Kids Club Hallowe’en Party

November 23, 2008 at 4:12 am (Uncategorized)

I really like Hallowe’en – it’s still fun to get dressed up and watch scary movies, and this year I was even more excited than usual because Kids Club was throwing a day-long Hallowe’en party for all of our wonderful kiddies.  Hallowe’en is kind of a strangely observed holiday here; kids get dressed up and wear costumes to school, but there is no trick or treating, pumpkin carving or any of that fun stuff.  It proved surprisingly difficult to find any costume ideas suitable for those above the age of 8 and a little taller than 3 feet, but I managed to track down Spiderman and Venom masks at a local department store for Dave and I.  We picked up a roll of silver duct tape for Venom’s logo and a roll of black duct tape for Spiderman’s logo, and Dave put his artistic talents to work creating really great spiders on the fronts of two shirts.  I dressed all in black, and Dave wore blue jeans and a red shirt, and with our masks we made a pretty decent Venom and Spiderman.

We had spent the night before Hallowe’en at school getting all of the rooms ready for the party – we hung decorations, fake spiderwebs, and black sheets to give the school a moderately scary appearance.  The Korean teachers had devised a plan to have the kids travel from room to room, participating in activities along the way, and the team of kids with the best score at the end would win a prize.  They hung signs on each door to show what activity was inside – I saw that the playroom, which was to be our Haunted House, was labelled as the “Hunted House” on the sign.  Yes, this is the kind of English skills we promote at Kids Club.  Fantastic. 

Anyway, we arrived on Friday morning in full costume, and the kids went nuts when they saw us.  All the boys love Spiderman, so they climbed all over Dave trying to get ahold of his mask.  The kids themselves had really good costumes, too.  The girls were mostly either princesses, fairies or ballerinas, and the boys were a mixture of Power Rangers, wizards and knights.  It was strange and very funny to see our little four-year old terror, Scott, dressed up in a pair of orange fairy wings, a rainbow mask and carrying a pink wand.  I’m not too sure what his mom was thinking…

In typical Korean fashion, a good portion of the morning was spent taking photographs.  I don’t know if Koreans could survive not having their picture taken a hundred times at each special occasion.  Of course, us foreign teachers being the commodity that we are, we were present in every single picture – dozens and dozens of them. 

The first activity of the day was pumpkin carving, and many of these kids had never seen a completed one so we showed them a website with some really artistic designs (http://www.pumpkingutter.com/gallery2/main.php).  Dave and I took the younger kids into the library, and Sarah had the older ones in the seminar room.   Dave was in charge of drawing the design and the carving, and I was his lovely assistant.  We brought the kids up one at a time to help us scoop out the innards, and they had a great time pulling out the goopy mess.  The finished design looked pretty cool! 

For pumpkin number two, Korean teacher Wendy wanted to have a go at carving.  Like the kids, she’d never done this before, so she was really excited to give it a try.  I volunteered to help her scoop out the mush, so as soon as she cut out the top (with Dave’s help, seeing as Korean women are built like twigs), and dove my hand in and started pulling out the seeds and pulp.  After my second or third handful I took a look down at my hand, and noticed something a little funny.  Why was the mush moving?!?  I looked into the bucket where I’d been dumping the stuff, and to my absolute horror and disgust, saw hundreds and hundreds of maggots.  Oh my god, I almost threw up.  I’d been scooping out piles of maggots, not seeds and pulp!  The maggots were squirming and jumping around in the bucket.  It was definitely one of the most revolting things I’ve ever experienced.  Needless to say, the carving of pumpkin number two ceased immediately, and we threw it in the garbage.  It still gives me the willies to think about it.

Then it was time to start the Hallowe’en activities.  The Korean teachers had forgotten to purchase the items for Sarah’s activity, so the three of us made a rush job of creating “Scary Boxes” – four shoe boxes each filled with an item that is supposed to represent slimy, dismembered body parts.  We peeled grapes for eye balls, boiled pasta for intestines, and cut up hot dogs for fingers.  The piece de resistance was box number four – we cut a hole out of the bottom, and Dave hid under the table with his hand inside the box.  The room was kept dark, so when the kids put their hand in box number four Dave would grab on to their fingers, scaring the bejesus out of them. 

The morning went pretty well, but was very tiring – our idea of a “games day” obviously didn’t involve quite so much running around, so by lunch time we were all exhausted.  Little did we know the worst was yet to come – our elementary kids had been given invitations to invite friends to participate in the Hallowe’en party (a clever marketing ploy by Mr. Park), so we had about triple the usual number of kids in the building.  It was ridiculously hot, and the halls were so crowded we couldn’t even move.  It was basically pure chaos.  The kids ran around from room to room, while the teachers tried valiantly to keep some sort of order.  The prize giveaway was the worst part – each kid was given a numbered piece of paper, and when the Korean teachers called the number the kid was supposed to make their way to the front of the room to collect a prize.  Well, with that many kids in one place it was impossible to hear anything, and we had all lost our voices from yelling so much during the day.  By the end we foreign teachers watched as a giant mob of kids just overtook the Korean teachers and doled out the prizes themselves.  By the time 6:00 came around all of the teachers were near collapse, and it was then that Mr. Park came in to say that we needed to stay late to clean up.  Aaaargh!  These supposed “fun-filled” days at school always end up being the most frustrating and exhausting.  Here are a few cute pictures of the kids, though.  See if you can spot Spiderman and Venom!

cindy-scooping-out-the-pumpkin

hannah-scooping-out-the-pumpkin

group-picture

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