Tuesday, September 29, 2009


so here is a picture blog of our latest adventure:
climbing ulsanbawi. ulsanbawi is a tall mountain thingy at the national park here in sokcho.
so of course we need to start with the obligatory picture of the HUGE buddah statue :-p

so this is where we are headed to. the map said it was going to be over a kilometer of "hard" hiking. yeah, we were in for a long day . . .the rocks of ulsanbawi are rather interesting. they are almost like a stark white when everything around them isnt. also there isnt any foliage on it, it makes ulsanbawi rather distinctivealong the way there were a couple of random temples. so we stopped and took some pictures. rather cool. this is about the coolest temple fountain we've seen . . .we think some random monks are interred in these . . .another random temple along the way . . .also, along the way was heundeulbawi. . . literally translated it means rocking rock. the goal is to push the rock off the ledge, even though its impossible. pretty much its famous for being a rock :-peven though there were stairs for part of the hike it was a literal climbing of a mountain. at many points the stairs were more like a glorified ladder then stairsthe rock above the stairs fell and is percariously perched above the stair case. it would be nice to think this was the first time we thought we would die along the hike, it wasnt, and it wasnt the last either :-pagain the rocks looked really coolthe coolest thing about the hike was at the top they set up a mini tourist trap! now the last thing you need after hiking for 5 hours are people trying to sell you stuff. about the most humorous thing up there is that one guy had a bull horn. what makes this funny? the top portion was only 10 feet wide by 30 feet long. if he just talked you would have been able to hear him :-p

tova was happy that we survived . . .i was ecstatic apparantley :-pand a view of our city from the top. thats pretty much our whole city. its tiny, but we love it
in total we spent about 5 hours going up (including stops for pictures, and random temple viewage) and two hours climbing down. it was pretty awesome. we had a great time, and we were sore for the next week:-p until next time . . .

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Adventures

This weekend, Jump was in Sokcho! I'd seen signs up around Sokcho that said it was a "comic martial arts performance." I had decided long ago that I wanted to take D to it, but I wasn't sure about the details. This week, my coteacher told me it was free to go, so that completely decided it for us. :-)

We walked into the cultural center in our town and were promptly hosed down with hand sanitizer from an employee. We were then given a little booklet and a pamphlet about swine flu. :-) We took our seats, and waited for the performance to begin.
It was AMAZING... Here's a little clip that shows some of what it was like. Enjoy!
We also stopped by a festival thing at Expo Park. It was so fun!! We're so blessed to be in such an exciting city. There are so many "tiny" things going on all the time that we just happen to run into. There are so many reasons to miss home, but so many reasons to be grateful for where we're at. I just wish y'all were here with us. Miss you guys.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


oh how i love korea . . .

here is a funny story, hope you enjoy it.

so my co-teacher has a cactus. he had it when i first met him in december.
it was a very sorry looking cactus. it was in a browning paper cup and it hadnt been watered in months, and that was in december.

fast forward to february. we move our offices to the new office space. he moves said cactus. he doesnt want to throw it away, but there isnt any room for the cactus in the new office, so it finds its way behind a door in a cabinet.

three may comes around, and said cactus is still in the cabinet. no water, no sunlight . . . nothin'.

then comes mid-july. there is a woman who worked at my school for just the summer break. there was no room for her in the main office space, so she worked out of our office (we had an extra desk)

she was looking around the office, and went inside the cabinet and saw the sorry looking cactus. she took it out of the cabinet and gave it some much needed TLC for the first time in almost a year. a few weeks later she leaves.

for some reason today (almost october) i ask my co-teacher where is his cactus. (i always teased him about how he didnt take good care of the cactus) and this is what he said:
"you wouldnt believe it. you know the woman that worked in our office? she took my cactus. for real. when she left she took MY cactus. she didnt even ask me, it was MY cactus" (he is saying this while half laughing)

such is the life in korea. you go to another school for a month, you find a cactus in a cabinet, you nurse it back to health and then you take it home without asking whose it is :-p

i love it

Thursday, September 3, 2009

how are you doing?

many people when they learn a new language stick to the basics. they know a couple of phrases and that is all. that is totally fine with me. as many of you know with my struggles with spanish, i can easily empathise and i understand this completely

sometimes when i am walking home i will have some random stranger try to talk to me to practie their english since i am a foreigner. i love having the interaction with people, and see how they respond when i understand them. (i totally understand this feeling when i try to speak korean to someone and they understand my very basic and rudimentary english)

now as further backdrop to the story . . .
when you ask someone in korea "how are you doing?" you get the very basic "i am fine thank you how are you?" they have memorized this. i once had this funny exchange with a 7 year old boy with tova
boy: how are you doing?
me: great, how are you?
boy: i am fine thank you how are you?
me: great, how are you?
boys: i am fine thank you how are you?

this went on for a while, he was just so used to repeating that phrase. again completely understandable. i only know a couple of korean phrases myself

so in my class i want to push my students, so EVERY class i ask them how are you doing, and i do NOT take "fine" as an answer. instead on my powerpoint i have many words: happy, sad, depressed etc. to get more information from them.

this was a funny exchange yesterday in my class

me: how are you doing?
student: i am ashamed
me: why are you ashamed?
student: uhm, elevator 20 minutes
me: what?!
student: yesterday, elevator broke, me in elevator 20 minutes
me: yesterday you got in the elevator and it broke, and you were in the elevator for 20 minutes?
student: yes, that is why i am ashamed

HILARITY! i love my job, and my boys they are hilarious