Friday, August 25, 2006

NamHae Tour

Just back from a short four day tour of NamHae Island with fellow teacher Adrian. Beautiful scenery, friendly folks, and good food. The roads were excellent, though they were a bit hilly for Adrian. He actually bought a bike the day before we left just for the occasion. Even though he hadn't been on a bike for at least half a year, I think he had a good time. We took it pretty easy, doing about 35 or 40 km a day. There was plenty to see.

On the last day we did nearly 70 km to get back to Gyeongsang here, and I think it nearly killed him.

In the news section of this entry, it should be noted that I will be an employee of this University for the next three months.

I guess I will be back for Christmas again?


This roof is for you Brett... I think it's a tea house.

Don't tell Adrian I showed you guys this picture... and watch out for the cliffs.

We managed to circle the entire island, the third biggest in Korea, on roads like this.

So... can you guess what those are?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Now what?

Finished up the camp yesterday, and I'm honestly sorry to see it finished. It was a great month of teaching and spending a lot quality time with some amazing children. There were a lot of tears on the last day!

What to do, what to do... I'm going to do a little cycling around Korea if the weather holds. There's rumor of a Typhoon out there though, so who knows what's going to happen.

A position teaching at the here at the University opened up for this fall that is mine for the taking. It would be a great job. Only 3 hours of class every evening with 14 uni students. Same deal with the room and board, and I could study some Korean with the Chinese students every morning for a small fee. There are also free tae kwon do lessons twice a week.
Best part is it's only a three month contract that finishes up on December 1st.

Hmmm. Not sure if I'm going to do it yet. Your suggestions are welcome.

Here are some pics from the past few weeks.

Ye-won and Hyun-min working on a Valentines Day crossword puzzle in the evening.

Morning exercise. Bring it on.

Left to Right: My students Hyun-chang, Min-kyung, and Eun-ji at morning exercise.

Young-in taking a break after morning exercise.

Hyun-min's morning face.

Ye-won and number 1 student Yu-jin pose for a picture. That's Jun-ho in the back.

Another day, another meal complimented by Kimchi.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

An Apology

Class 14!

Here are a couple pics of my homeroom class and our super awesome classroom decorations.

That tree contains a panda, a cameleon eating a dragon fly, a little yellow bird, and a bee hive. It's quite a little ecosystem.

The kids are really good, and having them all day makes things pretty easy. I've developed an easy going teacher student relationship based on mutual respect, which allows me to quietly emotionally blackmail them when they are bad. Needless to say, the kids behave really well.

This week has been a lot easier than last. Though the general atmosphere of stress amongst the teachers increases daily, I find myself more relaxed and energetic everyday.

This past weekend I went for a great bike ride with my 54 year old roommate (also a Canadian). Given the circumstances, you might be thinking that we were out for a leisurely country ride. You would be wrong. Gordon, who looks about 10 years younger than his age, has been a competitive triathlete for years. He's the kind of guy who gets up at 5:30 everyday and goes running. I'm the kind of guy who gets up at 9:00 everyday and drinks pu-er tea for two hours.

He just finished off a tour of Thailand and Laos by bike as well, and he told me that everyday he got up early enough to meet the first rays of sun on his bicycle. Brett and I were usually on the road by 10:00. Well, at least 10:30, or 11:00 at the latest.

Anyway, I have to reiterate that Korea is similar to Taiwan. Biking around, there's a similar feeling in the air.

Actually, I know nothing about Korea. I don't really feel like I'm anywhere. I'm just at a summer camp. It was a funny feeling to walk into town for pizza on Saturday - I was shocked to find myself in Korea.

I mean to say the Korea looks a lot like Taiwan. The buildings and the roads and railways. The brand new cars. The heat. Like that.
It's hard to enjoy it as much not being able to talk to people, but it's still a cool place.

As a side note, I have to mention an experience I had here on my first weekend. I went along with a big group of teachers to what was said to be the "best club in town". But, we walked in and found the dance floor was empty. The music was quiet, and terrible besides. I was pretty disappointed, so I went to buy a beer to console myself. I turned around a minute later, beer in hand, to find the entire dance floor full of people. At least 50 people were suddenly dancing. Strange.

Of course, we all went out on the floor to dance, and we were having a really good time until about half an hour later. The DJ said something into the mic in Korean, and everyone walked off the floor.

Apparently he said "now is time to stop dancing".

Twenty minutes later the DJ returned and seemed to announce "time to start dancing", because within ten seconds, all 50 people returned to the dance floor.

This happened again and again over the next two hours. Does this happen back home?

I'll try to post some more pictures later, including the much sought after "Aaron leads morning exercise in front of 250 elementary students" video.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


this is an audio post - click to play

Nothing new to post so... I recorded this last year in LuoDong as I walked by a funeral that took over a street near my apartment.

You'll probably have to turn up the volume to hear it clearly.