It’s been awhile…
Jeff and Jocelyn Gehring 2012-03-29
Hello everyone. A lot has happened since our last update. We visited the DMZ and Jeju island, participated in Winter Camp and most exciting of all, we are having a baby!
For starters, Jocelyn’s friend Colin came out for a visit from the US. He couldn’t have come at a colder time. Though the trip was fun, it was extremely cold. The first stop on the tour was at the DMZ. On the tour, we got to do a variety of things such as go deep under ground into a tunnel constructed by the North, peer into the city of Kaesung through binoculars and go to the demarcation line. At the demarcation line, we had the good fortune of being the background for a several North Korean soldiers pictures. Interestingly enough, a day or two later we saw the video footage of that incident taking place on the news. Now, a few days later, Kim Jong Il stated the North’s intentions of easing relations with the US. Perhaps it’s coincidence, but I like to believe that my presence and the photos taken with me in the backeground helped lead to peace between the nations.
After the DMZ and a long day of working on unification we were off to Jeju island. When we got off the plane, the weather felt great. Not too cold. The following day proved to be much worse. The cold air moved in, along with strong winds. Despite the weather, we got out and saw some of the sights on the southern part of the island. We saw a very nice waterfall and a huge temple. The temple claims to be the largest in all of Asia, the truth of which I can neither confirm or deny. I will say, it was big.
The following day on the island was colder, windier and brought snow. Though it snowed the majority of the day, we still managed to get to a folk village for a short time. When New Year’s Eve came, we decided to try and find something to do despite it not being a huge holiday out here (they celebrate the Chinese New Year, but Korean’s will tell you it’s the Korean New Year). We ended up finding a group of Canadians, an Indian and two Koreans. We all went out to Norebang which is the Korean song room.
The following day we went to an island of the coast of Jeju called Udo, which translates to “Cow Island”. Unfortunately we did not see any cows. The island was very pretty, but we only had a short time to visit as the last ferry left at 4:30 pm. Jocelyn found a dog she wanted to steal and gave it a temporary name, Udo. Luckily for Udo, we left him on his island rather than taking him home and cramping him up in our apartment while we went to school for 10 hours at a time.
After Jeju, we had to go to our Winter Camp. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s school without grades. The students who attend have 11 hours or so each day of English class. It’s not quite as intense as regular school and the kids get to meet many new people, but the bottom line is is that they are there to learn. Jocelyn had a very nice class of polite students who to a certain degree wanted, or at least were willing to learn. I on the other hand had the class of students who A: were low level students. B: had NO desire to learn. C: were there only beacuse their parents made them go. On the plus side, all of the other teachers saw my situation and were somewhat sympathetic.
Some of the students at the camp were wonderful and I wish I had them in my classes at Samnam. Most notable was a boy whose English name was Piccolo. Yes, that’s right Piccolo, like the musical instrument. It is apparently also the name of some Korean TV character. Piccolo honestly enjoyed being at English camp and looked forward to telling his parents how much fun he was having. He also made a point of it to tell Jocelyn and I to “enjoy your meal” every day at lunch or dinner.
Winter Camp also provided another instance in which I was asked to perform some music on short notice. This time, I was asked the night before the performance. Again, I accepted and played a piece for the students at the Talent Show. Though my performance was iffy at best, it was enough to win first prize, which was two bowls of ramen. They were delicious.
It was also at Winter Camp where we found out we are having a baby! The students here enjoy singing some sort of congratulatory song which we heard at least a dozen times. I would like, you can call me up and I will sing it for you.
Now on to the exciting stuff! Jocelyn and I are both very excited about the upcoming addition to our family. The morning we found out, Jocelyn woke me up at 6:30am or so to have me look at some faint line on a stick. We were both a bit skeptical about the outcome of the test, so I set out to buy 4 more tests. When I got to the Pharmacy and asked the lady for a pregnancy test, she looked at me with a bit of confusion. I eventually got through to her that I did indeed want to buy a pregnancy test and I wanted not one, but four. Over the next day or so, Jocelyn continued to pass the tests, so it led me to test whether the Korean brand was legit. I grabbed the last test, tested myself and failed. I was NOT pregnant. This meant only one thing to the both of us, Jocelyn was pregnant.
While at Camp, we were able to get away for a few hours and head to the Busan National University Hospital. At the hospital, Jocelyn took a blood test, which turned up positive. Once camp ended we sought out a doctor closer to our town. We found a very nice man Dr. Jang, who luckily for us did his residency at the old Crimson, Harvard. This of course eased Jocelyn’s nerves.
At our first appointment with him, we got to see our first image of our baby. At this point it looked somewhat like an apple seed. The following week, he did another ultrasound and we could see the heartbeat, which looks kind of like a light flashing on and off. In one week, our baby got a lot bigger, though it still doesn’t look like much. Dr. Jang has put a rough estimate for the due date at Sept. 25th.
Jocelyn has been hanging in there. She has been tired, a little nauseous and has had some trouble sleeping at night, but other than that she is doing well. She has been eating a lot of healthy food and getting some good rest.
For those who are interested, our plan now is to stay in Korea for an additional year in which I will teach and Jocelyn will stay home with the baby. We do plan on visiting the US for Christmas 2010.
Jeff and Jocelyn (and baby)
Oh…we’ve posted some photos from our recent trips. If you click on the “Our Photo” link on the right, you can see them.
Here’s the latest snapshot of the newest Gehring!