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Posts from — September 2008

Chuseok in Taebaek

Two weekends ago Kate and I had a long weekend (5 days) for the Korean holiday of Chuseok. We decided to do some traveling over the break so we went to Taebaek City to go hiking with two of our friends Melanie and Michael. Taebaek is about an Hour from Samcheok by bus and it’s up in the mountains so there is a lot of great hiking.

Michael and Melanie – from Colorado – so they also like hiking… Michael has done about half of the 14ers! – (I’ve done… 5…. :)We got to Taebaek on Saturday night and found a place to eat that could accomidate the herbivores :) then went bowling! (Wandering around a new unknown city that is all in Korean is kind of hard, but we entertained ourselves pretty well). We stayed in a “Love Motel” which is.. well exactly what it sounds like, but they are the “normal” hotels in Korea – with the cost being about half that of a “Marriot” or some other chain hotel, everyone uses them when they travel. It was pretty nice actually – only odd thing was the foggy glassed bathroom and red light over the bed… but eh.. for only $45 a night we couldn’t complain.
We went hiking the next day in the Taebaeksan (Taebaek Mountains)

The terrain was surprisingly difficult! Which was good, and because of the humidity and heat we were all sweaty and tired by the top. (A good hike :) On our way up we stopped at a Temple a few hundred meters from the trail –

It was very cool – but it had be renovated for the mountain winters with nice windows and other amenities. The monks were chanting in the distance celebrating their ancestors – after all this was Chuseok – the Korean Thanksgiving day. We kept hiking and got to the top in about 3 hours.
This is a monument/temple at the top where people go to pray. It was quite busy because of Chuseok – and because this is one of the holiest mountains in Korea.
On our way down we found this amazing tree.. so we went in :)
Hey look – a Cliff! I will go peer over it :) Sorry mom… IT wasn’t that bad.. I promise.
We found the Sword in the stone!!
It was a great hike and a great trip. We even bought CHEESE at the E-Mart in Taebaek. (Very exciting!) We came back on Monday and still had Tuesday and Wednesday off to clean and relax before school started again. Hooray vacations in your 3rd week of work :)

September 23, 2008   2 Comments


We have Mosquitoes, Ants, and ginormous spiders in our apartment. It’s pretty bad :( I wake up with new bug bites every morning. I can’t wait until it cools off and the bugs disappear for a while! There was a Huge spider in our bathroom the other day and now… he’s gone … not sure about that. His name was Lord Malfordom or something like that. :) Anyways.. that’s my rant for the evening.

We taught at Geundeok today and it went pretty well. It’s definitely pretty obvious that we have never taught before.. but eh.. we’ll learn. The Kids seem to like us so far. Tomorrow is our first “Camp” day — 3 hours with one grade level all morning. Eek. Should be interesting – 15 first graders.

I better get some sleep – will need a lot of energy for “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands..”.

(I’m already sick of Children’s songs. this is a bad sign :)

Oh, and.. Go buy some stocks…. then go register to vote… then go tell all your liberal friends to register to vote. Then read this because it’s great.. NYTimes – Obama and Bartlett

Hope all is better than the news makes it out to be over there. Miss you all,

September 22, 2008   Comments Off

First Day at Jang Ho

Today was not only our first days teaching but alsp our first days at our Friday schools! Big Day! My school has about 30 students and I am only teaching 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. My biggest class had 6 students. Amazing.

The third grade class was wonderful, 5 little girls who were amazing at English speaking. After class they dragged me to the floor with them to play a dice game (pictured above). You throw a dice up and grab others from the floor while the dice is in mid air. There are levels of each throwing and grabbing seqence. . . They are really good at it and I am not. It was nice to just play with the students. At our other school there are many more students (a whopping 120) so there is less playtime with the teachers. I loved it. I had friends at lunch. :) Friends that do things like count to three and chant “Teacher is beautiful.” I need to train Chad to do that. ;)

After the 3rd grade girl crew I had the 4th grade boys. They requested English names and due to their giggly manner I found it appropriate to name them after my Dad and his brothers. Tom, Bob, Dave and Jim. There was a problem with my Dad’s name. . . “Bob” sounds like “Bap” which means rice in Korean. So, the kid felt like he was the staple food group instead of a strapping young Korroch. Robert sounded too much like robot so we settled on John. I call him John Bob.

Finally I got semi-ditched by my co-teacher for my last class. I am training the 5th grade on Peter Piper. They actually liked it. I hope to get lots of tounge twisters into them.

Happy Weekend!


September 18, 2008   1 Comment