Chuseok- pronounced: chew-sock

SO LATE but who cares still posting….i’ve been neglectful to my blog but for good reasons!!

This is the equivalent to american thanksgiving, it is a week long celebration(I wouldnt use the word celebration because koreans dont really let loose) so lets say commemorate. Traditionally the kids of parents are supposed to come home(if they are away or married) and eat eat eat eat. Its a week long so its a whole lot of eating in the meantime the city pretty much shuts down and it leaves the provinces looking much like a ghostown…..so it is with great pleasure to announce……..drum roll please

 I’m going to TAIWAN!!!!!!!!! (and the crowd goes wild) 

I leave saturday and I really, Really need a vacation. Yes I just got back from vacation a month and sum change ago but SO what!!!! come walk in my shoes and you would see it is well deserved….for the last 2weeks I have been battling severe allergies and when I say severe I mean migraines for 2weeks straight constantly, I feel like my head will explode any day NOW!

But back to the important info I will be in taiwan and I will be going with freinds this time around… I leave saturday but the other 2 will meet up with me on Sunday, and the third one will meet on tuesday(her booski is coming in town so they need some lovers time heheheh) I cant wait, I had these plans to go solo as usual but my school freaking changed my schedule so I couldnt afford to burn myself out. Once I return let the countdown begin because I will have 7weeks till I return to AMERICA!!!!

Asssaaaahhhhh(a lil korean)…….when I land I just might scream OBAMA’s name and break out into the national anthem hahahaha

My side hustle

A few post back I mentioned that I do some illegal side work and make a bit of extra csh. Now dont get all wound up because its not that kind of party—In Korea you are not allowed to tutor on the side the rules say you may get fined and deported from the country if caught. Now in a country where foreigners make up about 20% of the population I would say the likelyhood of this occuring is very small. You would have to be really stupid, really sloppy, and down right dumb to get caught……ways to get caught would be commissioning kids that you work with at the school you work at, accepting a tutoring position if one of the parents happened to ask, posting up flyers in or around the school, blabbing to your co-teacher about how you tutor on the side, and always missing certain afterschool events–leads to suspicion. Before I came here the TESOL class gave us pointers on how to successfully get away with this and rule number one was always put your job first if you have to cancel with your student then CANCEL dont ever RISK messing up what you ultimately came out here to do, second they suggested to wait a few months before beginning to tutor(to prevent burnout) I began tutoring my boys(I refer to them as this) back in Dec. I didnt waste no time lol.

Woojin

How it went down, well when I first moved in my super came to pay my apt a visit and could not speak a lick of English, he called over my neighbors and one of the sisters could speak very good english. After our first meeting they asked if it was alright that they came over just to briefly chat and hang out, later they would take me to places I needed to go like the grocery store and what not. One night the sister asked me if it would be alright if I tutored her nephews, the mother of the boys was very shy so at the time she never really spoke.(later it turned out she was just a lil rusty and we now have very basic level conversations luvs her) We set up a time twice a week for one hour and we negotiated a good price to charge for the month, we settled on 150,000won a month and I was thrilled with that because I have never really tutored before let alone young minded kids—I didnt know if I would be any good or if they would want to listen to me or even want to learn.

Wonbin- eldest

Let me just say I have never really spent enough time with anyone’s kids as much as I have spent time with Wonbin and Woojin, these boys are the sweetest little things I have ever met I can honestly say I have fallen in love with these two little boys and I will probably ball my eyes out when I have to say goodbye to them. They have opened my eyes to so much about myself, being a teacher, and somewhat caregiver(when I tutor them its just me and them for one hour) I had to earn their trust before they finally let go of any reservations, they went from saying not even hello to now saying things like “don’t touch” (i always tell them not to touch my computer lol) “ewwwww or that’s gross” (when i sneeze or burp lol) they Know thier ABC’s they know to write all 26 letters on command, they can write full words, just today Woojin said “Monique this is a little bat and this is a big bat” (we were cutting out phonics words) aww they simply amaze me. Their pronunciation is getting better and better they barely even have an accent when they say most words, and after we repeat it 6-8 times they correct themselves. I sit back and marvel how far they/we’ve come its amazing how much they have learned in a short amount of time. Their very smart and work very hard, i’m not an easy teacher but I try to make it as light and simple as possible, we do lots of worksheets, plenty of free writing, we make mini books, we play board games, we color pictures, I read to them, we sing(they still hate this but i do it anyway) I have this thing that I do that they love its how I acknowledge when they have answered the right question or when they get the wrong answer. When thier correct I give them a thumbs up and I yell ding ding ding ding ding and if thier wrong I give them a thumbs down and say bummmmmmmmmmmm buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmm dont ask me why but they freaking love that and now I draw the thumbs up or thumbs down when they complete the worksheets on their own and I grade it. If I forget to draw it they go “Monique dddiiiinnnnnggggg draw” or “Monique buuummmmmm bummmm draw” I have to laugh like I love these guys.

Ok as you can see i can gussshh about these boys forever but I need you to understand the magnitude of this feeling I have. The parents entrust me with thier kids let alone thier brains, and I feel honored that they continue to allow me in their home and to teach thier kids one on one. These two boys have been bad, yelled at me, we fight sometimes(play wrestle) they hide my keys, have mood swings, fall asleep(only woojin he’s only 6) etc….. their kids!!!!! I still love them the same no matter what they do. By the way thier age is 6&8 and I come over at 720isshh eat dinner then tutor from 8-9pm.

In closing I had a fear of having kids a fear most people have because of the unknown but these two boys have really made me want to have kids and not second guess my ability to be a good mom and teacher, some of my freinds have this idea about what kind of mother I would be and I am nothing like what they have verbalized. I love these boys and tutoring them has grown into a treat for me because they were my first, and I think I have done a wonderful job in ensuring they are properly learning the foundations and basics to the English language. If they stick it through they could be fluently speaking lil kid English in about one year but thats only if they continue on. 

*these pics are old as hell but everytime I go over there I forget my camera but I promise to take some before I go they have grown bigger and even cuter*

Hair update!

So last week I celebrated my 6months of natural-ness of hair (i made that up). Can you believe its been 6months since I cut my hair with the same sciccors I used for cutting my dog’s hair even paper cutting, hahahaha I just came home from school and got to work while listening to a weezy mixtape—random since I dont even consider myself a weezy fan but it had enough fearless lyrics combined with cuss words to get me hype to go through with it. At one point I was getting so sciccors happy that the back part ended up being cut shorter then the front part it was so funny now that I look back but you couldnt tell me otherwise…..

So I put together this little compilation of photos so you could see the progression take a look(click to enlarge)

Month 3 to 4.5 I skipped over because my hair was in the kinky twist which im sure if you have checked out my blog you have seen what that looks like so moving along to month 4.5

I had contemplated long and hard if I should wait till I get home to get a hair cut or should I go to my african hairbraiders husband to cut my hair with the clippers—-I really wanted my dad to shape me up but I couldnt wait my hair was all sorts of uneven! I went for it and had princess(her husband was gone) cut my hair with the clippers it was the best idea ever! the only downfall—- I had pieces of hair that was cut still falling out a week later… even after I washed my hair 3times!!! It was all worth it though why because my curls have been poppin ever since.

Drum roll please………………………………………………………

I mean Just look at the progression, its amazing how much my hair has grown how curly my hair has gotten(my curl pattern has changed many times be patient if your still in the beginning stages) and the thickness is just *OOC* (out of control) Now I will divulge my hair care regimen as of now, im not going to go into the details of how I got to this point. Lets just say trial and error and thats the fun about having a TWA (teeny weeny afro- this is a real acronym in the natural hair community) you get to experiment all you want thus learning how to manage your hair while ulitmately learning best practices for black hair care.

My regimen:

Every sunday (sometimes starting saturday night) deep conditon:

  • I use honey
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • jojoba oil
  • herbal essence hello hydration
  • tea tree oil
  • grape seed oil

mix together and begin working it through each and every strand of hair, I place a plastic cap then a towel wrap to assimilate a heating cap leave in for a couple hours, then I wash my hair

Shampoo:

  • lavender dr. bronners diluted castille soap, follow-up with a co-wash

Co-wash:

I do 2 co-wash rinses after, I detangle.

  •  I use many different brands at once usually its Suave naturals ocean breeze then VO5 tea tree therapy
  •  Sometimes its VO5 tea tree therapy then bed head moisture maniac
  • Sometimes its all of the above mixed in with some bath and body works nettle conditioner

…the point is use what your hair likes, lots of naturals use expensive brands but I dont need all of that I leave the expensive items for my moisture products.

Detangle:

After I complete my second co-wash I leave the conditioner in and add to this,

  • I now add Qhemet Biologics cocoa butter ghee detangler
  •  an  a little vatika oil

 First I comb my hair using just my fingers, if I feel the need or want to prove a point to myself I run my denman brush through my hair. 90% of the time the brush runs right through my hair but sometimes I will get lil areas that need an extra mmmpppphhhh. After my hair has been detangled I let that sit in my hair and continue with my shower. I then do a cold, cold rinse of the products and shake my hair out.

Protective Styling: I began a very militant routine with my hair I keep it twisted in 2 strand twists 5days a week and let my hair be free friday and saturday (sundays are my wash days) while my hair is dripping wet I apply Zuresh leave in conditioner then my vatika oil, after that I let my hair absorb all that goodness. I then sit down and part my hair for my two-strand twists I apply my Zuresh curl detangler/definer or my miss jessies curly buttercream then my Qhemet Biologics- Amla Olive heavy cream(this stuff right here….man is the truth) I know this sounds like a lot but my hair thrives for the whole week without adding more moisture—-since I’m doing a challenge(more of that in a bit) I add just for safe measures and I end up adding a little bit of vatika oil with my zuresh curl definer/detangler(absolutely love the smell I cant live without it which is funny because I hated it at first) this is the perfect balance for my hair so its not too heavy!

Here is a look at all my products, I wont go into great detail about my products because they work for MY hair. I dunno what works for yours you gotta figure that out by trial and error like I did—- but some of these might work for you. Also none of these companys are paying me so I encourage you to check out thier websites if your interested in anything and need ingredient details. I spent plenty of weeks, days, hours looking into what I thought my hair would like— heres a word of advice start with the minimum then build from there add to your hair regimen as you go along to cut down on becoming a product junkie.

I will make a special mention of special treatments I do for my hair just to make sure its at its healthiest and strongest.

Every 3-4 weeks I do an ayurvedic treatment its a mixture of indian hair powders that you mix together to make a mud type mask for the hair, the products are by hesh and I have purchased the following

  • amla powder
  • brahmi powder
  • shikakai powder
  • aritha powder

Like I said do the research if you would like to know more but to sum it up it helps grow the hair thicker, cleanses the scalp, strenthens the hair, stops premature greying(not worried about that) promises to assist with hair growth.

The other treatment is a protein conditioner. Every 8weeks sometimes 10weeks I try to do a protein treatment. I pretty much bought this product

  • Piere cardin protein treatment(the rest is in korean) 

The store was going outta buisness and they were selling this big bottle for mad cheap so I knew I wanted to incorporate a commercial made product because when I used the mayo, egg combo it dried my hair out. This commericial product doesnt(i’ve used piere cardin before and thier a pretty good brand) but it might have to do with all the other things I use now but I dont want to take my chances with the mayo/egg it definitely dried my hair out! 

As for the challenge I mentioned earlier, I am a fan of many blogs and vlogs, specificaly one of the blogs I follow is doing a WL(waist length) hair challege by April of 2012!! Thats totally far fetched for me but I put my bid in for BSL(bra strap length) totally doable so with that being said I need my hair to be protected and cared for at all times. Its good that im learning how to care for my hair without relying on a stylist at the same time i’m having fun with other girls who would like to grow their natural hair out as well, since we are a tight knit community( i dare you say something negative to us.. see how fast we got each other backs) we all share good days and we all share bad days. Whether I make the length or not it is not the point but rather to prove to myself that with healthy eating, working out and ‘best practices’ with natural hair its attainable for black women to have long gorgeous hair.