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Category — Culture

Winter Vacation Part 4 – El Nido

Hi Everyone!  here is the El Nido installment!  This is a rather large post laden with videos that I suggest you watching.  We got a little obsessed with our water proof camera case!

January 12, 2010 06:19 PM

I don’t know if Chad mentioned that it was raining A LOT when we were in El Nido.  Above is a picture of Chad on our first day.  We were famished and dirty from the bus ride.  We just sat and watched the waves.

January 12, 2010 06:21 PM

A view from the restaurant in our hostel.  Watch out for sea spray!

January 13, 2010 11:20 AM

I have to say, yes, I went to the Philippines because I wanted some Vitamin D.  That being said, it was really wonderful to see the islands surrounded by storms.  You never see clouds in a postcard.  Despite the fact that we couldn’t run around in the sand without being pelted by rain drops, it was very beautiful.

January 13, 2010 05:30 PM

One our second day the weather cleared up by the late afternoon so we decided to take a sunset cruise.  Cleared up meaning we could walk without being drenched.  It was a rocky boat ride but it was nice to get out and Chad took some magnificent photos.

January 13, 2010 05:36 PM

On the third day we decided to sign up for an island hopping tour and brave the weather which cooperated above and beyond our expectations.

January 14, 2010 09:40 AM

Island Hopping Boat Tour – Sea Level

January 14, 2010 09:44 AM

Sunshine!  We are so happy!

Next is a video of me waving.  Woot.  You can tell we were adjusting to the underwater filmography.

Kate Waving – UNDER WATER!

January 14, 2010 09:49 AM

My mask was a little tight.

January 14, 2010 10:14 AM

Chad has some awesome nautical moves!

January 14, 2010 11:07 AM

This is probably me favorite video (LaGOONy).  Chad head butts the camera and when the lens is in and out of the water it looks like we have HUGE bodies and tiny heads.  Oh, and NAME THAT TUNE!  Sorry, it’s me and not Chad singing!


January 14, 2010 11:17 AM

We finally found fish!  This spot was amazing.  We saw more fish here that our entire diving trip in Thailand last year!


Look forward to another fish video at the marine sanctuary on Panglao.

January 14, 2010 12:31 PM

This is our lunch spot.  Look at the video for a panoramic view!

Lunch Break Beach

January 14, 2010 06:15 PM

Relaxing after a long and wonderful day on the water – wow we got roasted!

January 14, 2010 06:15 PM

The porch area of our hostel.

January 14, 2010 06:17 PM

Our final day we decided to do a cliff climb.  It was fantastic.  Just us and the guide and limestone!

January 15, 2010 02:52 PM

The view was incredible and terrifying!  Look at the video!

Cliff View of El Nido

January 15, 2010 03:07 PM

January 15, 2010 03:10 PM

We could see that red flag from the beach in front of our hostel – it was soooo tiny!

January 15, 2010 03:11 PM

Me with our guide.

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

Water break!

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

Whoa Nellie!

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

So, after the sunset sail we went on an evening swim in the ocean.  I got in a fight with a stray board – it won.  While we were snorkeling my wounds got sunburned!  You can tell that I had fun!

January 16, 2010 06:58 AM

Time to go back to Puerto Pincessa.  Above is the kind of bus we took to El Nido.  Below is the less comfortable option we took back.

January 16, 2010 06:59 AM

Next, Bohol!

In other news, we are doing really well!  I can’t believe that our time here is almost up.  We finish at school next Wednesday, we leave Samcehok a week from tomorrow, then we take off for Beijing on the 4th!  Also, we will officially be back in Chicago on the 19th of April at 3:10 PM!  YAYY!!  We can’t wait to get home and see all of our family and friends!

Thank you for keeping Grandpa Baird in your thoughts – keep it up!  He is improving to the point of serenading Grandma Baird on her birthday/Valentine’s Day!  We are very happy!

Well, it’s time to look for some more Couch Surfers for our trip.

See you two months from today!

Love, Kad & Chate

February 19, 2010   Comments Off

GyeungJu School Field Trip

Recently our school went on a double field trip day with some of our Garden school funding.

NOTE: Our school was designated a “Garden School” earlier this year and given some huge amount of money to renovate and redesign the programming.  Kate and I have no idea really why our school was given this “honor” but we can assume it has something to do with our Vice Principal who last year was a supervisor at the office of education, so he has lots of connections.  This all doesn’t really affect us toooo much except that everyone is going crazy trying to figure out how to spend all the money and we’re cramming in a bunch of field trips before the end of the school year to use some of it up.  Hence.. the double field trip day.

The 4-6 graders went to Seoul for 2 days to visit another Garden school and to see some museums etc.  The 1st-3rd graders went to Gyeungju.  This city is about 3 hours south of Samcheok and used to be one of the dynasty capitals before the country was unified and Seoul became the capital.  We’re talking 600-1000 years ago…  So we toured some of the major historic sites, a museum, and a famous Buddhist temple.  I’m glad we got to go on this trip even though the 1st-3rd graders are more difficult to handle than the older kids.  We’ve seen Seoul so many times, it was nice to check off another place (even if our trip was very fast and not at all comprehensive :-) ).

Here are some of our pictures from the trip.  If you’d like to see the full gallery check it out in the photo pages or click here.

*A note to the reader, Chad did the grunt work for this and I am filling in the captions.  Now you know why Chad suddenly became much more effeminate.  It’s just me!    -K

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The sunrise on our way to see the old city.  We have to leave at 7!

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Approaching the tombs.  They are from the Silla dynasty (they think).  They were enormous and I think they are one of Korea 1 billion wonders.  I think we saw about 10 that day.  They are scattered all over the place which was very striking when we were driving up.  Did we mention the cold?  It was cold.

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This is one of the fist astronomical observatories in Korea!  It’s next to the tombs.  We stopped there long enough for each class to get a picture then we moved on.

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Next we visited the old royal palace.  If my memory serves me well I’d say it burned down a few hundred years ago and the building are abotu 20 years old (replicas).  There was a time lapse.

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Now we are visiting a temple.  I have to say, the Korean temples have sadly started to melt together in my memory but this one really stands alone.  It has two towers inside and they were beautiful.  One of the towers was being restored and we got to climb the scaffolding and peak at the man working.

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This is one amazing picture!  That new lens has really been paying off!

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Isn’t this amazing?

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Here is the man working on the tower.

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That’s me and my man!

Well, on another note, we are doing very well.  I have been grinding away on my applications and Chad has been AMAZING through it all.  He deserves lot’s of high-fives.

I hope that everyone is doing well.  This is out last Christmas in Korea.  We are pretty excited – there are a lot of wonderful things coming up!

Oh, and Molly will be here in 2 weeks then we get to go to the Philippines!  Lucky dogs!

Kate & Chad

December 12, 2009   2 Comments

English Festival (Updated!)

Last week the Samcheok Office of Education hosted an English Festival for all of the Elementary and Middle Schools.  This 3 day event was mainly a competition consisting of speeches, skits, and quiz games.  Our school participated in all of the events and Kate and I judged a few of the events as well.  All in all it was a fun few days and a nice break from being at school :).  Here are some pictures from the event.  For the full album visit this page.

I’m also in the process of uploading videos from the event.  They’ll be up soon. UPDATE: They’re up now!

As always – click the image to see a larger version.

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This is MinJae – one of the students in our skit.  He’s amazing… and has the best smile around!

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Our 2nd grader, Hanbit, reading an English story about his mom.  Be sure to check out the video of this… adorable.

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This is Miguem.  Kate wrote about her speech a few weeks ago here. She did a great job!  Again – a video will be up soon. is here!

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These little guys were from another school and they sang and danced to a song called “Do the Elephant!”.  Pretty amazing!!  Check out the video soon!

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We did “Who’s on First” for our skit.  It was pretty great – at least we thought so.  They did a great job and I think they understood it which was great.  This is Who, What, and I don’t know – the players.

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This is Jaeook and Minjae – the fans going to the baseball game.  They’re both really sweet boys in the 6th grade and they did a great job in the skit!

Throughout all of this – Kate was more nervous than any of the students.  But they all did a great job and Kate made it out alright too :)


November 21, 2009   Comments Off