I’ve been continuing yoga (I went all 5 days this week!) and it feels so great!! Especially when our instructor hands us a couple handfulls of tangerines on the way out the door. On Thursday, I got to yoga pretty early and was just sitting there when I got this feeling that I should be somewhere else… After a couple minutes it hit me that I have hip hop class on Thursdays instead of yoga. So I grabbed my stuff and ran out the door. I ran most of the way down to the Youth Cultural Center. When I got there I wasn’t seeing anyone. Then at about 7:58 I checked Facebook on my phone and sure enough, class was cancelled. So I ran back to yoga, which wasn’t as easy because it’s uphill. Ugh. But I made it and was only about 5 minutes late! Our landlord came upstairs one night after we got home from yoga and gave us a big bag full of tangerines! Then she invited us to come pick tangerines with her this weekend… Well, of course!!
Our friend Carolyn started staying with us this week. Her contract with EPIK ended, and since she was staying in an EPIK apartment, she had to move out. And she brought along her cute little dog Bogari, which means “curly hair” in Korean. (I’m pretty sure that’s what it means, or at least it’s along those lines.) Oh my goodness, it’s so great having a little dog running around the house! It’s so great coming home to a dog! It’s so great cuddling with him! And he loved coming and chilling in my room! We became good friends! 🙂
I’ve had a cold for the past couple weeks now, and it felt like it was starting to go away when I woke up Monday morning. Well on Tuesday, I was playing a game with my 6th graders where I had to yell over them (which is quite normal for any game we play) and my voice just couldn’t handle it. It was a little rough. So when I was finished eating my lunch, I excused myself and told the teachers I was going to lay down in the nurse’s room. I was laying down for a little bit when some of the 6-6 girls came in. They’re always really nosy, so when they saw that one of the doors was closed to the little cubicles the beds are in, they had to peek in and see who it was. When they realized it was me they said, “Oh, Brooke! Why?” I told them my throat hurt. They replied with, “Oh, take a rest.” I was covered up with a little cartoon blanket (you know the ones that all little kids have), but the cartoon part was facing down and the white part was facing up. They pointed at the blanket and said, “Oh teacher, no.” The girls then flipped over the blanket so it was the right way, tucked me in, and said, “Feel better” as they walked out of my little cubby. These girls are normally the ones that act like little bratty teenagers most of the time… So it was so nice to see this rare occurrence of them being super sweet! (Or maybe they were just happy that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to be in class the next period…? Haha I’ll just think it was the first one.)
Not too long after the girls left, I got up to go back to the English office to grab my stuff for my next class. When I got there, Hosun told me that I don’t have to teach anymore today and that I should rest. Sunghee said she is happy to teach the 6th graders by herself. Hosun then told me I could go back to the nurse’s room or she could sign me out to go home. I told her I would just lay in the nurse’s room. What I really wanted to tell her was, “Are you crazy? I’m not using a sick day for a day I’m actually sick! Those are reserved for fun, random days off! Well up until I use all the free sick days anyways. (In our contracts, we’re allowed to take 11 sick days. The first 3 are “free” and the rest require a doctor’s note.) So I laid in the nurse’s room for the rest of the day! It was amazing! Nice and cozy pillows and blankets, along with a heated mattress pad… Rough day at school!
I’ve also continued Stitch ‘n’ Bitch with Becca! We met at a new cafe called Alice Cafe, and they have some really delicious vanilla shakes! We had another woman join us this week, Joy. She’s an older woman and her and her husband have lived on the island for 12 years teaching. She ordered some honey bread and shared with us… Delicious! It’s basically some sweet bread with honey and whipped cream all over! (Probably wasn’t the best idea to eat that right before yoga.. Oh well.) I’ve been making a green scarf. I plan on giving it to my co-teacher Seunghee. She’s been really nice to me ever since I arrived on the island back in February. I’ve gone on little outings with her and her daughters and it’s always so nice talking to her. After Eunmi left, she took it upon herself to be my go-to teacher if I ever need help with anything and she does a wonderful job! I tell her all the time how thankful I am for everything she does, I just hope she truly understands how awesome she has been to me!
I played a new game with the 3rd graders this week. I split the class into two teams. One student from one team would grab an item out of the basket I had, and 3 students from the other team would each be given a coin and only one coin had a sticker on it. They had to keep it a secret (well try anyways) who had the sticker. The student from the first team would then have to pick the person who they thought had the sticker and say “Is this your ball/pen/book/etc?” If they got it right on the first try they got 5 points for their team, second try they got 3 points, and third/last try was one point… So each team always got at least one point, which is good because otherwise their teammates would be a little nasty to them. Haha Korean kids can be little bullies to each other sometimes… Well let’s be honest, most of the time. They all loved the game! SUCCESS!
Friday night after yoga, Karima and I headed over to get a “healthy” dinner of some good ol’ greasy pizza from Young Gu’s! When we got home, Karima, Carolyn, and I shared pizza and watched some movies. I had to break away for a little bit to talk to Mi Mama on Skype!!!
Saturday, I wanted to head out to do an Olle, but there was rain in the forecast. So I stayed in and cleaned my room, organized clothes, and got Christmas gifts together. Quite productive at home, but it never rained. Ugh! Another beautiful day that I could have spent on an Olle wasted! In the afternoon, our landlord brought us to her family’s tangerine orchard! It was only about a 5 minute drive up the road and we were only there for about an hour, if that. Karima and I had expected it to be a whole afternoon thing. We filled 2 giant crates and a basket. When we got back home, our landlord told us the 2 giant crates were for us! Looks like we’ll be eating tangerines for a while! Good thing they’re delicious!!
Last week we made some tangerine juice with all the tangerines we had in order to make room for the ones we were getting this weekend… YUM!
After we got back, Carolyn and I headed down to a little Japanese noodle place and got some delicious curry udon! (Udon is kind of like spaghetti noodles, except they are really thick noodles.) Then we headed down Lee Jung Seop Street (a.k.a. Art Street… Lee Jung Seop was an artist and was kept as a war refugee during the Korean War in Seogwipo for a year with his Japanese wife and their two sons. That year was very productive for him as an artist and created many masterpieces here in Seogwipo.) We strolled through the Saturday morning Open Air Market. We stopped at one place and made some prints of some Lee Jung Seop paintings! On the walk back home, I went passed a store (well many, in fact) and a sweater caught my eye. So I stopped in to check it out… I didn’t get that sweater, but because of that sweater I walked out with 6 dresses, 3 sweaters, a long-sleeved shirt, leg warmers, and 4 pairs of socks… Woops! ₩₩
Sunday morning, I headed up to Jejusi and hiked Olle 18. It went along the coast for the most part, which was beautiful! I climbed over Byoldobong and up part of Won-dongbong. On Won-dongbong, there was a temple and a little 5 tiered pagoda.
I saw a lot of other hikers (mostly all Korean) and a lot of them said hi (an-nyoung-ha-say-yo) to me. Normally I don’t see a whole lot of people and when I do, people don’t really talk much. So this was a nice change. After climbing over one of the oreums I heard a man yelling. He wasn’t yelling like he was arguing or yelling for help or anything, but just letting out these really angry screams (maybe relieving some stress…?). I kept looking to see where this crazy man was, but never spotted him… A bit weird. It was a lovely day for an Olle! 🙂
A nice way to end the weekend… A trip to the jimjilbang (Korean bath house) with Karima!