Saturday, December 17, 2005


On Wednesday I was eating my breakfast, and I was sad. I was eating a bowl of kick-ass leek, potato and ham soup I'd made the night before. I prepared a HUGE pot and divided it up into large containers to give to my co-workers. It was seriously delicious. I was also eating a bit of garlic bread I'd made and some orange cheese with sun-dried tomatoes I'd lucked out into finding at Wal-Mart. Everything was yummy, and you'd think I was happy, right? But I was not. I was finishing the last of my reindeer salami my Blogging By Mail partner, Eva, had sent me from Belgium. It was so good I had streeeeeetched out savouring the portion I brought home and hadn't shared with my co-worker (the only one who would try it) or the students, (who were happy to sample Rudolph.) The students declared it "salty," and it was - but in a good smoky way. I loved it. And so, upon popping the last slice in my mouth, I mourned it's non-existence.

So, I slunked off to work. I was just walking to my first class of the day from the water cooler at the front door, when Karen intercepted a package the nice mail lady brought. Karen said "Oh! It's for you!"
"Reallllllly?!?" I exclaimed!
I looked at the label and realized it was from Belgium! Eva strikes again!!
Karen asked me "What it is?" I tried to use my x-ray eyes, but failed. I guess it was too early in the afternoon. "I don't know!" I replied, but I thought maybe it was icing sugar she'd offered to send and some candy to decorate the ginger bread house she'd sent me in the previous package.
I went off to class, willing time to speed up, so I could go open the box Karen had put on my desk.

When the bell finally rang, I rushed back to the Teacher's Room and got to it. Just like last time, the teachers gathered around shouting "Open It! Open It!" One of them made a move to assist me, when I couldn't get through the tape securing the box fast enough. I growled at her, like a dog with a bone, and she backed off.

It wasn't icing sugar. It was much better than that:
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Oh. My. God!!!!!

I thought maybe Eva had some sort of short term memory loss malady, and had forgotten she already sent me a wonderful box full of goodies. I read her note, ignoring my co-workers cries of "Let's EAT it, let's EAT it!" In it, Eva explained she still had a few items left over that she didn't fit into the first package, so sent them, along with some treats for the students.

There was a wonderful assortment of candy: lollipos, sugar covered red jellies, long shoelace style "karamel/kola" licorice, fluffy pink and white little Santa marshmallows, and 3 little boxes of sweet chewy gummies! Ohhh the kids were going to be so excited!

For the adults, meaning ME, there were two more bars of gorgeous Dolfin chocolate. Check out their products via that link. Last time, I got dark chocolate with pink peppercorns, which I've been nibbling my way through. It's SO rich, with the pepper providing little bits of spicy crunch as the chocolate melts on your tongue. Like the reindeer salami, I've been savouring it, so eat only a bit at a time. This time I got a milk chocolate with hot masala, and a dark chocolate with green anise seed. Also, there's a bar of chocolate with hot pepper. Decadent.

There was a pack of delicious crispy biscuits which Eva wrote are the most popular in either Sweden or Belgium. (I forgot her note at school) She also noted that there's a saying that "eating one makes you ______ but eating too many makes you stubborn." (I'll update this on Monday when I can consult Eva's note again.) There was a jar of pesto -- but made with 'rocket' (arugula) which I can't wait to try! And the best,.....more salami!!! This time, another reindeer, and a larger one made from ELK! I said it before, but it bears repeating: Oh. My. God!

Seriously, I pirouetted to my next class. How generous! How fantastic! I was overwhelmed.

My next class is small, only 2 girls and a boy, learning Phonics. I was surprised, entering the classroom to fund 3 little girls sitting there! My boss confirmed I had a new student and asked me what she always asks me, "Would you give her an English name?" Sure!
I grabbed the list of girls' names I consult and headed back to the classroom. What I usually do is offer the kid a few choices that they can say yes or no to, so they essentially pick a name that sounds good to their ears. I offered up a couple names, "Helen? Maggie?" before turning away from the list and saying, "Eva."

"Yes, Eva." I decided. "Your name is Eva."
"Eba?" One of the little girls asked.

Ohhhh yah. Koreans have a really hard time with V's. My last name has been "B" instead of "V" since I arrived in Asia. If I named this little girl "Eva," she would forever be "Eba."

"Hmmmmm," I thought, as I showed them candy from Belgium. And then it dawned on me.
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See the little girl on the left? Meet "Lucia!"
It was, afterall, still the Feast Day of Saint Lucia in Sweden, what with the time difference. Eva's in Belgium, but she's Swedish. And so, it's good!

Eva, thank you for your generosity. It is too much! I have spent the week being overwhelmed by it. Honestly, I truly lucked out by getting the BEST Blogging By Mail Partner. I thank you on behalf of the staff and kids at my school, too. We're all so HAPPY!

Here's some other little kids holding things I'm NOT sharing, bwaaaaa ha ha ha.
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Actually, I did share some of it, the hot masala bar and the biscuits with my co-workers, and some reindeer salami with my middle school kids in my last class Friday who were so curious. They thought it was good! So do I! "Very very thank you Eba!" they told me to tell you, Eva.

By the way,....Blogging By Mail 4 has been announced. It's a music theme this time around, which excites me! I'm going to join up, and I understand Eva will as well. YOU (reading this) should join too! If you're super lucky, you'll get Eva as a partner!

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