on the other side of the world….
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Adventure Fridays…

I’m writing this at my Friday school Kongcheun Elementary 공촌초교. Kate is sitting next to me after an unexpected trip here from her Friday school Jangho Elementary 장호초교. How did we arrive at this pleasant surprise? The story, I will tell…

This morning early, at about 8:20, Kate and I were picked up by Stephane (pronounced – [Stef-awn] – A 40 something single Korean man who enjoys going to singles night at his christian church. His nick-name is Stephane from the time he spent working as a missionary in a French speaking country. We drive the 25 minutes to my school Kongcheun listening to Korean Christian ballads and not really talking much at all. This is all part of the Friday Routine (if you can call it that). I get out at my school and walk up to find many extra cars in the parking lot. (No longer are we on a normal schedule – from here on out it gets more and more random). I walk in to find Principals from other schools, VP’s from other schools and other high up administrators from the ministry of education in Samcheok. This was somewhat expected because today I was teaching in a Demonstration Co-teaching class. We practiced for this last week so that students were well rehearsed. I walked around a met some of the “powerful people” and then we practiced a bit before the class at 10:10. The back of our classroom filled up with observers and we taught a most perfectly rehearsed class. Even the Korean teacher, who doesn’t speak much English, said most of her English directions without having to look at her script. We were all pleased. Then they started to move desks in for some bigger meeting, so I left and went back downstairs. One of the supervisors for Elementary Ed in Samcheok (who has introduced himself to me now, 3 – 5 times, he drinks a lot and already smelled of soju at 9am this morning) came into the office and asked me to come upstairs to discuss our lesson. I obliged and went to sit in on an hour meeting (ALL IN KOREAN) about my co-teacher’s and my class. It was very exciting. :( Then I waited another hour doing nothing but chatting with Kate on gmail about how confused we both were, then ate lunch – a sprawling traditional Korean meal (made by the school cafeteria) including raw octopus, wheh (raw fish), snails, Noodle soup with beef (all I ate) and of course – rice and kimchi. Everyone ate and was merry for 15 minutes and then left. Seriously, it was that fast.
After everyone left, I sat and started to write this post. Then I hear “Chad? ” Whoa it’s Kate!!

Kate’s day was less surprising in the morning. No large crowds of important people or raw Octopus. But, because her principal was at MY school, they had a very relaxed day and decided to out to eat and go fishing. Fishing however is MAN’s Activity, so she was banished to the joy of Kongcheun. Stephane wanted Kate to come fishing, but no one else did :) So they all went out to eat, then drove her to my school and said “Go find your boyfriend”. Then, “Hitting Bong” (seriously, that’s his nick name – his last name is bong) came in and told us we are going to dinner with him and his principal. Then we find out it’s the whole school in celebration of the morning. Now everyone is cleaning up the school, and we are sitting here bored and slightly confused. This is the tale of pretty much every Friday… It’s always an Adventure.

If anything else crazy happens we’ll be sure to update this post. But for now, wish us luck!