Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Seussical Summer Camp: Samcheon Elementary School

Having enjoyed success in previous camp seasons by using popular children's stories and author's, Melissa Teacher opted to create a camp which would focus on the works of Dr. Seuss. The camp had a small focus on rhyming as well as various aspects of stories such as The Cat in the Hat, Ten Apples up on Top, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and of course Green Eggs and Ham. While Melissa teacher focused on the use of stories to teach prepositions, free time activities, likes and dislikes and comparisons, the Korean co-teacher conveniently provided movie watching opportunities as well as cooking classes.

The previous camp season, students learned to make hamburgers and kimbap. This camp season students again made and enjoyed kimbap as well as fruit punch.  However, this fruit punch was not exactly what Melissa Teacher would have imagined a fruit punch to be. Filled with chopped fruit including bananas, un-ripe peaches, kiwi, apples, grapes and even tomatoes the liquid portion of the 'punch' was a watered down combination of lemon-lime soda and pineapple soda. Needless to say, the fruit punch from summer camp 2012 is not among the recipes Melissa Teacher feels a deep need to recreate anytime soon...or ever for that matter.

The few days Melissa Teacher spent with her camp students were her final days at Samcheon Elementary school. A better way to end her teaching days in South Korea than the regular semester had provided yet still not an entirely difficult position to leave with the taste of hard peaches, tomatoes and sprite fresh on the tongue.

Summer Camp Repeat: Namseon Middle School

With numerous tasks to occupy the weeks prior to Korea departure, Michael Teacher opted to do a camp repeat and made use of his ideas and materials from his first and perhaps most successful camp: Survivor Camp.

The camp involved students creating team names, posters, structures and even an outfit. Teams were 'banded' together by handkerchiefs. The camps included a fashion show, numerous projects and even a game of redneck/cowboy/ladder golf. Overall, the camp went over without a hitch and gave Michael Teacher another handful of good memories to carry back to the USA.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giving and Recieving: Grateful for Namseon Middle School Students

Reader's of THT should know that Michael Teacher maintained a positive and even casual relationship with his Namseon Middle School students. Often, the Harrington couple would meet Namseon students at the OEC Cafe to enjoy green tea lattes, hot choco's and rounds of Uno (which Michael Teacher had a knack for winning). Not only did Michael Teacher offer his students the opportunity to meet up during his off hours, but multiple mornings, Michael Teacher walked a few blocks to watch his students compete in basketball tournaments.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise the Michael Teacher had a good handful of students whom he knew well and were generous in their actions toward him.

As the end of their two years in Korea came to a close, the Harringtons made their way to the OEC where Melissa would be surprised to receive original watercolor artwork from one of Michael Teacher's students. Readers may not be aware of the man's knack for romantic gestures, yet truth be told the man Harrington comes up with some all out wins in the romance department. Having one of his artistic students re-create a beautiful photo (the work of the beautiful and talented Alla Ponomareva) is just one small example.

Having received a precious gift at OEC, a few days later it came time for the Harringtons to give away a precious gift.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Update: The Short of It

THT has often ran a consistent program of updating readers on recent happenings in the lives and times of the Harrington family.

However, being a blogging format, ran and operated by the Harrington couple, there are times when blogging cannot occur on a regular basis. In the past, that's usually spanned a week or two while the couple vacations or visits family, etc.

Well, now, there's been a significant break in the reporting here at THT and we, the keepers of the news and the blog offer our apologies and an abridged version of what's been going on with plans to expand on the moments which have been bringing life to the Harrington's over the past couple months.

August was filled with packing, shipping, cleaning, eating at favorite restaurants and saying good-byes (or avoiding good-byes) to the land and people of South Korea. Redneck Life saw some game time, kegs were polished off, plum pie was shared and enjoyed, the couch was surfed by a dear friend, Mandy.

Mandy's stay included a first-time visit to a cat cafe, down-town shopping and the beginning of the road-trip/final Korea vacation for the Harringtons. The family and Mandy stopped in Gyeong-ju on the way to Busan and enjoyed fields of flowers and a stroll around the infamous pond. Busan was highlighted by outdoor dining and beach camping, swimming and fried chicken under the parasol. From Busan, the Harringtons left Mandy and continued on to Jeju Island, the 'Hawaii' of South Korea.

While road-tripping around Jeju, the couple hit up some hot spots including Love-land (a post which may have to be censored), beaches, South Korea's tallest mountain/volcano, the mystery road, Asia's newest and largest aquarium, and a good variety of Jeju's edible specialties including 5-layer black pig.

Back on the mainland, Mike said his final farewell to students, while Melissa finished packing and preparing Lady for the upcoming flight and transition home. Good friends joined the couple for their last delivery meal and some of the same good friends even saw the Harringtons off at the airport.

The Harringtons arrived on the 26th of August in LA where they were re-united with Lady Annyeong, Katie and friends-who-once-lived in Korea, Kolt and Holly. The following day they road-tripped to Wyoming and promptly (as in within 24 hours of Laramie arrival) began working for Albany County School District #1.

Since living in working in Laramie, the family is back in their 519 home where they first began married life. The couple has attended weddings, celebrated their anniversary, had their first guest (a friend from Korea no less), enjoyed a family reunion, the acquiring of phones, finding soccer fields, re-connecting with friends, slowly unpacking and dumpster diving among many other good-ole American life activities.

And that's the short of it. With hopes to give more details into all of it in the upcoming days.

Thanks for sticking with us. For ensuring our life in Korea was beautiful and for welcoming us back to the US.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Five Years Ago: Rehearsal's and Vows

Five years ago, the Harrington's woke up on the morning of September 7th after having enjoyed and rehearsed the 'Big Day' the night before.

Throughout the summer of 2007, the couple spent a bit of time planning, addressing and anticipating the 'Big Day' as much as was possible in between guiding campers on hikes, mountain bike rides, horse-back rides, challenge course activities and numerous other outdoor wilderness camp activities which took place at HR Camp where Mike and Melissa successfully worked together two summers in a row.

So, when the evening of September 6th finally rolled around, the couple was overjoyed to be surrounded by friends and family and to walk through the motions of the following day. However, better than rehearsing the wedding was gathering at the home of Mike's godparents/aunt and uncle, Rick and Cassie's home in Cheyenne, WY to enjoy pulled pork and all the fixins' in the company of cherished friends and impressive couples exemplifying successful and loving marriages. As the meal came to an end, the couple split ways and went with their respective wedding party to enjoy unwrapping lingerie, pedicures, riding buffalo statues in skivvies and throwing back a brew or two (we'll let you guess which 'M' took part in each of the aforementioned activities).

The following morning brought with it an indescribable anticipation as the couple worked to prepare the reception hall (or, have their wedding party prepare the reception hall and run other errands) and eventually entered the hours of preparing themselves physically, emotionally and mentally for the milestone which was quickly closing in on them.

In atypical bride fashion, Melissa was shocked to finally realize that her $50 Patagonia dress didn't fit perfectly and could use a few stitches to adjust the shoulder straps. Fortunately, bridesmaids Mindy and Luella were ready and willing to tackle the problem and within minutes Melissa was slipping into a dress she still wears to this day. Dressed and made-up the wedding party and attendees began making their way out on Happy Jack Road where the Harrington's had received permission from the National Forest Service to gather and wed on the eve of September 7th among the aspen and boulders and under a blue sky just before dusk.

A few pre-wedding photos, prayers and deep breaths later the mothers had been seated, the wedding party had made their way down the aisle, barefoot and simply dressed and a single guitar plucked out 'Be Thou My Vision'. With every one in their places, it was time for the bride to make her entrance, escorted by her father and eyes fixed on the one she would commit her life to in a matter of moments.

PhotobucketThe ceremony progressed with the groom's father officiating the ceremony and the bride's father performing 'God Bless the Broken Road' by Rascall Flatts and the couple exchanging vows, rings and their first kiss all within a thirty minute window.

Officially a man and his wife, the couple remained at Happy Jack to capture some moments before heading toward the Cheyenne Train Depot where they would enjoy a rockin' good time with music, eats, more friends, brews and a ridiculously decorated car which would hall them to Estes Park for a week-long honeymoon in the Rocky Mountains.

And today, the Harrington's reflect on what living this life together has looked like during the past 5 years and enter the coming years of marriage with eagerness and confidence, hopeful for even more joy, love, adventures and shared dreams coming to fruition.


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