Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And the Fun Goes On

After the previous nights excitement and now two nights of fitful sleep, waking on Wednesday morning was admittedly a bit difficult.  I decided to forego breakfast (much to the dismay of my roommates),  giving me more time to get ready and enjoy some peace and quiet.  I knew i'd make it through the day after seeing the surplus of snacks the day before, so I passed on the morning kimchi. We were out the door again by 8 and ready for another day of fun throughout the island. 

Our first stop was almost an hour away from our resort - crucial time many of the students used to catch up the previous nights lack of sleep. Eventually we arrived at 일출랜드 [sunrise land] where we had just under an hour to explore the park, take tons of pictures and for many students enjoy some snacks. My popularity from the day before seemed to be fading as I wandered for the first 10 minutes alone and then bouncing between different groups of students. That or they were all still half asleep and sick of all the walking we had to do. Most of the teachers congregated together but I soon lost track of them and wandered the grounds with my students.

Capturing the true 석호
One of these things is not like the other
Had at least 10 different cameras on me
probably as close as I'll ever get to celebrity/paparazzi status

 민수 first victim to the fountain 
2-1 Girls, Love them all 
의찬 and 도환 enjoying their ice cream which I bought after 의찬 told me
 "Teacher, I heard a rumor that you are very rich so I think that you should buy us ice cream"
After the park it was back to the bus and off to 아쿠아클라넷 which is apparently Asia's largest aquarium. Personally aquariums don't excite me all that much but the students seemed pleased with it.  We walked around the halls looking at fish, lizards, and other sea creatures before soon being ushered to hurry up. I wasn't sure what was going on, are we late for lunch? time to leave already? but then realized we were being guided to the sea performance, little did I know that was included in our trip. As I scanned the crowd of students deciding where to sit I see 대식 and 석호 who conveniently have an open seat right next to them.  The show started with some synchronized swimmers who appeared to be from Russia - big, tall white girls, which just about put me to sleep. Thankfully they didn't last too long and up next was the sea lion show and dolphins, which were obviously a bit more exciting. 

By the time the show was over my stomach was making noises louder than a bear so I knew it must be time for lunch. Today we were in for a treat - rather than some pitiful buffet food we'd be having the famous Jeju black pig.  Okay so it was A LOT better than the mystery buffets we'd had for the last two days but in all honesty it was a bit of a let down.  The pork was about half fat half meat - which didn't seem to bother many, while I sat there trying to cut it off with my chopsticks - a skill i'm getting quite good at I must say. Matching the theme of the trip, lunch was over in a flash and we were soon on our way to destination number 4 of the day, 둘문화공원 [stone park]. The park had both natural stones and a museum dedicated to the unique stones of Jeju. I guess I failed to mention, Jeju is a volcanic island and is known by three things: Rocks (Seokda), Wind (Pungda), and Women (Yeoda). The rocks obviously a result of the volcanic activity from Mt. Halla, winds ever present throughout the island thanks to it's location, and women because historically many men were fisherman lost at sea, leaving numerous women behind. Anyway, the outdoor views were breathtaking but again it felt like we were running through the museum.

Jeju "Black pig"
2-5 class picture
annnd 2-1

2-8 and 2-1 girl with 박명철
After the museum we made our way to 역천사 which according to the sign translated to "Dirty water temple" somehow I don't think this is exactly what they wanted to say - probably used Google translate. I never actually saw a temple during our visit there, just took a half hour walk up to the woods, drank some holy water and left.  It was pretty but thanks to the death of my camera I only captured a few shots on my phone. 

After two long days of travel you can bet the students were tired and ready go head back to the resort, but too bad for them because our day was not yet over. Our (what we were told) was our final stop took us to 민속자연사박물관 [folklore and natural history museum], where all we did was take pictures at the entrance. I guess they figured the kids were too tired to appreciate anything inside the place so we were soon back in the bus and on our way. 

Buksam high school, Class of 2015

After a myriad of picture taking it was back on the bus for our real last stop, at the souvenir store. I'm usually not one for souvenirs but Jeju boasts some delicious chocolate which I may or may not have promised to some friends back home. I also soon learned / was reminded of the fact that Jeju Makgeoli is delicious so I also scooped up a few bottles of that for myself (which maybe i'll share if i'm feeling generous). The store was like a zoo with all of the kids and teachers trying to make their purchases but the workers were surprisingly prepared for us and handled the crowd efficiently.  Before long we were back at the resort, just in time for another of our delicious meals. Although I again snacked on fruit, rice cakes and coffee with a few other teachers before heading to dinner, I guess this was appetizers?

After dinner there was a whole lot of nothing to be done, I chose to sit in the lobby with a few students while the rest of the teachers magically disappeared. Although we weren't doing much, moments like these were some of the best parts of the trip. I was able to talk to students who are otherwise too shy to speak to me or half asleep in class. It's also a bonus for me as I now know who can speak English (limited as it may be) but refuse to speak in class - guess who i'm calling on next time I meet a moment of silence in class :) 

하시형 and 권민욱   "WOW"
Considering the fact that I was read for bed by about 9 pm I was expecting this to be a long night. I chose to shower both waking myself up and saving time for the next morning, and then head back out to see what the students were up to. Unfortunately the students had all been ushered to their respective rooms while the teachers were again gathering in the cafeteria. There was one bottle of soju on the table (in front of my principal, no surprise there) accompanied by platters of fruit, which everyone kept instructing me to eat. After listening to the principal talk for about a half hour I decided it was time for me to get out of there. I was texting with one of my students, 민진 and discovered she had a charger I needed for my camera so I made my way up to the girls room. They asked how I was and when I replied bored they invited me to stay. I taught the girls MASH which they loved and then one of them told me my future love fortune (let's hope she was accurate on that one). At maybe 12 they said it was snack time and proceeded to whip out just about every Korean chip, cookie or cracker I've ever seen. I told the girls I missed high school (the sleepovers, groups of 15+ friends and eating garbage all night long) so they told me "teacher tonight you are in high school with us".  These girls are truly amazing and i'm so excited to have another year with them. I was surprised that the two other teachers I was sharing a room with hadn't come to find me (as I had the key to our room) but upon leaving the girls room found out why. Apparently a group of boys thought it'd be cute to buy makgeoli, sneak it up to their rooms and then proceed to drunkenly fight each other. All of the teachers were in the lobby in what appeared to be a serious discussion while I walked by with my girls yelling "bye teacher, see you tomorrow!" out the door. 

1 comment:

  1. seeing you're the only girl in front in the "where's waldo" pic it wasn't too difficult to find you. Also, at the end of the blog did you say some students bought some alcohol and were drunk? Is it 18 over there? so like 16 over here? Interesting nonetheless. Thanks for posting one for me to read at work today!