Making Gingerbread Houses with my Korean Host Family {01/26/19} NSLI-Y Korean AY

01/26/19 Saturday

This morning I slept in till 9:30 which was a nice break from waking up before 7:30 on most of the days last week. I also went to bed rather early which meant actually getting 8 hours of sleep! 

I ate breakfast with my host family before getting ready and leaving the house to meet up with my old host family. The subway ride was only 20 min which isn’t far at all. I had to transfer at 대곡 which was definitely a transfer down memory lane {I’m sorry I thought that would be funny…}. Actually, the subway seemed a little different because it was so bright! Usually, when I did transfer there, it was early in the morning or late at night and I guess I never got to see it at its brightest during midday. 

Walking from 화정역 to my host family’s apartment felt welcoming and yet strange at the same time. I looked at around at the streets I walked down so many times and immediately thought “This was such a great place.” I passed by the Daiso (Basically a dollar store/Five Below but with better stuff and 5 times cuter.) I always bought last minute things at, the Olive Young I frequented for hair conditioner, the one drug store that sold Goldfish and Milano Cookies, the Macaroon place with the cheapest Macaroons which I bought as gifts for my Korean classmates, and the 편의점 I ate dinner at with Katie after a long study grind at our favorite cafe. I really wanted to visit my cafe again; it had been almost a month since the last time I went! But, I decided to come back another day, with Katie or another friend. 

I walked the familiar path to my host family’s home and upon arriving at their house, I realized that I no longer remembered their door passcode. I pressed the doorbell and waited for my host sisters to open the door. It was so weird seeing them when they opened the door. They ran up to me and we started talking immediately. I joked around asking the younger one if she had grown taller and she replied telling me that my hair got longer. They brought out the packages from my mom and seeing all the wrapped Christmas presents made me so happy! I took out the two big boxes— knowing they were gingerbread houses. My host sisters had never made them before so they were super excited to be able to have the experience, and I was excited to have the opportunity to share something I did around Christmas with them. 


My Christmas Package

We warmed up the frosting packs with our hands and got to work assembling the houses. Unfortunately, because of shipping, a lot of the pieces kept breaking and collapsing in on themselves so actually building the structures proved to be quite difficult. Nonetheless, the girls had a lot of fun decorating all the pieces and simultaneously eating all the candy that came along with the kits.


My adorable host sisters~

We tried standing up one of the houses three times but each attempt ended in all four walls caving in and a collapsed roof. We gave up and decided to just eat the gingerbread and the candy with the leftover icing. We decorated little pieces of broken walls and roofs and ate those. I also pulled out a bag of off-brand Puppy Chow {Chex Mix with powdered sugar and peanut butter–called Muddy Mix at Aldi} and we added that to the mix of treats. It was all very delicious. 


They had to hold up the house for the photos… xD

Eventually, my previous host mom returned with my host brother and host father and so it really became a reunion! Everyone looked pretty much the same {except the fact that my host dad had a different hair style} but it still felt like it had been quite a while. While my host mom was preparing lunch, I hung out at the table with my host siblings and watched them run around and be crazy. My host mom made a comment about me probably not missing the noise and I laughed. It was quieter at my new home but my host sister loves music too so that is sometimes blaring from computer speakers. 


My host brother also loved the gingerbread cookies~

For lunch we had 갈국수 and it felt so comfortable sitting at the table again with everyone. I sat at the same spot and I even drank out of the same cup. The eldest host sister even pointed it out earlier and said: “This is Emma 언니’s cup right?”


I told them a lot about what I had been doing during break and I even introduced my topic of single mothers. I showed them my new room and my host dog. We also talked about my new host family for a bit. I thought it would be awkward to bring them up after my host family asked about them but it seemed that they were simply curious—and wanted to make sure I was doing well and happy.

After dinner, I talked more with my host mom and shared some tea and cheesecake. While she began washing the dishes, she told me that she got an email from Better World about hosting again for the spring semester. She told me that she would call Better World about it and if I wanted to, I could move back with them. I was really grateful to hear that proposal. The fact that they liked me so much and truly did want me to stay with them earlier but couldn’t keep me because of their schedule… meant so much to me. My host mom told me how much my siblings missed me. I mean, I had been living with the family for 3 months. 

However, unlike how I figured I would react to hearing her asking me that, I didn’t know what to say. She told me to think about it a bit more before deciding. This made me feel more at ease; I hoped they would not care whichever answer I gave. But I wasn’t immediately down with the idea of moving back in with them. 

Don’t get me wrong, I loved living with that family. I loved my host siblings and my host parents make me feel like a real part of the family. But I’m not sure if I would want to move back? I also am really enjoying the time with my current host family. We have made a lot of fun memories together already and I really enjoy our conversations together. I don’t know if I would be okay with only staying with them for the 2 months of winter break {a duration only a little bit longer than the summer program}. It was a lot to take in at once and I didn’t know what to think. 


After playing with clay with my host siblings for a bit, I decided it was time to go back home so I could get home by 7pm for dinner. My host mom was out of the house with her own plans so I ate with my two host sisters. The eldest one prepared some meat for us and so we all sat around the table enjoying the lettuce wraps. After dinner, we tried feeding Andy a lemon for the first time and to our surprise, he did not hate it! Like he would recoil after licking the lemon but rather than stop eating it, he would come closer and try to lick it some more! It was honestly the cutest thing, and I got it on video!


Babys first Lemon!! ❤

Well that is all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading.

  • Emma 엠마

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