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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My tearfest...

It's been a long time since I've cried... Life has been really great, and I've had no reason to feel the need to cry, but today, at lunchtime, I couldn't hold back the tears...  

I was feeling discouraged, disheartened, and more than anything, just plain lonely today after lunch. Lately, I've been becoming frustrated when my co-workers invite me to tea time, or a breaktime "get together" and then only speak Korean!  They will tell jokes and everyone laughs, or a sad story and everyone is concerned, but no one translates it to me, and I sit confused and out of the loop!  I study their body language and pick out a couple words here and there, but honestly, 98% of the time, I have no idea what they're saying.  Can you imagine working somewhere where EVERYONE is speaking a language you don't understand?! (Remember, I am the only foreigner at this entire school.) As I began to think about this, I could feel the tears welling up, and then before I could even grab a tissue, the tears came flowing out. 

Ella (my korean co-teacher) was immediately concerned, as I'm not the type to complain, be in a sad mood, or cry in the lunchroom.  I explained to her how I was feeling, wiping tears galore from my face, when Crystal, one of the 1st grade teachers overheard us talking, and wrote a korean word on a piece of paper and handed it to Ella.  It said "팔 지?" which means "bracelet?"  Ella nodded "yes" and smiled back at her then turned to me and said, "Crystal has invited us to her classroom to make bracelets after lunch today because she feels bad for you."  I was so humbled and thankful for her offer of kindness.  I smiled at Crystal and thanked her profusely for her invitation. Her response, "I hope that it will change your sadness, Alexis."
... and it did! 

hard at work... (Ella:English teacher, Crystal:1st grade teacher, and April:music teacher) ... and the 4 of us spoke English the ENTIRE time we made bracelets, granted it was slow, and their grammar was horrible, but it was English none the less!

I know Ella and April hate making things with their hands (because we talk about it all the time), and I KNOW they only did this to make me feel better.  I was honored with their friendship today.

I was told the other teachers will be jealous if they find out we had this secret bracelet making time, so we assigned different days of the week to each other of when we're allowed to wear our matching bracelets.

Everytime I wear my beautiful, hand made, pink crystal bracelet, I will always remember the way my Korean co-workers took time out of their incredibly busy schedules to do something with me that would make me feel included and appreciated as their friend!
My cup runneth over!


  1. oh man, i felt your pain when I read this. I spent time in Singapore, granted they spoke English, but I did often feel so on the outside.

    What wonderful co-workers you have - clearly you are very special to them. :-)

  2. I haven't been on your blog for awhile but I'm sure glad I read this one : ) I'm so happy that you're doing so awesome!

  3. Kristin! I love your blog and am so excited for you! What a cool venture! I'm on board and am cheering you on from south korea!

  4. Jill,
    What bracelet style/pattern was that? I'm so glad that you beaded!!! Making jewelry always makes me feel better! :)

  5. Charity... I don't know the name of the pattern. She just told us what to do. It was basically 2 strings, and on 1 string I strung 2 big beads, and the other I strung 1. Then I took a little bead and strung both strings through it and pulled it tight... then repeated the steps until it was long enough! Super simple!