monday, david and i both taught “halloween” lessons to our korean students. they don’t celebrate it here, but the kids are very curious about it, especially since it involves knocking on doors, wearing costumes, and getting handed free candy. it’s understandable. talking about the traditions of home had made me nostalgic all day. i was missing some of the comforts of iowa, details like warm soup on a chilly fall night, changing leaves, clever costumes, and adorable children at the front door.
back at our apartment, david and i chatted a about our day and about our halloween lessons before getting ready to go out and meet our friend sarah for dinner. david walked out our front door first and i heard him say, somewhat startled “oh! hello.” he peeked back in the door and said “it’s one of your little friends…” before trailing off. i asked “what?” but his head was back out the door again, saying something to soojin, one of my walking buddies. i thought i heard the words “trick-or-treat” before i looked out at her. she stood in the hallway, a little startled herself at being caught at our door before she’d had a chance to knock. she wore a black hood tied under her chin, and carried a paper pumpkin stapled to a handle, made to look like a basket. seokjin, her brother, wasn’t far behind, coming up the apartment steps with a funny pumpkin mask on his face, evidence that david and i weren’t the only foreign teachers giving lessons on halloween that day.
they enthusiastically repeated “trick-or-treat” while i just-as-enthusiastically poured hershey’s kisses into their open hands. the exchange was quick, but heart-warming. they headed back to their grandpa’s apartment before we could even snap a photo. david and i talked about it all the way to dinner, wondering what their thought-process had been as they’d put together costumes to visit the foreigners’ apartment on their foreign holiday (they even came at the right time, a little after 6!). little did they know that their small, adorable gesture made us feel more “home” than we have felt in months.