Friday, August 8, 2014

That One Time, In South Korea #1: Jang Choon Ho

To jump start this series, I thought I'd share with you a particularly touching moment that happened in 2009.
I was a student teaching English as a volunteer with other university students from the US. We had our first real teaching experience at a school called the Game Science High School, which specializes in training high school students to work in the video game industry. As part of this school's summer program, they hosted a summer English school for the students. It was tons of fun, and we quickly grew to love the kids there.

The school itself was set deep in the country, in some beautiful mountains. One night, some of us decided to go out for dinner. On our way out, we ran into a very kind elderly man named Jang C.H. who immediately began speaking to us in English. He told us he loved learning, and that his son, who was working elsewhere, was very good at it. He wanted to learn English to communicate with his grandchildren who were living abroad with their father, but he seldom had the chance to practice it because he was living in the mountains.

In his excitement, he invited us to tour his vegetable packaging family. My friends Teye, Christine, and I agreed, and accompanied him there as he told us about his work and more about his family.

He then invited us back to his house, showing us various medals he had won and pictures of his beautiful family. Eventually he led us to his room, where he opened a Bible before us and said, "I pray everyday for chances like this. I knew God would listen." Then, what he did next, literally left us speechless.

He sat down at his piano and said, "I'm not very good. I'm still learning piano, but I would like to play you a song." It was one of the single most beautiful (and simultaneously adorable) moments I've ever experienced. He made some mistakes, but laughed graciously with us and continued to play. Christine and I were speechless by the end. Teye had tears in his eyes. I can't bring you all with me back in time to this moment. Trust me, I would love to! But at least this is one of the rare times I was smart enough to take a video....

And that's the story of that one time in South Korea, when a man with a heart of the size of the world welcomed us into his life and shared with us one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced ♡

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I really enjoyed my brief visit on your site and I’ll be sure to be back for more.
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    Please email me back.