Happy Birthday Daejeong Elementary!!!

Ended up not having many classes this week! Mostly because of the school’s birthday celebrations. On Monday right before 1st period, Sunghee comes up to me and tells me she’s going home sick… No 6th grade classes on Monday! Tuesday, we only had 20 minute classes with 5 of our six 6th grade classes. For Wednesday, all the grades went on a field trip, each grade someplace different. Thursday was the only day where things went normal… four 4th grade classes and two 6th grade classes. Then Friday, we had no school for our school’s birthday! I could get used to this!

On Wednesday, Kyoungnam’s husband came to pick us up in his spaceship of a van and treated all of us English teachers to lunch! (Kyoungnam isn’t actually an English teacher and doesn’t even speak much English at all, but her desk is in the English teachers’ office. I wish I either spoke more Korean or she spoke more English because I love her! She is so sweet and spunky and just has the warmest energy about her! You can’t help but feel good around her, language barrier or not!) He took us to this restaurant right on the coast and we were having spicy fish and all the spicy Korean side dishes… I’m not a huge fan of fish yet, so I wasn’t jumping for joy when they told me what we were having. To my surprise, I liked it. Not enough to order it voluntarily, but enough that if it was put in front of me again, I wouldn’t think twice about digging in. The spaceship van wasn’t the smoothest ride. I got a slight headache and stomachache on the way back.

I’m getting MUCH better at picking the meat off the bones!! Before, it would make me lose my appetite when I bit into a fish bone. Yuck!

With the 6th graders, we are on the chapter called “I’m faster than you.” So I made up a PowerPoint of the students pictures and an animal. Then groups would have to make up a sentence comparing the two pictures. They loved it! Except the kids whose pictures I used… They were a little shy. Sorry!

“Who’s Stronger?” Game!

In hip hop class, we finally finished the choreography for Usher’s song “Dive.” We had about 5 minutes at the end of class to record before we were going to get kicked out… Our dance instructor hasn’t posted the videos yet, but when he does I’ll post them on here! šŸ™‚

Olle 11

A view of Moseulbong, Hallasan, and Sanbangsan on Olle 11!!

For Friday, since there was no school, I took off on an Olle! I started Olle 11 at 8:15 am, which starts in Daejeong (the town I work in). It was lovely! And the weather couldn’t have been better! I climbed to the top of Moseulbong, an oreum behind the boys’ high school in town, and there were TONS of grave sites up there! One whole hillside was covered with them. I find this kind of fascinating, becauseĀ cemeteries are not common here at all! Usually you just see random grave sites in fields, on hills, in the woods, etc. Seeing them in big clusters like this and organized in rows is quite rare.

In Korean culture, it is important to families that their loved ones who have passed have a great view in the afterlife.

At one point, I was walking by a little farm and the smells instantly put me in a state of nostalgia! It took me back to the days of living out in the country in New London and my nostrils being filled with the (apparently) unforgettable smell of cowĀ manure being spread over the fields. As I was walking through the forest, I got to thinking about my family back home and wondering if any of them would like to live here. I was thinking about my papa and thinking that he would love the fishing opportunities here. But then maybe not because there isn’t much for hunting on the island. Then I got to thinking that I’ve never seen any wild animals on my Olle adventures, with the exception of birds. Right as this thought was crossing my mind, I was walking through an opening in a stone wall along the path. Right on the other side of the stone wall was a deer!! I didn’t get to look for long, but I think seeing me scared him enough to make him jump about 5 feet in the air! He immediately ran the other way as fast as he could! How ironic! Well I can’t say I haven’t seen any wild animals on my Olle hikes anymore. I finished the 18 km Olle course at 12:15 pm… A 4 hour hike that the Olle pamphlet said would take 6-7 hours! Yeah!!

I was hiking up Moseulbong, when I turned around and saw this!

Loved walking through this forest! This forest path was actually closed until the lady who makes the Olle trails fought to have it reopened to the public!

A little mushroom farm!

This weekend I helped out Halla Middle School at the Jeju Book Festival. A friend of mine is the teacher there, but wasn’t able to help because she had plans. So I volunteered to help out! (The extra money paid for my airfare to Seoul last weekend!) It was actually a lot of fun. I read story books every couple hours to different groups of kids. If the group of kids was very young, then one of the middle school students would translate as I read. And being the only foreigner at the festival, I was somewhat of a celebrity! Kids wanted their picture with me, I was interviewed for the news on Saturday, I was interviewed for the radio on Sunday, and a photographer from the newspaper was all up in my face and having me turn all the time to get the perfect picture. Our little tent was packed every couple hours when I was scheduled to read a book! During our free time in between books, me and the middle school girls would go off and do activities. We decorated a wooden bookmark, made beaded bookmarks/cell phone decorations, and designed our own T-shirts. Sadly, all the pictures the Halla Middle School teacher took were deleted by her toddler. šŸ˜¦ I should have actually put my camera to use since I had it there. Boo.

This weekend was also the Jeju Furey volleyball tournament. I wasn’t playing because of the book festival, but I headed down there Saturday after the book festival for a night filled with dancing! So much fun!!

Sunday after the book festival, one of my co-teachers, Seunghee, and her girls came and suggested we order pizza and go hang out at her house. We ordered Pizza Hut and then walked over to her house. We just laid around on the couch, ate pizza, ate apples, peaches, and Asian pears, and chatted. A lovely way to end the weekend!


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