13 February, 2007

Pending pictures

I have alot of pictures to post from our morning kinder graduation festival, and they will be coming soon! Maybe it's just that I'm their teacher, but I think they're pretty darn cute. But until I get around to doing that, here's a picture from the drive Morten and I took around Odaesan National Park on Sunday afternoon.

05 February, 2007

Nordic Charity Ball, Hyatt Hotel Seoul, January 27th

So, after several fittings and requests to have things changed, my dress was ready for pick-up on the morning of the ball. I wasn't completely thrilled with it on all accounts, but with time run out, I decided to make the best of it. I had a cute matching beaded purse, necklace and earrings, and the biggest pair of black heels I had been able find in Gangneung (which were still too small). I got a manicure and had my hair done (with no less two bottles of hairspray, a bottle of glitter, and two rows of pearls) in the afternoon, and Morten completed the outfit with a cute little silver watch from Italy.

Let me back up a little. This Nordic Charity Ball is an event put on by the Nordic Club Seoul to benefit several different organizations that help disadvantaged women and children and disabled people. Morten's friend Jeppe works for the Danish Embassy, and Jeppe's wife Pia is head of the Nordic Club. The Korean Exchange Bank, Lego, Maersk, and Vestas were just a few of the sponsors.

We convened before the event at Kenneth and Charlotte's place, though Kenneth was away. Jeppe, Anders, and Jeppe's friend just arrived from Denmark whose name I never managed wrap my tongue around (I'll call him John) all came. Jeppe and Morten transported us all to the Hyatt where we had a time of mingling and pictures.

Pia opened the event with a lovely speech (her first ever in English, she later said), the MC gave his welcome, and then the first course was served. We were at a table with Pia and Jeppe (Danish); the Master of Ceremonies and his wife (German); Charlotte, John, and Anders (all Danish); and another Dane and his wife (Guatemalan). Somewhere around the second course, the Swedish Ambassador gave a humorous, though I think somewhat fabricated, speech on the history of St. Valentine. The beef tenderloin main course was exquisite, and then the Danish Ambassador shared his thoughts on Valentine's Day in a lovely and well-researched speech. About the Danish Ambassador--he is a very tall, gracious, and well-preserved man. Morten told me that he's about twenty years older than his wife, and I thought, well, that can't be true--she's certainly older than twenty-two. And then I found out he's in his early sixties! He looks fantastic.

During dessert, we got little pieces of paper--white for the men, red for the women--with names of people throughout history. For the first dance of the evening, we each had to find the person of the opposite sex to complete the couple. Morten was Adam and I was Ginger 'Roger'. Morten said Eve was a dancing disaster, but Fred Astaire proved to be a lovely older Australian man who danced several numbers with me before we split up the act. If you look closely, you can see me behind the lady with short red hair.

Earlier in the evening, the charity organizers had circulated with baskets of raffle tickets for people to purchase. They sold out more quickly than expected, and Morten got the last booklets. There were all sorts of prizes to be won from both local and foreign companies. When the dancing slowed, everyone seated themselves to see if they would be lucky enough to go home with one of the goodies. What do you know, one of the booklets I was holding had the winning ticket for some Lego sets.

The raffle finished and the DJ kicked up the music again. Some people danced, others socialized--I did a little of both. This event really impressed on me the fact that we really do live in a small world. I met people from all over the world, and somehow they all have business here in Korea. Just when I thought the evening couldn't get any more fabulous, the wait staff streamed out once again with 'night snack.' As if I hadn't eaten enough already, I dug into the plate of sliced meat, cheese and fruit. Shortly after night snack, our group said goodnight to the Hyatt and then to each other as we went our separate ways. It was a beautiful night, and most importantly, it was a successful fund-raiser.

More pics from the ball

Pia and Jeppe
The Master of Ceremonies and his wife
John and AndersCharlotte