what real soccer looks like the next time we play them.

I couldn't feel my feet for about an hour after we got back to Daejeon. Thailand in 3 days is continuing to look better and better! So is the weather in Uganda!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Soccer update: 4 wins, 1 loss, 2nd place in the league thus far (out of 8)! Not bad :)

It's supposed to be spring!!

This California girl has finally adjusted to long johns every practice and a general lack of feeling in her toes. The sunny sand shores of Phuket for spring break have never sounded so good!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Running on fumes...

This has been a very good, but long week filled with seemingly ceaseless icey rain, emotional face-painted girls, and plenty of exciting moments. The girls team has now played 3 soccer games (2 wins and one very muddy loss). Add my soccer roller coaster of a week to a full teaching load, a pottery class, an online IB class, a mountain of marking, and a variety of other commitments, and you have one exhausted woman! I have completely refused to step out of my pajamas until church tomorrow morning! I would imagine some of my girls feel the same way.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Starting on top

Today marks the first game of the TCIS girl's varsity soccer team's season. It also is the first game that I have ever head coached. All in all, I think it was a strong start to the season. The girls had fun, won 8-0, and I had the opportunity to give all my subs substantial playing time. While the game was hardly flawless, the girls all improved and worked out many of their early season kinks. I'm proud of their solid start.

(photo taken by Christine, one of my team managers)