Week Begend – Host Family Chronicles Part 1

Saturday – 2011-07-16
After a 9 hour flight to Seattle, a ~4 hour bus ride to Beaverton, and a 5 minute car ride after Caitlin picked him up Seungkyu made it to our house surprisingly nonchalant toward the ordeal.  He said that he didn’t sleep much either.  He came in and was introduced and we greeted each other; I did my best to get how you pronounce his name during that ordeal.  Sing+cue is the closest English pronunciation comes to it; I’m trying to get comfortable using the foreign inflection.

Caitlin showed him around the house as well as his room. And when he came back down, as is traditional for exchange students, Seungkyu revealed gifts from his foreign land.  For Lorelai he got a nifty magnetic whiteboard and pen with a dog cartoon on it, some booklets with cartoon-ish stickers, and some Hello Kitty crayons that look more like pens because each comes in a Bic-like plastic container.  Caitlin and I got three sketchbooks, some ginseng snacks (tasty!), an and we each got a heart shaped 4GB USB flash drive that’s connector slides in and out.  Pretty nifty stuff.  Also over the course of the last 24 hours Lorelai has obtained a 1000 won note (1000₩ = 94¢ according to Google) and a fingernail care kit from him; I’m not sure he planned to give those up.

The rest of the night we introduced him to our cat, Pixel and various things in the living room that may interest him.  We exchanged phone numbers and Caitlin told him about lots of things like the potluck picnic with all the students and families the next day and things in the area that we can do during his stay.  Lorelai was also cute and entertaining.  Before too long we all headed to bed.

Sunday – 2011-07-17
Morning was pretty normal for our family.  I was up, showered, lightly fed, and doing something worth while on my computer about an hour before Lorelai comes along to get fed and entertained.  I think Seungkyu was up shortly after that wondering what the plans were.  I roused Caitlin about 45 minutes later (8:15am) because she wanted to make breakfast.  We had eggs, bacon, and toast in between chatting about stuff and watching Sailor Moon.

At around 11:40 we head to the potluck “picnic” which got moved into a church because Oregon decided that it was time to act like spring again.  Not many people had arrived yet so I put Lorelai down and energized her by chasing her around the tables and chairs.  Another Korean girl joined in here and there, as well as she could in a skirt and flip-flops; her name was Sea-something.  I think Caitlin and Seungkyu were watching us while chatting with some other Koreans a bit.

People roll in, the place gets packed with people, Caitlin and I get approached by various Beaverton students scheduled to travel to other countries before promptly loosing interest when they realize that we’re just a really young host family.  I’m pretty sure that two Russian girls planned to hit on me before realizing the situation, exchanging something between themselves as if I wasn’t there, then walking away without a word.  That was a strange interaction.

Through most of this initial time Lorelai is being adored by Sea-something (I’ll find out her name, I promise) and the other Korean girls.  I guess Seungkyu is the only Korean man in a group of eight or nine; I told him he was lucky, and he laughed saying that he wished there was just one other Korean man. The room got full and eventually it’s time for everyone to get in line for food. People ate and talked, we got info about how Monday would go then it was time to take off.

After the potluck we went to Target to pick up a couple things before heading on a trek to plot out what Seungkyu would need to know.  We scouted the location of his school up by the Nike campus before heading to the nearby Max station.  From there I took him on a Trimet ride home.  We had a chance to talk about various topics making cultural comparisons.  Buses, bus stops, sports, learning new words, that sort of thing.

We made it home without issue.  We set his laptop up on our wifi, I looked over his shoulder and got a Google-like website from him which I’ll be investigating throughout his stay.  They seem to mostly nothing but pop and techno type music popular over there… kind of like here.  We spent a while in the same room on our respective computers until he went upstairs to charge his computer.

Eventually Lore woke from her nap not feeling well so I played ball with her eventually making it up to Seungkyu’s room including him.  He prefers to head-butt the ball.  The interaction ended with Lorelai playing with his handkerchief and practicing folding it.  We had Taco Bell for dinner and Seungkyu went to bed to catch up on sleep.

There you go, two full days… today should be good fun too.

Nerdy: Tolkein
Nerdy: Trek in the Park