Holy Baby JESUS….the past couple months have been just stupid busy. Last contact was mid-April and we were rock’n some new MAJ rank and pay here in the Walsh family. So let’s start after that….well a little before perhaps.
First, it is finally warming up here in Korea. I did not care for the winter. We are at that in-between weather where it is cool enough to open the windows, but just warm enough in the afternoon where you would like to turn on the air conditioner. So we just turn on the fans.
Young Mr. Walsh started a new day care on April 1st. I was hesitant to blog about it because, for me at least, the verdict was still out. The only person I have ever seen Connor warm up to immediately (besides his mom and dad) is his sister. That little love affair has been going on since day one…I think it is because she’s a little person like him. (HA!) Even the Grandmas have to give him some time to settle in before he will get all lovey with them. It is just the way he is. If you rush him before he is comfortable he’ll let you know his personal space is not quite ready to be invaded. (On a side note – I do wish he would have a little more respect for my personal space….with his head up my ass all the time…) Regardless – mommy was a little concerned about how this new day care was going to go. Well the jury is in…it took all of a week and he loves it. We get there in the morning and he pushes the doorbell so the song plays. His teacher meets us at the door and he will literally move from my hip to hers. They have this thing every morning where they giggle, lock eyes, bump foreheads, smile at each other and hug. If I have not yet smiled for the morning, that usually does the trick. She says a bunch of stuff to him in Korea that I do not understand, but it’s probably none of business anyway…not my love affair after all. It is a Korean daycare. The director is Korean, the teachers are Korean, all the signs are in Korean. They speak enough English that we can communicate a bit. On the very basic level – they get paid and Connor seems really happy to be there…even seems to want to be there. The majority of the kids in his class are Americans. There have been a few days when I pick him up that he doesn’t want to leave – which makes me a little jealous. HOW DARE HE!! Oh and twice a week he is supposed to wear his uniform. He’s always coming home with goofy stuff…The month of May came around and on the 7th and 8th I attended a Crossfit Level 1 Seminar down in Seoul. It was held on the Army post there – one that has a great CrossFit gym, Fight Tonight CrossFit. I was so jealous checking out all their equipment, gorgeous pull-up rigs and all the “what-nots”. The Fight Tonight staff and the Crossfit staff were all really great. We rocked a LOT of lectures and hands on practice. Rocked a couple workouts: Fran and a little triplet. I could really tell several months of morning sickness, tiredness and a three-month cold had degraded me physically. I scaled Fran, which is so annoying but part of the deal when your preggers. I had to give myself a little reality check that I was attending the seminar 14 weeks pregnant and wanting to puke 8 minutes out of every 10. I passed. So I can official say Paula Walsh, CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1) Trainer. The coolest part of the whole thing was messaging my coach from Texas and telling her the news. April is a big part of why I fell in love with CrossFit in the first place. Her passion for the sport and for her athletes is contagious and reassuring and amazing. Too many times she looked me in the eye and told me I could do something that I did not think was possible…and she was right. Thanks April. I. Love. You. We got home from Seoul just in time to unpack and pack up again for Thailand. I posted pictures during the vacation, but here are the best ones. So we traveled to Phuket (poo-ket) Thailand. Yeah it is not pronounced like you think it is. Phuket is a touristy little island in the southern part of Thailand. It was tropical and warm and surrounded by the ocean. Most importantly the whole family was together, because we also flew Dawn in from Texas. We went on a few tours, did the obligatory elephant ride (a couple times), rode behind a water buffalo, saw them harvest rubber from a tree, drank some Thai tea, watch cashews being shelled, checked out curry being mashed together, ate a LOT of Thai food, explored a temple and saw a serious huge Buddha statue (the sign literally says – The Big Buddha). Everywhere you go they serve pineapple and watermelon…everywhere. Plus you can get fresh squeezed watermelon and pineapple juice…everywhere. It is delicious, especially after all the crappy produce here in Korea.
A few observations about Phuket. First, they don’t seem to have very good urban planning going on. The streets are a little thrown together and their power lines look like a bad knitting project. 2) There are LOTS of people on scooters rolling around. There doesn’t seem to be too many laws regarding just how one should ride these scooters on public streets. I saw two adults and two children all riding on the same little scooter….and they were passing our van. Even with all the unique socially acceptable driving habits in Phuket, they still drive WAY better than the human version of PacMan we encounter on Korean streets. 3) The island does not seem to have a handle on keeping tourism going for its extended future. We took a day trip to an even smaller island, Koh Khai, off the southern part of Phuket. The place was a dump. They were selling beer in glass bottles, which meant there was broken glass all over the beach. There were a lot of people working there that were drunk and obnoxious, heckling people as they walked by. The water that was lapping up on the beach was full of plastic, cigarette butts and just a bunch of random garbage. Oh, and if you wanted to use the bathroom it cost the equivalent of $1 (or 30 Baht). The National Park Fee was covered in our overall tour cost; the fee to the bathroom was not. Like we wouldn’t have paid a little extra for that…..
Phuket, Thailand was a great family vacation. I was happy to go there and check it out while on this side of the planet. WELL worth the experience. I am not, however, interested in going back.
May also found me a new job….unpaid volunteer job of course…extremely flexible hours. 😉 There is a little Thrift Store on post (most Army posts have one) called Casey’s Closet. A fellow spouse is on the board called the Kka Chi Community Association that operates the store, and encouraged me to check it out. I started volunteering at the store every other Thursday way back in January. They recently had a board position open, the Publicity Coordinator. I went for it. Got voted in just a few days before we left for Thailand. It’s a really great organization. Kka Chi operates Casey’s Closet and helps distribute money made through the store back into the community. People drop off the stuff they don’t want any more, volunteers sort and display that stuff, other people come in and want that stuff, the money goes back into the community. We help fund unit parties and balls, bought ping pong tables for a few of the barracks, paid for a bunch of food so the Camp Casey Elementary school kids could have a “games day” at the park this week. Honestly, it is all really very cool. Very cool. There are way worse things I could be doing with my time.