This week we have a community member that just about everyone knows. You’ll see her out and about at the hot spots in downtown, and most recently she’s been spotted helping out behind the bar at Tequilaz. She is usually the first one to welcome new folks to Gwangju, and offer them any help they might need. An active volunteer at many of the local community organizations, and most recently a brand new foster mom to a beautiful puppy.
Occupation… Nursery Teacher
Hometown… Depending who I am talking to it’s either Amory, Mississippi or Riverside, California
Length of time in Korea… 2 years and 9 months
A book I read once a year is… the Bible. Ever since I was a kid my parents would tell us if we finished the Bible before the end of the year we would get money. Then I started enjoying it so I read it just because.
The show I am most likely to binge watch is… The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Cosby Show, A Different World, Full House. I can’t just binge watch one show at a time. I have a slight commitment issue haha…
My favorite sport to play is… basketball.
The food I am best known for is… Macaroni and Cheese, Collard Greens and Cornbread, oh and enchiladas…
My favorite movie is… Dreamgirls, Hairspray, pretty much any musical. I love singing along with the songs and acting out the scenes by myself. I wish I would sing like all of the people in those musicals.
How did you end up in Gwangju? Hmm, I ended up in Gwangju because I was getting away from my father, haha not really but he did play a huge part in my choosing to come here. I needed to get away from what I knew and what was normal for me, and pay off my student loans. I fell in LOVE with Gwangju from my first day here, I tried living in Seoul and only lasted 2 months. Gwangju is a great home away from home. The places I love to eat at, meet up with friends at, and the ones I love so much are here in Gwangju. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What is your best tip for living in Korea? My best tip for anyone living in Korea would have to be don’t seclude yourself. Be open and outgoing and get involved in something. Volunteer with Adopt-A-Child, or join the Sunday Dog Walking group, become involved with GPP (Gwangju Performance Project) or join a language exchange program. Just look around and find something to be involved with and it will make your time here much more pleasant.
Are there any places/services/experiences in Gwangju you can recommend that a lot of people may not know about? I would definitely recommend people looking into being a foster “parent” for the animals at the animal shelter. There are a group of volunteers who go every Sunday to walk and play with the dogs. I recently started fostering this cute little Jindo puppy named Cinnamon. He is 4 months old and the sweetest thing ever.
Do you belong to any clubs or community organizations in Gwangju? I am a volunteer with Adopt-A-Child for Christmas Gwangju. This year was my second year being a volunteer and it’s just absolutely amazing. Visiting the different orphanages and handing out gifts to the kids, organizing people to buy presents personally, and the looks of everyone as they open their gifts is simply amazing.