Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow day in Geojin

So, last night it started snowing really heavily. Deanna and me went out and built 2 snowmen and helped one of the shopkeepers clear the sidewalk of some snow.

Well, this morning my co-teacher called me and said not to come to school because there's too much snow on outside.

YAAAAAAY!! I love days off :).

I ran to the balcony and here's what I saw. Enjoy :D.

Where's Abby? again...

Well, again, I came home and I couldn't find Abby anywhere. Then I looked again and saw a bump under my blanket. Here are some pictures :).

Monday, December 15, 2008

What makes a good relationship?

I was sitting on the bus from Seoul to Geojin, and I started thinking about my parents, about myself, about how people relate, what makes a good relationship, whether between friends or lovers or boyfriend/girlfriend or husband and wife...

So far, there are 3 points that I find very important:


Being Nonjudgmental

as in...

No one is perfect, and if a mistake is made in the relationship that affects both partners, then there should be no blame put on any one person. There has to be support, and not judgment like oh, you chose this and now we are in trouble because of that. The decisions have to be made together so that situations like that don't arise.


Give advice that is in the best interest of the person receiving that advice.

Meaning, give advice that is meant for the other persons situation, character, personality, habits... all that. Not give advice that you'd think would work for you, because that might not work for the other person, and might actually be the wrong advice. So in order to do this, the two people have to really know each other.


Accept each other they way they are, with their strengths and weaknesses.

Accepting is not necessarily liking, but it's accepting.

To accept means you love the other person the way they are, and with the things you don't like, you have to figure out a way to deal with them in a constructive way. Otherwise, if you just ignore them, they will become a much bigger problem down the road, and by then you won't even be able to tell what you don't like about a person. It'll just be a general feeling of dislike, maybe even hatred.

So, I think these are very important in order to have a good relationship. I don't think this is just for dealing with situations as they come up, but as a general approach to relating with a partner.

I always look at those old couples that are smiling at each other, and still love each other and are still happy together, there must be something there... I wonder how they do it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mailing address

Letters can be mailed here:

My home address:

강원 고성군 거진읍 자산리

동진아파트 C동 3003


South Korea

If you want to send something that won't fit in a mail box, please mail here:

School address:

강원도 고성군 거진읍

봉평리 31-1 거진중학교


South Korea

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I've been listening and watching this lecture by Joseph Campbell called Sukhavati (Part 1, Part 2) which means "Place of Bliss". Every time I listen to it, something else hits me. Another idea presents itself and another realization is made. It is so moving that sometimes I get all teary-eyed. It's making me see things in a different way, awaken something inside, be able to observe and see things clearly around me.

I see people differently, I see their actions differently, I see ideas differently, I see my place in all of this differently.

I always think back of this analogy that my dad told me about this pyramid that has different levels of awareness and consciousness. And the higher you go, less people are at that level.

It becomes a very lonely place when you break away from the norm and go on your own path.

I am understanding Ryan more and more, and am getting a little taste of what he's been experiencing.

It's wonderful, yet sad and depressing at the same time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hm... and where am I supposed to sit??

Find Abby

Hm... is she here?

Or here?

Oh, there she is :).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Last weekend I went to Seoul and finally got a kitty. Her name is Abby, she's 4 years old, really fat, very affectionate and super cute. As soon as I went to the shelter and sat down, she came and sat in my lap. I knew that she was the one. I feel like she's watching over me, being all bossy and telling me to go to bed at a decent hour. She's finally more comfortable with the apartment and the noises around. She's not hiding under the sink counter anymore and she's not running away at every noise she hears. She's even playing with stringy cat toys. She's sleeping by my feet when I'm on the computer, she'll walk all over my papers when I'm doing school work, she'll come and snuggle up when I'm knitting.

Here's a picture of her.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting active again

So, after realising how much time I've wasted, and how much I've ignored myself, I've kicked old habits in the ass and moved on to greener pastures, as they say.

Which means...

I've told my co-teacher I don't want a ride to work and back, so now I walk in the morning and in the afternoon for 20 or 30 minutes depending what school I'm going to. I've found these super amazing looking winding roads that connect all the houses and their vegetable gardens in the area. That's how it looked like back in the day before the big roads and before the modernisation. Very beautiful. I'll take some pictures when the weather clears up and it's a bit more sunny. Also, I've joined the gym :). I went yesterday for a "run" on the treadmill. It wasn't much of a run, more like a fast walk. But it was a good start. I'm trying to get into a good routine.

The other thing I'm doing... at work, since I do have quite a bit of time between classes and I'm sometimes too lazy to prepare lessons, I've started reading this book called "The easy way to quit smoking". It's a book by Allen Cerr. I'm hoping to quit smoking once and for all.

Another thing that hopefully is going happen here in this rural area of Korea is to start a Stitch and Bitch club. That's right, it's a crafts club. You get together with usually other women, and you can knit, croshe, do needle work, draw, do bead work... whatever sort of crafts you are interested in. And naturally, you get to talk to other women and have a nice time. There a club like that in Seoul and thankfully they meet on Sundays so maybe I'll join theirs and see what's up. I want to knit some blankets or some sort of floor mat. Who knows, something that's useful. Maybe a bed for the new cat I'll be getting next weekend :D.

That's right. I'm not used to having such a big and empty space all to myself, and a cat would be really great to have. I've seen loads of kittens around town, but I'm not sure how wild they are or if they are sick or who knows, so I'll probably go to Seoul to the cat shelter and find a cat there that needs a home :). I've tried to find a hand-me-down cat from other foreigners but those cats are passed along pretty quickly. Am very excited :). I'll make sure to put up the pictures as soon as I get her/him :).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy like a...

So, I've been at this job for a month now, and I think I've taught only 10 classes so far. WOW!! In total, I only have 6 classes of middle school and 8 classes of elementary, 1 regular teachers class and 4 English teachers classes. That's even less than the 22 hours I'm supposed to teach. I've got lots of holiday, on Friday I finish work at 12:40 and then I can go home. If anyone is having to choose between public school and hagwon well, there really is no choice. Public school will always be better than the hagwon. Stress level is way down, prep time is up, holiday time is up, variety is up... I could never go back to working in those sweat shops.

You know, at my last job, I was working 35 hours a week. That's actually 35 60minute hours. Now, at this job, I work 22 hours a week. But that's not 22 60minute hours. It's 22 classes, of which 8 are 40 minutes long, and the rest are 45 minutes long. So I don't even teach for 22 full hours. I actually teach only 16.5 hours a week, and most of the time some of the classes are cancelled because of tests, meetings or field trips, I get 5 weeks or more paid holiday, I get school holidays, national holidays, weekend... This is not really work :D HEHEHEHEHEEHE. I love my job :D!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Father Abraham

There's a different version to use for the kids, but it's too churchy. So I found a super funny version that can be altered for kids. Enjoy the comedy. Imagine this with a class full of hyper active kids. HAHAHAHAHA :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chuseok Weekend Party

This is the bust terminal in my town.

This is my town.

Some local products drying up in the sun. Squid, mmmmm.

Yay, here are some people.

Josh looking all smiley and cute.

I think we are discussing something.

We spent more time in the kitchen than in the living room. Good that I had a few places where people could sit.

Guess who that is :)

Everyone went into their own philosophical discussions.

Link preparing for trouble.

In the kitchen. Thanks Lisa for the group shots. In the back: Tasha, Link, Coleen. In the middle: Jose, Stephanie and Nathan. And in the front, Josh and me. Erin and Mike hadn't arived yet and Lisa is taking the picture.

Group picture. Hm... you can't really see what we are all eating. In the back: Mike, Jose, me, Josh. And then going in a circle we have: Nathan, Coleen, Link, Tasha, Stephanie and Erin.

Ok, so I have only 1 spoon, and Coleen got it first. So Nathan had to eat cereal with chopsticks. It worked ok.

There are many praying mantes in my town, and on the rail as you go down the stairs there are always a few of them just hanging out. Jose named this one Henry, and took him on a walk through the whole town. He was a cool mantis.

It's Saturday night and we finally make it to the back. We brought some alcohol with us and we were ready to go and relax on the beautiful sand :).

Awwwww, they are so cute.

We were all telling each other why we chose to come to Korea. It was a nice.

Lisa got tired and laid down.

We found a drunk man on the stairs, so Nathan took a picture spooning with the random drunk guy. Great shot! Perfect for the family album :) hahahaha.

Saturday nights sleeping arrangements. Lisa ended up taking my bedroom because Link and Tasha wanted to sleep with us in the living room. We were having too much fun and they were feeling left out.

Everyone had a blanket.

Coleen scored the couch.

And here we go, Nathan and Stephanie making out :P.

Josh chose to sleep on the balcony. He didn't want to even take a blanket or anything to lay on. I knew better tho. I made him take something to cover himself with and also something to lay down on. It's pretty cold at night out here.

11 foreigners take over Geojin transportation. It took a while to explain to the bus driver where we wanted to go, and him to tell us how much the ticket costs. In the end everything was ok.

We were going to the Unification Observatory. Can you find the spelling mistake in the road sign?

There were nice beaches everywhere, but so many of them were fenced in with all this barbed wire stuff. I guess they worry about the North Koreans invading the shores.

Nathan was eating ice-cream. It got very messy.

I said, no-one look this way. They did well :)

This was in a little van going up to the actual observatory.

Oh Erin, nice shot :).

Yay, everyone hold on :).

I like Erin's face expressions.

Yup, this is what I thought too when I saw how the driver was flying on the narrow roads.

Some weird statues at the observatory that we just all wanted to take a picture around.

Penis wine. I wonder what it's made of.

Tasha was amused :).

I think this was South Korea.

And this is North Korea.

Beautiful mountains in the distance.

Aw, the classic shot on the big hill.

Hehehehe, Jose looks like he's got a small head in this picture. Not that he's got a big head, but you know...

After everyone else left Sunday night, we went to a Pork or Beef stew restaurant. Group pose before the food arrived.

Erin and Mike preparing to stir the food.

Me showing them how to stir it. I've got a crazy look on my face... whoa!