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!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yaaay for kids

Today I had my first day at the elementary school. Those kids are sooooooooooo cute. So, I walked there, it took me 35 minutes of walking relatively fast. The last stretch was the toughest because it was up a really steep hill. It's a super nice walk, so I don't mind it. I first had the 3rd graders. There are 21 students in that class, which is great. Not too many. They were really into my lesson, and were very curious about me. They are very competitive and competition will be the best way to keep them active. Next, I had the 4th graders who were super adorable. They all seem to understand English very well. They don't speak a lot, but they understand most of the things I say. That class has only 13 students, so it'll be very easy to do things with them. I was sitting in the back of the class observing, and they kept coming and asking me questions. Then, when the class finished they all came and swarmed around me and were saying one word in Korean. Then one said "Lunch time". Aaaaaah. Then one girl grabed one arm, another one grabed the other arm and then two other kids started arguing because they wanted to hold my hand, so here I was being escorted by a crowd of 11 year olds to the lunch room where they were talking and talking and talking. One kids asked me if I have a boyfriend. I said no and he said he'll be my boyfriend. HAHAHAH! Sooooooooo cute. Then we all went in, they showed me where to go, and we all sat together and ate lunch. One of the kids told me I had to eat all my food because otherwise I would get a red sticker. A red sticker is bad. I said bye and they all were very sad and were waving and saying bye bye until I was all the way down the 3 flights of stairs and they couldn't hear and couldn't see me. My next class was the 6th graders. As soon as I walked into the class, all the girls were all over me. Hi, hi, hi, hi, what's your name, nice to meet you, hi, hi. Then they usherd me into a chair and showed me the game they were playing, then it was my turn. They were cheering and uhing and ahing at my skill to throw up a little rock and pick up the other 4 off the ground. I did my intro shpiel and when I finished I was going to sit down, but they all wanted to introduce themselves. I was surprised at how well behaved they were, how well they listened and how interested they were. Now, this might all be wrong and just my first impression because it was my first day. In any case, I had a very good first impression and I'm really excited about starting to teach there next week.

More stories, including pictures to come :).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I love my place

Yay!! So, I've finally gotten my apartment in order. All that is left is doing the dishes, sorting the things in the cupboards and finishing my laundry. Then it's all ready :). Then I have to start cooking and get some more alcohol because this weekend is Chuseok, the Korean thanks giving and we have a long weekend. So, some of the people that I met at my orientation in Seoul are going to come visit for the weekend. So, from Friday until Monday all these nice people will be staying on my floor. I can't wait. There might be either 8 or 10 people, depending if one couple come. I haven't had a party at my place in a long time, and this time it actually is my own place. After cleaning up and organizing and throwing out the garbage, it looks so neat and spacious and clean and whoaaaaa!! I will take pictures and upload them up here soon so you can all see how I've changed the apartment around. 3 more days and then it's party time :). I'm going to make a whole bunch of things and then hopefully people are going to bring some things and they can cook some things as well and we'll all just have a feast :). Alright, off to bed with me :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New moments

This is for growing, this is for learning, this is for loving, this is for sharing, this is for discovering our true selves. This is for an end and for a beginning.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I'm holding on to the flutter board, kicking the water away in this really nice and very modern looking pool, and I'm thinking about what person in my life should be the most important: my parents, my sister, my friends, or MYSELF. Is that being selfish? I don't think so... and then I was wondering why I was putting in so much energy, time and effort for an idea? Is it making me happy, not anymore... The balance of good and bad is gone, and not in a good way. I'm getting close to giving up on trying.

My town/village

The cities in red are the ones I've lived in. Before, I was living in Seognam, and now I'm in Geojin. It's pretty far up north, but it's very beautiful.

I have also updated the map with other locations I have been to in South Korea.