I walked into the office a little bit later than I have been arriving lately, and my boss greeted me with "Morning" as always. It is actually the one thing that never really changes, whenever both of us are present, the exchange takes place. (I tend to smile and wave because my morning voice is bad enough that my voice basically breaks unless I Skyped with someone that morning.) This morning was different. This morning after he greeted me and I waved at everyone in the office with a smile, he sent one of my female coworkers over to tell me to come over and talk with him. I assumed that it was about the work I have been doing, so of course I brought my laptop along. The man I have been working with on the vacation camp that will go to the US sat down next to me and helped translate some of the boss' questions, which turned out to be more about my life instead of work. He wanted to know about what I do in my spare time (tutoring four kids in English and going out once and a while with my volunteer friends on the weekends). The only question he asked about work was what I thought of the office to which I replied that it was nice, if a bit quiet. I was trying to seem funny, but the boss obviously did not understand that I was trying to infuse my words with humor. The culmination of that conversation was that I will be expected to teach everyone in my office one sentence in English every day. Ultimately, I just will try to keep speaking clearly and hope for the best. My coworker and partner in the United States camp asked if I understood his English and I said yes. Then I made a joke, asking if he understood my English and he understood my humor and punched me jokingly in the shoulder. At least someone understood that I was just trying to be funny.
Yesterday was not a good day, but today seems to be going better than that already. In addition, the end of yesterday was made even more difficult by the fact that my big boss stopped me on my way out to ask how I was doing so I pasted on a smile and told him things were good and that I was heading home to eat dinner with my host family. He asked if it was Korean food, and I felt bad because all I wanted was for the conversation to end and he was just trying to be nice.
The point is that things can be really difficult, and I got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep last night, but I am still trying really hard to stay positive, and try to tell you all things that you might not already know.
Everyday Acts of Activism