Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Live from Korea Pt. 2

We have a village about 15 minutes from our base. My chain of command started associating with them about two years ago as a way to better our relationship with the locals.  We try to do things with them as much as possible.  I have had the privilege to go over there twice so far.  The first time I went to teach English and play soccer with children ranging from ages 6 to 12.   They are all taught English in school already, but we go and basically just hold conversations with them.  They will ask how to pronounce certain words and sometimes then will describe something and you will tell them what the English word is for that.  For instance, a little boy described a fire hydrant to me.  And I simply just told him what he was thinking about was a fire hydrant.  Not too hard.  I was skeptical at first because I am no teacher like my wonder fiancĂ© is, but I managed to do just fine!  After the long talks we had, we then went outside to play soccer.  Soccer is the most popular sport here in Korea.  I am not too big of a soccer player, but it was still fun to run around and play with the kids : )  The next time I went to pick potatoes with the older kids.  They ranged from the ages of 13-18.  Picking potatoes wasn’t too bad.  It consisted of a lot of bending over, but they figured me out fast and made me the potato sack holder and wheel barrel pusher!  I didn’t mind.  The kids are so grateful for everything they have and I didn’t hear one complain about being out in the heat and picking potatoes.  I guess it is normal to them. They seem to still have fun and joke around while getting the job done as well. It is a good lesson for all of us.

Like I said before I work with the ROK Marines and Korean security guards.  I am the only Marine MP working for 12 hours.  I don’t do much besides patrol the base once an hour and hang out with the gate guards.  Speaking of the gate guards, I have a pretty funny story.  Last week, I went up to the gate to see how the guards were doing.  I was only there for about three minutes until they started talking to me about working out.  I was challenged by two of the guys in a push up contest.  I had to take the challenge, and proceeded to get down in a push up position.  I figured the other two guys would get down as well, but only one did.  The other guy hopped on my back!  The rest of the guards already knew the plan so they thought it was hilarious.  They call me “Mershkin”, so they said “come on Mershkin, do some pushups.”  The man on my back couldn’t of weighed more than 90 pounds, so doing pushups with him wasn’t too big of a problem.  I some how still beat the other guy.  While we were doing that, my Gunnery Sergeant came through the gate, so I quickly popped up.  He didn’t care, and from what I saw he was quite amused as well.  I’m glad I can find a way to amuse the Korean people and bring some excitement to Camp Mujuk.  All in all, my time in Korea has been okay.  Talk to you all soon : )

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