Today, I learned to be very flexible and extremely adaptable. As my partner and I were walking into the classroom to teach our translator was called by a professor to her help with translating last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. This meant we had no translator while we gave our lesson plan! I'm not going to lie, I was nervous at first but I could not let my nerves get the best of me. My partner and I looked at each other and said "We got this!" We made sure we were very expressive in our faces and our gestures. The children not only understood the lesson but also enjoyed it. I understand that the translators are here on a volunteer basis and there may be times where we may not have one. Now, I feel more comfortable doing a lesson without a translator since I know what to expect after today.
For dinner our host gave us a lesson on how to do a proper toast. When giving a toast to someone the person you are toasting must not raise their glass higher than you. Yet, if the person you are toasting is of higher status (such as a professor, employeer, elder, etc) you must not raise you glass higher than them even if you are the one who initiated the toast. Another part of the toast is that the person who initiates the toast can tell the other person to either sip or drink everything in their cup. That can either make the night rather interesting or really fun.
I offered a special toast to Dr. Paik for having given me the opportunity to apply to be here and for having accepted me. I explained to her that I have learned what it is like to be in a foreign land and not know the language and that this trip has placed me in my mother's shoes. This is because she lives in America but does not know English yet, she manages to get by. I can not empathize with my mother more. I wouldn't have know what that is like if it was not for Dr. Paik, who has been like a mother to us on this trip.