Over the weekend, I “caught a cold” and I was still feeling “a little sick,” so I took a sick day to rest! And naturally, by “rest” I mean hike an Olle! (Future employers who may be reading this, this is probably the only job I’ve called in sick to have a fun day, but how many times am I going to be living on a beautiful island in South Korea?! Trust me, it won’t be an issue anywhere else.) 🙂
It turned out to be a PERFECT day to be outside! Clear skies and seasonably warm considering it’s January! I took the bus up to Jeju City and then another bus over to Jocheon for the start of Olle 19. It started at the Jocheon Manse Dongsan Memorial, and I do believe it is for some protesters against the Japanese colonization of Korea.
I had a beautiful view of Hallasan for nearly the whole day! Unbelievable! The walk along the coast was so great. They have turquoise waters on this side of the island!! Hamdeok Beach was gorgeous, and now I really regret not making it out here during the summer. Boo!
As I was nearing Seoubong, I noticed a soccer team of elementary boys… Their coach was making them run up and down the really steep hill multiple times! Whew! Poor little things! The view from the top was spectacular! This area, in general, is absolutely stunning!
The trail also went inland a little bit and I came across Bukchon Lava Tube, which was discovered relatively recently in 1998 (the year my little sister was born)! As I was walking through the woods, I came upon a herd of black goats… What?! Haha they were followed by this old Korean man who giggled as I walked by. I finished the 18.8 km course in 4 hours!
On Tuesday, I decided that I’m finally ready to go back to school and there was a little care package on my desk waiting for me! My mama sent me my last care package and it was so great! She sent enough Sweethearts for all 450+ of my students for Valentine’s Day AND all the ingredients (minus the ground beef, but that’s not necessary) for me to make QUESO!!! Oh, the excitement and salivating that occurred at that moment!!
For this first week back after vacation, I only had three 3rd grade classes and three after-school classes, all of which were on Friday besides one after-school class on Wednesday. So Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were some very busy and productive desk warming days! I uploaded tons of photos onto Facebook and Snapfish! Birthday cards and letters were sent back home! Emails were gone through and responded to! And I discovered something really awesome… Windows Movie Maker!! It’s ridiculously easy to use and I’m going to have so much fun putting some video projects together! (You’ll see my hard work featured in other posts!)
I was also really surprised one afternoon when who walks into the office?! None other than Miss Eun-mi Jeong herself!! (She’s my old 6th grade co-teacher that I taught with 1st semester and a really good friend! She had spent part of 2nd semester studying on the mainland and another part of it teaching in Hawaii.) So happy she’s finally back!! And she brought gifts! She gave me some macadamia nut chocolate. The picky eater in me hesitated for a moment, but then I worked up the courage (I’m not a fan of nuts at all.) and tried one… Wow! Amazingness!!
I was able to make it to a couple classes of yoga this week! Sometimes it was a little painful because my toe, that I jammed when I fell in Vietnam, hurt really bad! So those poses where we were putting pressure on the toes I had to sit out for. I hope it feels better soon!
I also had a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch meet up with Becca! It was nice to chat with her again. It’s such a relaxing and stress-free time of just knitting and chit-chatting! Speaking of chit-chat, I got to Skype with my lovely and amazing friend, Alyssa, from college!! We talked for such a long time and I’m so anxious to get back and talk with her in person! It’s going to be so great being able to call or text friends whenever I want and not have to schedule a time to chat with them!
Class with the 3rd graders was so great! I missed these little stinkers! Haesoo came right up to me and gave a nice, big, long hug! (I’m going to miss those when I leave!) I played some of their favorite games with them… 4 Corners and Pass the Ball and they still were begging for Simon Says! Haha.
The 6th graders graduate next Friday, so the 6th grade teachers were going around making a video for them including all the teachers and students in the school. The other English teachers told me that it would be happening but didn’t bother to come get me when they were filming. So I didn’t make it in the video… 😦 No worries… I’ll make my own video for them!
Friday night, I went out for dinner with my friend, Tyler, and a woman from Busan that was couch-surfing at his place. We tried horse meat! (I’m really sorry to all my horse lovers out there, but when in Rome…) It was pretty good! Like most Korean barbecues, the meat was cooked right at our table and it took barely anytime at all to cook the meat and it was so tender! There were some pieces that were really chewy, but all-in-all, a lovely dinner! Then we went out for Baskin Robbins afterwards and I tried a new flavor, Rainbow Sherbert! YUM!! I’ve always loved orange sherbet and whatever other flavors came in The Flintstone’s Push-Ups, but I never wanted to mix flavors. Well I’m here to tell you that the combination of pineapple, orange, and raspberry sherbet is nothing short of amazing!
Karima met a Korean woman at a school where she did an English Camp that was very interested in walking the Olle trails. She asked Karima if she knew anyone that liked going on the Olle trails, as well, so she gave her my information. Her name is Jin-hee and we planned to walk Olle 14 together!
We headed out early for our long journey to the Olle starting point. The Olles on the western and eastern sides of the island take a little longer to get to, but especially Olle 14 because it starts in a little town inland, unlike the rest that start along the coast that the coastal buses drive by. The buses that go inland between the little towns aren’t as frequent, so it just takes longer. We finally got to the start at 10 am and got started!
We walked through some forested parts and fields on some rocky paths for a while. This part of the island is also known for its cacti! So we saw lots of those too! Once we got out to the coast, it was really beautiful, but REALLY windy!! Which made for some pretty big waves to look at!
We also walked by some lovely beaches and some trick art! We finished the Olle at 2:20 pm! Then we rode back to Seogwipo and I had to hurry home to grab some stuff and go back up to Jejusi to meet some people. I felt bad for Jin-hee because I can sometimes be a really fast walker and not take many breaks, but it was especially true today just because I had to meet people later. She was a trooper though! It was nice to spend time with her on the Olle!
Saturday night, I got to Skype with Jessica! I really enjoy talking to her! We were chatting and she said “I wonder if your dad will remember February 11th.” I didn’t know until just then, but that’s when they got married at the court house… Hopefully a little angel whispers this into my dad’s ear because I doubt he’d remember on his own! Haha.
Sunday morning, I headed out to do Olle 15 by myself. I wanted to get an early start, but when I looked at my clock I realized that I was pretty close to missing the bus! It was a little chilly outside and I was running down the stairs and through our yard when I stepped on the wooden walkway that goes through our yard… BAM!! I didn’t notice before, but the walkway was a little icy and I went down as soon as my foot stepped on it. I hit my head on the wood pretty hard. My jaw hurt really bad! Besides that and the fact that I was in complete shock of what just happened, I felt fine, so I walked myself to the bus stop and it was 5 minutes late! All that running for nothing!
I started the course at about 9 am. I walked through some winding roads between fields and then up and around a hill near Nabeup Elementary School with a little building at the top that was used to hold sacrificial rites. (This was finally abolished about 30 years ago at a village meeting.)
Later on I had to climb up another big hill and had a lovely view going up! I also walked by a little temple on the way up. At the top of Gonaebong, there was a small tower you go up and have an amazing 360° view that I took a little video of… Enjoy the commentary. Haha!
I finished the 19 km course at 1:15!! Another lovely Olle walk… Only 2 more to go until I’ve finished all 26 trails!
On the bus ride back, one of my 6th graders, Jisu, messaged me and said that she wanted to meet me to give me my late birthday present! Once I got back to Seogwipo, I met her and her mom and sister at Emart. Soooo sweet!! Jisu, her sister who’s in 4th grade (forgot her name), and their little brother all made me a big sign along with some paper flowers and a paper basket. Then her little sister got me some fashionista earmuffs! And Jisu got me a big, beautiful, blue scarf! Aww it was so great! 🙂
After my fall that morning, it was EXTREMELY painful to bite down, so eating was a very unpleasant task. I also started getting a headache towards the afternoon. I hope everything will get better soon!
I got to Skype with my dad later Sunday night!! Love talking to that crazy old man!