Cleaning Up!

My week started with more desk warming, but the kids are finally back in the building! It feels so much more like a school rather than a desk-warming prison with all the little crazies running around! I love it! And now that the kids are back, the lunch ladies are back too. SCHOOL LUNCH!!! In the US, you would NEVER hear me this excited about school lunch, but here it’s good! Not that I didn’t enjoy chips and kimbap from the corner Family Mart everyday for lunch while the kids weren’t in school, but it’s nice to have a little variety.

Hosun, my 3rd & 4th grade co-teacher, called the post office Monday morning to see where I could pick up my package and the man told her they sent it back to the States! What?! I guess my landlord told the postal carrier that Von Ruden didn’t live there. She only knows my first name and apparently didn’t notice the “Brooke” written on the package. I was sooo disappointed. Surprisingly, they called back that afternoon saying they found the package before it was shipped back and will now send it straight to my school! Yay!!! Can’t wait!

Monday night, we were expecting another typhoon. Typhoon Bolaven. It’s supposed to be pretty nasty. On my way home from school Monday, I saw a lot of windows taped up and people preparing their houses and businesses for the storm. I never saw any of this for the other typhoons we’ve had so far. This typhoon was expected to be a category 3 or 4, which is the strongest they’ve had since 2002 (which caused about 200 deaths- not sure if that’s just in Korea or if that covers the typhoon’s whole path). We lost power at about 9:30pm that night, which is the first time I’ve been without power because of a typhoon, and it sounded pretty rough outside!

We were happy to wake up and not see any damage or flooding in our apartment! While I was waiting at the bus stop, one of my co-teachers called to tell me that school was delayed til 11:00am! Woop woop! When I got to Daejeong, it didn’t seem like anything was open. I discovered why when I got to school, no power. So I’m thinking, “Why would they have us come to school with no power? We going to just sit and stare at each other all day?” Nope. We get to clean up all the debris the typhoon left behind on the school grounds. Had I known this, I would’ve chosen a different outfit and shoes. All the teachers were given white working gloves that were painted red on one side with a really thick, waxy paint… To make them waterproof? I think that’s what they were going for, but it wasn’t really affective though. We got to pick up the millions of leaves that were blown off the trees, along with the sticks and branches. The big tree that makes up the school’s entrance bent right in half! The principal was pretty upset. This tree was put up to mark the school’s 100th birthday a couple years ago.

Tree Down! Tree Down!

Then in the little park, there was a big branch that broke off a tree but was still hung up on some branches. The male teachers were trying to get it down. They were all standing on a statue (pictured below) to try to reach the giant branch to pull it down to no avail, until the gym teacher jumped for it! I instantly thought of a monkey jumping from branch to branch when I saw this. He grabbed it and then he and the branch slowly came to the ground. Funniest thing! The branch was still stuck but since it was now low enough, the rest of the guys were able to pull it loose. Then we got to leave at 3:00pm! 4 hours… The rough life I lead.

Imagine about 5 Korean men standing on this statue reaching up to get a broken branch down…

Tree down outside the bus terminal!

The teacher that will be replacing Eun-mi while she’s in Hawii teaching for this semester finally came to school. She seems nice. Her name is Sunghee (which I soon find out gets confusing sometimes when I tell stories because one ofย  my other co-teachers’ names is Seunghee). So her, Seunghee, and I talked about the lessons we will be doing next week and what we should prepare. She already has all the lesson plans done for the remainder of the chapters in the book that we have to cover. Hopefully this is a good sign!

My package arrived on Wednesday from my lovely Aunt Karen! And oh my goodness… I hit the jackpot!! American flag lights, cheese balls (these didn’t last very long), pretzels, cheesy pretzel Combos, neon colored notecards, American flag design sticky notes, iTunes gift card (to buy a bunch of Kpop songs!), red, white, & blue stars marshmallows (It’s been a while since I’ve stuffed my face with marshmallows and it was sooo good!), Goldfish crackers, Twizzlers, Crackerjacks (which I’ve never tried before and honestly never really knew what a crackerjack was until this package came- tasty! Haha had I known it was just caramel corn, this probably wouldn’t have been the first time.), Ritz Bitz, beef jerky (also the first time having this- scrumptious!), Tootsie Rolls (I’ve never had a Tootsie Roll before, and still haven’t tried it yet. Saving it for a rainy day.), Kleenex, Shoestring Potatoes (also never had before- yum!), Tic Tacs, pumpkin seeds (LOVED this!), and pistachios (another thing I’ve never had before this- I was surprised that I liked them!). This put the biggest smile on my face and a lot of yummy treats in my tummy! My co-teachers also loved looking through the box of goodies with me! Kam-sam-ni-da (thank you) VERY MUCH Aunt Karen!!! You are amazing!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


One morning on the bus, the driver kept honking at the other bus in front of us. He eventually passed him and then immediately pulled over on the side of the road. I immediately thought that our bus driver was going to go to the other bus and yell at the other bus driver. (I’ve seen this before.) But no, he just had to run to the bathroom and found it locked! So he rushed behind a truck and relieved himself there. Haha when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Another typhoon came Wednesday night. Typhoon Tembin. It was pretty mild like the first 2 we had, but school was still delayed til 1:00pm! When we got there, all the teachers had to clean up again, but thankfully it wasn’t as much work as the other day. Then they let us go home at 4:00pm… I can handle a 3 hour work day.

Finally! Classes resumed Friday, and what a great way to start off the semester, teaching the little crazies! I’m absolutely in love with these little 3rd grade munchkins! They are so cute and sweet and funny and naughty (but who cares, they’re cute!). I just want to squeeze them! It makes my day when they come up and give me a hug and say “Hi Brooke!” ๐Ÿ™‚

I got another note from the post office for another package! So I got up early Saturday morning and headed to the post office in New Seogwipo. I tried the post office in downtown Seogwipo last Saturday and that was a fail, so maybe the one on the other side of town is open Saturday mornings. Nope. So I headed back home with my tail between my legs. But it was wagging wildly again when the postman came to my door a couple hours later with my package from Miss Alyssa!!! Another giant smile was pasted right smack dab in the middle of my face! She never asked for any suggestions on what to put in a care package for me, but she didn’t have to. By a look at the contents of the box, she CLEARLY knows me well enough to know what will make me happy!!! Thank you Alyssa!! You made my day!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


Saturday night, we headed down to Maybe Cafe for a Welcome New People/Welcome Back Travelers Open Mic. Karima played some of her lovely songs, but it was hard to hear all the singers that night because so many people were talking. Just excited to be meeting new people and more and more alcohol may cause the volume of people’s voices to go up just a tad! Afterwards, we went to Kimbap heaven for a little midnight drunk snack. Lovely night!

Strummin away on the banjo!

I “slept in” Sunday morning… I fell out of sleep but just laid there for a while and napped not knowing what time it was. After laying there for what seemed like a really long time, I wake up and look at the clock and it says 8:00am. Haha so I just watched some movies and bummed around. Later on, Karima and I headed to the beach to hang out and relax for a couple hours. Then grabbed some pizza and headed home for a Mad Men marathon for a nice end to the weekend!

I love the pattern in the sand!


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