2013 has some pretty big shoes to fill after 2012!
Desk warming on New Year’s Eve… Woo. I spotted an article about my grandma’s visit in the school’s newspaper! And my Christmas package from Dad and Jessica came!! Can’t wait to Skype with them so I can open it!
Happy New Year!!
Karima and I went to yoga New Year’s Eve and then headed up to Jejusi afterwards for some celebrating! We both looked super cute, but of course, this is the one night no pictures were taken. Dang! We bought some refreshments and snacks for the bus ride up. On the bus, there was this man behind us that kept casually poking his head up over the seat to see what we were doing. Rather annoying! After us having to say “Hajima” (Don’t do that) a few times, he finally stopped. It was a lovely night dancing and bringing in 2013!! There was one moment when I was talking to my friend and something he said reminded me of Roxy, so I quickly found Karima before the waterworks started flowing. (I knew she’d be the only one there that understood… Glad her shoulder was there to cry on.) Other than that, it was a very fun and happy night! I met a Korean guy, whose English name was Noah. He spent some time in Canada and spoke English very well and was rather attractive… Not something I see often in Korea. Most of the guys here are pretty boys… Not my style really. We were talking for a while when I noticed he had a ring on his left ring finger. When I said something about it, he said his mom gave it to him but it didn’t fit on any other finger. Nice try… See ya! Haha then Karima, Jordan, Tara, and I took a cab back to Seogwipo. Going over the mountain always gives me a little sicky feeling, so tonight was even worse! Thankfully we had an awesome cab driver that stopped every now and then so I could take a breather. (I know what you’re probably thinking, but I was able to keep it all in.) 🙂 We finally rolled in our house at 4:45 am… Eek!!
When I woke up, I Skyped Dad and Jessica to open my present… AMAZING!! A big bag of puffy Cheetoes! A big bag of crunchy Cheetoes! A big bag of white cheddar cheese popcorn! Skittles! Hot Chocolate! Twizzlers! And the surprise my dad was referring to… A can of green beans. It has to do with a lovely little story from when I was little, one that he absolutely loves telling and seems to never tire of it. (You can ask him if you’re curious… But to give a hint, I don’t like green beans… At all!) Also, the big bag of puffy Cheetoes… Gone by the end of the day. Woops. 🙂
Every year down in Florida, my dad’s friends host a big New Year’s Bash and there are LOTS of huge fireworks!! (It can be compared to some 4th of July celebrations.) Jessica Skyped me while she was there, so I got to enjoy the lovely firework display from the comfort of my warm, cozy bed!
Wednesday to Friday, I was teaching at an English camp at Daejeong Seo Elementary School, a smaller elementary school down the road from my school. There were 3 groups of kids, with 10-12 students in each group, so I’d be seeing each group every day. The theme for my lessons for the week was Scavenger Hunt. The first day, I drew pictures on the board of all the things that are on their scavenger hunt lists. As I was drawing, they’d have to try to guess what it was. One kid thought my camera was a toilet…? The second day, we went on the scavenger hunt. There were two teams in each class competing against each other. They would go around the school with cameras and had to take pictures of the items on their list. On the third day, we talked about locations of where they found the items: in, on, under, in front of, behind, etc. It all went very well!! And the good thing about teaching at another school is you get to go home early… Got to leave before 1 pm every day! Woot woot!
With my free time, Karima and I finally sat down to plan our trip… Nothing like waiting 9 days before we leave. Friday after school, I did a little bit of touristing in Jungmun! I went to Seonim Bridge, Yeomiji Botanical Gardens, and Cheonjaeyeon Falls! I walked up to the observation deck at the top of the the botanical gardens, which was pretty awesome! There was a lovely view of Hallasan! My favorite part of the gardens was the cactus garden! So funky! Cheonjaeyeon Falls has 3 levels. I walked all the way down to the bottom level and then way back up to the first level. The second level was a little crowded, so I just took a passing snapshot. The first level was awesome! It has rock formations like the columnar joints on the Jungmun Daepo Coast! But because it’s not the rainy season, the first level isn’t much of a waterfall, but it’s still beautiful!
At yoga one night, we were doing some poses laying face down on the floor. During one of our little breaks between poses, our instructor stood on a woman’s back to make it crack. I was thinking, “Man! I wish she would do that for me.” I was the very next person she did that to. It felt sooooo good! A little painful a few times, but when she got off I felt such a relief! I had no idea my back was that bad. So great!
Saturday morning, I met Hannah to take the bus to Olle 14-1. We met up with Dominique and Sarah there. (By the way, there are a lot of Sarah’s on this island and this is not the same Sarah I spent Christmas with… Too many Sarah’s on this island!!) It was a little chilly, but such a great day! It was so much fun having people to walk with!
We all brought snacks to share with each other and I tried hard boiled eggs for the first time… Not too bad! We saw a lot of horses and even saw some outside of the horse gate! First, one ran by us and we were all a bit shocked. Then not too long after, a second one came running through. Finally, a group of 3 came running past. So strange. We’re definitely not in Mongolia, so it’s really weird to see horses just running wild like this.
We eventually came upon the O’Sulloc Tea Museum, so we stopped in for some afternoon tea. I tried some tangerine milk tea… Pretty good!
We started the 18.8 km trail at about 10 am and finished around 3:30 pm!
At the bus stop at the end of the trail, the bus that Dom and Sarah needed to take was going to take over an hour, so they hitch hiked. We didn’t find out till later, but they made it safe and sound! They got picked up by a tourist couple from Seoul. 🙂
After I got back and showered, I headed up to Jejusi to meet Karima for some dinner. We had some very spicy dak (chicken) galbi! Then we took the 5.16 Road bus back to Seogwipo… WARNING! If you don’t like gross stories, don’t read the stuff in red! So Karima and I went up to Jejusi for dinner one night. On our bus ride back, there a Korean man sitting one row ahead of us on the other side of the aisle. He was hunched over snoozing away, swaying this way and that. We could tell he was a bit drunk, but we didn’t realize how drunk until we were almost to town. Right as we were at the bottom of the mountain coming into Seogwipo, he throws up… All down the front of his shirt, in his lap, down onto his shoes and all over the floor. Then he came to and realized what had happened, but proceeded to rub his head and his face with his hands that puke just so happened to trickle down into. The only people that noticed what had happened were Karima and I and another gentleman sitting in front of this man. So when everyone was getting off the bus and the bus driver saw these big pukey footprints going down the aisle, he was a bit irate! Poor bus driver! I’ve been to a lot of college parties (all after I turned 21 of course…) and have seen some people in some pretty rough shape, but this takes the cake. NASTY!!
There is a big rotary near where we live with a little area in the center with some plants and trees. During Christmas time, they put up a bunch of lights, reindeer, and Santas. Karima decided one night that we should check it out. (Mind you, there are no sidewalks in the center and probably the only people that go in this area are the gardeners and the people who put up the decorations for Christmas.) So we did it. We ran out into this crazy rotary and made it safely to the center. We took some pictures with Santa and the cool lights. Then we had to get back to the sidewalk… I wonder what people thought when they saw us doing all this. Haha. As we were walking up the road to our house, we saw a cop car driving towards the rotary… I wonder if they were coming to yell at us. I guess we’ll never know.
Sunday morning, Karima, Hannah, and I met at Oedelgae (Way-dol-gay… I don’t always understand the romanization they use here.) to start Olle 7! Karima and I showed Hannah where we camped this past summer!
Along the trail, we came to a place with fresh concrete and I wrote in concrete for the first time!
We stopped for a little break in a little cove place (?- don’t know the correct term you would use here) for a snack. While we were there, I was sitting on a rock that reminded me of the Little Mermaid and broke out into song! Surprisingly, I remember most of the words to “Part of That World!”
We also came to a little gazebo with stuff written all over everything. There was also a thing full of blank post cards and a mail box. So Hannah and I decided to write some postcards home and stick them in the mailbox. We had no stamps and there was nothing there, so we just sent them off not knowing if they would ever even leave Jeju.
Then we came to the place where they are building the new naval base, of which there is so much controversy, and the protesters camp right out front. So sad.
Then we came to a cliff with a gorgeous view! It made me realize just how much I’m really going to miss this place when I leave! A lovely day!!