While walking to class Monday morning with Sunghee, she tells me, “Brooke, I have a gift for you.” I respond very happily, “Oh, really?” She then says, “Yes, they are Christmas tree earrings, but I don’t have them today so I will give them to you tomorrow.” Haha in America, we usually don’t tell the person what we got them before they open the present… Maybe in Korea, the suspense isn’t that exciting.
On December 19th, South Korea was holding elections for a new president, so all government employees have the day off! (No excuse not to go vote… I wonder how this would work out in the US?) Free day!! I was going to go do an Olle, but there was rain in the forecast for the day. And of course because I decided to skip the Olle because of the rain, it was a beautiful day! Well I didn’t let it all go to waste… My room got a much-needed cleaning! Karima and I watched Elf! We also went to the 5 Day Traditional Market in Seogwipo! To end a lovely day, we had some galbi (a Korean barbeque) at a little restaurant we walk by all the time on our way to and from yoga!
Seogwipo 5 Day Market
In 6th grade, we finished the textbook, so we’ve had some time to kill. I showed them a Laurel & Hardy clip on YouTube. They LOVED it!! And there was a breakthrough! Jun-hyuk, a boy in my 6-3 class who is painfully shy and never speaks English (or speaks much at all for that matter), spoke to me in English!!!! He said, “Can you write the website for video?” Ahhhh-saaaaa!! After I stood there for a few seconds in utter shock, I was beaming and said to him, “Of course!” This is the video that helped make a breakthrough…
After school one day, Karima and I finally booked our tickets to Vietnam and Thailand. Only waited til 3 weeks before we depart! Ahhhh so excited!!!
After playing 4 Corners with my 3rd graders on Friday, I showed them some pictures on Facebook of the big snowstorm that Wisconsin got. You could hear little “Woooaahh”s here and there the entire time. Haha but their favorite picture was of my aunt Sue and a snowman she built that was as tall as her! They thought this was the coolest thing!
Friday night, there was a caroling concert at Mayb Cafe. So Karima and I got dressed up in some festive colors and headed down! I loved listening and singing along with all the lovely, classic Christmas songs! I wasn’t too much in the Christmas mood until that night. I left a little early so I could Skype with mi mama! I love our little Skype dates! We talked about Dillon downloading Skype on his phone so maybe we can all talk on Christmas day! And to end a lovely Friday night, I watched Home Alone 2!!
Bright and early (Wait… Scratch that!) Dark and early Saturday morning, I got a Skype call from my awesome little sister, Jamie! She leaves Florida for Wisconsin for Christmas soon and wanted to open her present from me before she heads out… She loved everything!! I’d like to think that I’m pretty awesome at picking out gifts! (But I sometimes struggle shopping for the men in my life… Dad, Papa, Dillon…)
I started Olle 3 Saturday morning at about 9 am. It was really windy!! So I was very happy to get a little bit of shelter in the wooded areas once in a while. When I was walking along the coast, the wind was so intense I was nearly blown over… Seriously almost fell over. Haha Jeju is the land of wind, women, and stone. There were also many time when the trail was flooded, so I had fun finding ways to avoid getting my shoes soaked.
I climbed up and down two oreums (small parasite volcanoes) and got to run a little bit down them, but not too much because both of them had stairs built to walk down. ( I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but stairs are a little dangerous in Korea… The height and length of stairs is hardly ever consistent. I think they just kind of eyeball it.)
I also got to walk through a little outdoor art gallery, the Kim Young Gap Gallery. The little figurines and statues were awesome!
As I was walking along the coast, there were these massive, wide-open fields covered with black tarps. Laying out on the tarps were truckloads of orange peels…? A bit strange. I finally finished the 20 km trail at 1:30 pm and was so happy to be able to get out of the wind!
On the bus ride to the start of Olle 8 Sunday morning, it started snowing a little bit. This went off and on the whole day, but was really coming down towards the end of my walk. Lots of snow and Jeju wind… Not the greatest time. And of course the wind had to be going in the opposite direction I was walking. Even though the snow coming down was absolutely beautiful, a face-full of snow isn’t the most enjoyable thing ever.
Towards the beginning of my walk, I came upon a huge temple! It was really beautiful. I went inside and snuck some pictures. (Not sure if taking pictures is frowned upon or not, but I was discreet about it.)
Walking along the trail, I picked up some followers. A dog and her adorable little puppy! At one point the mama dog jumped up on a hill and the puppy couldn’t see her anymore and stopped following me. Then around the corner, here came the mama dog again following me. For little baby got ditched by her mama.
I stopped by the Jungmun Daepo Coast with the beautiful columnar joints (hexagonal columns formed when really hot lava reached the sea). I climbed an oreum, which didn’t have any soft ground to walk on, just slippery wooden steps and wooden sidewalks. Almost biffed it a time or two.
Towards the end of the trail, I came into a park. It was a little strange. It was way down this big, 4-lane road that maybe two cars drove past while I was walking on it. The park was beautiful and massive, but it looked like it was hardly ever used. I was walking through this park for 30 minutes (not taking my time, it’s just that big) and never saw a soul. When I got to the end of the park, there was a sign saying it was an eco-park (a.k.a. a people-don’t-come-here-in-fear-of-messing-it-up kind of park… Just a guess.)
I started the 15.2 km trail a little before 9 am and finished around 1:30 pm. Then the fun began… Since the end of this trail is in a little village out in the sticks at the end of a bus line, I had to wait 40 minutes in the cold wind before the next bus came and another 20 minutes waiting before the bus headed back to Seogwipo. Didn’t get home until 2 hours after I finished the trail… A little ridiculous considering this trail is about a 20 minute drive from town. Oh well!
Ended the weekend with a little dinner date with Karima at a delicious Japanese noodle place!