Brooke’s Slippers!!

Last week, I was working on a little story to share with my 6th graders and this week is the unveiling! The kids LOVED it! They really liked the picture of me “crying” and they loved the ending. “So funny, Brooke Teacher!” Here it is: (When you get to the link, put your mouse over the word “More” and it will give you the option to view it in full screen.) Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Later in the week, I had made some copies of my little story: one for the English library (upon Eun-mi’s request), one for each Junhyung and Ga-eun, and one for myself. One day after school, I went upstairs to find Junhyung and Ga-eun. I couldn’t find either of them, but some of Junhyung’s classmates went and found him and brought him to me. This was his reaction when I handed him his copy… “Ooohhhh YEAH!!!!!” Then he went running to show his homeroom teacher. I’m guessing he liked it…? When I gave Ga-eun her copy the next day, she liked it and really liked the little note that I wrote on the back thanking her. I wrote the note in English and in Korean. She thought that was pretty cool.

For our Tuesday night dinner, Karima and I were invited over to Kara’s house. She made us a delicious dinner of avocado and tomato salad and pasta with this paste/sauce made of tomatoes, garlic, basil, and some other things. I know what you’re thinking… “Brooke thought that was delicious?” YES, I DID! As I have embarked on this journey to Korea, my taste buds thought they’d be a little adventurous as well.

I had to leave Kara’s a little early in order to catch the last bus at Nohyeong Rotary that stops at the bus stop by my house. I didn’t want to wait at the bus stop by Kara’s house, just in case a bus didn’t come in time to get me down to Nohyeong to catch my other bus. So I just speed walked all the way down. It was probably about a 15-20 minute walk. I was cutting it pretty close, so I decided to try to make it through the crosswalk before the light turned green. Well I got about halfway across the road when the light turned green. I backed off right away as this taxi started moving forward. Then, when I was already heading back to the sidewalk, the taxi honks his horn at me a couple times. (I’m already out of your way guy!) Then he sits there for at least 10-15 seconds just staring at me. (Well heck! If I had known he was just going to sit there and stare, I would’ve had PLENTY of time to cross.) So finally I just gave him a big, cheesy smile and a friendly wave (the kind that says “What are you looking at, dude?!”) and he finally took off.

Typhoon Khanun!

This is part of the email we had received about an hour before the storm started…

For your safety,  I am asking all of residents to be careful with things to do as the followings,
-Don’t leave any stuffs in the balcony area
-Do not use many of electric supplies at the same time(Computer, Refrigerator, Washing Machine and so on)
-Refrain from using supplies on power when heavy raining
-Keep doors closed
-Not going outside of the building

I have never been in a typhoon, tropical storm, hurricane, or anything like that… Though I think a few of the storms I’ve been in in the past could probably match up to my first typhoon here in Korea! Typhoon Khanun came to us the evening of July 18, 2012. The wind was whipping all the tree branches around and the rain was coming down pretty hard. The next morning, you couldn’t even tell we had just had a typhoon. My balcony was completely dry, where there had been standing water just 8 hours earlier, and I didn’t seen any broken branches or anything else out of sorts. I have survived my first typhoon!!

Typhoon Khanun!!

Though it wasn’t AS intense as I had imagined, it was still a pretty powerful storm!

During our first 4th grade class on Thursday, right as Hosun was starting her lesson, one of the 4th grade homeroom teachers came in and told us not to teach anything this class and to just have fun. She also said that our other three 4th grade classes would be cancelled… Alright! So we watched a few Mr. Bean sketches, which are always fun, and sang some songs. A very productive use of our class time if I do say so myself. 🙂

After school one day, I rode home with Mr. Yang because Eun-mi was going to be staying late. I usually carpool with Eun-mi, Mr. Yang, and Mrs. Lee. Since Mrs. Lee had her baby, she no longer rides with us. Sometimes Eun-mi stays late and Mr. Yang will always drive me home. There is usually not much said during these rides, and when I say “not much” I mean NO talking. Mr. Yang is not that confident in his English and I don’t know enough Korean to have a conversation yet. We only “talk” if he needs to tell me something about picking me up or dropping me off. On this particular ride, he says to me “Brooke, I have a plan.” The way he said it he sounded determined, like we were going to go on a mission or something. He continued “I am going to study English very hard over summer vacation so we can talk.” I felt really special that I am his main reason for studying English! 🙂 (Though I may be moving to Seogwipo for next semester, so we won’t get many chances to talk since then I won’t be car pooling anymore.) 😦

No 3rd grade classes this week… I miss my little crazies! Fridays are already exciting because it’s  the end of the week, but they make it 10x better!!

After school on Friday, the English teachers went out for dinner at a Chinese place. It was pretty good. We had some chicken with some sweet sauce, some chili shrimp (with the head and everything still attached… not a fan), breaded pork in this syrupy sauce, and some shellfish soup. (I’m sorry I don’t know the specific names of any of these foods, but before I came to Korea, I had never eaten Chinese food- shocking, I know- and my co-teachers didn’t know the English words for anything.) New Food Alert: I ATE CLAMS! (Or oysters or whatever kind of shellfish it was.) And to my utter amazement, I liked it! After dinner, we went to a little coffee shop for some mocha buns (mmmmm!) and some bingsu! Bingsu is a famous Korean dessert with crushed ice at the bottom and fruits and cornflakes on the top. Also, depending what kind you get, there is also red bean paste or yogurt-ice cream on the top. (There are many other kinds, but I’m only talking about the ones we had.) Since I’m not a fan of the red bean paste, we also ordered a small dish of the yogurt bingsu… It was pretty delicious!

Shellfish soup… It was a heaping pile! This is already half gone.

We sat in this coffee shop for the next hour. We My co-teachers gossiped about anything and everything in Korean. Seeing as I wasn’t understanding anything and they weren’t translating, I just went on the News app on my phone to see what’s up. The first story was about the shooting at the midnight showing of Batman in Colorado. My app only shows the headline. I knew my brother was going to see that movie at midnight, so I was getting really worried that this had happened in Colorado Springs. My phone wouldn’t open the link when I clicked on it, so I had no idea what city this was happening in! When I finally got home about 45 minutes later, I ran to my computer to see what city this was happening in… Aurora, outside of Denver. I was so relieved that is wasn’t in Colorado Springs, but it is still so sad and so disturbing that this happened. Prayers go out to all the victims.

Olle 13

Saturday morning I headed out to do Olle 13. It was quite the long bus ride to the beginning of the Olle, so I’m very thankful that I had a book with me. I finally got to the start at 10:15. By this time, it was very hot outside! Within the first 10 minutes, I was already sweating like a mad woman! Not too long after I started, 10:30 to be exact, I was walking on a little road between some fields when a car was driving through. I moved over so the car would have plenty of room. Then the car stopped right in front of me. (For you worry warts out there, don’t be alarmed. The people of Jeju, and of Korea, are friendly and 90% of the time you need not worry when running into them.) They only spoke Korean of course, but I’m pretty sure the driver asked if I was on an Olle. As I was saying yes, the passenger was getting out of the car and came around by me. He offered me some chips and I politely declined, but he insisted and kept insisting until I took a few chips. Then immediately he started pushing the whole bag at me insisting that I have the whole bag for my walk. I tried to decline again, but he wasn’t having it. I finally just took the bag. As I did, he was so happy he gave me a big hug! Then I felt like he was going in for a kiss so I tried to turn my head, and sure enough! He planted a big kiss right on my cheek! Ha good thing I turned my head! I am almost 99% sure these two gentlemen were drunk… Remember it’s only 10:30 in the morning!

Storm off in the distance… Hope I don’t run into that before I finish!

I went on my merry way, and thankfully, didn’t have anymore run-ins with drunk Korean men. It was incredibly hot though and I was losing motivation and running low on water. I could hear some thunder off in the distance and was praying for it to sprinkle just a little bit! Wish granted! It sprinkled for a little bit, just enough to cool me down. Later, I came upon a chair museum. It was pretty cool. There was a GIANT chair at the entrance. Needless to say, it was a nice place for a rest.

The outdoor chair museum!

Shortly after, I ran out of water. With no town or anybody in sight, I resorted to one of the little water spickets that are in almost every field I pass. I didn’t know if it would be very healthy to drink this water, but I figured a little couldn’t hurt me. My last big challenge was an oreum. I was debating on even going up it or not, but after contemplating this for about 5 minutes, I finally sucked it up and did it! It was rough, but in the end, I was very glad that I did it. And thankfully the olle ended only about 100 yards after the oreum! Finished it in 4 hours! This was about 16.5 km.

Sunday, Karima and I were going down to Seogwipo to look at a potential new apartment. Before we left, I got to be apart of girls’ night back in Wisconsin! Got to Skype with Mikala, Chelsea, and Kayla!! So nice talking to you crazy ladies! We checked out the apartment when we got down there, and it’s a GO!! We’re moving down to Seogwipo in the next couple weeks!

After that we went swimming at Oedelgae (Way-dul-gay). It was gorgeous! I’m not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean. I’m more comfortable just putting my feet in as I walk along the beach. Well it took me a while, but I got in and it was nice! And it was warm! Lovely way to end the weekend!!

Beautiful! Next time I think I’ll actually jump off one of the little cliffs! 🙂


3 thoughts on “Brooke’s Slippers!!

  1. HOLA SWEETS!!!! I love looking at your food pics. When you’re back in the states and come to visit us, you and I are def going to the little Korean restaurant by my office. I’ve never gone there but it always smells so awesome!

      • I am not sure what Tong Tong means. It’s not in any of my Korean-English dictionaries, but I will ask some of my co-teachers!! I’m excited to check out that restaurant with you!! 🙂

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