Friday, April 12, 2013

Touring the Island

Tuesday morning came way too fast with a wake up call blasting through the PA system - music included.  Breakfast was being served at 7am and I knew if I didn't go people would question what was wrong - why aren't you eating. As much as I give myself credit for adapting to the culture here, Kimchi at 7am is still not okay with me.  I shuffled through the line and chose some of the milder options - bean sprouts, fish cake and soup - it entertained me that there were leftover french fries from the previous nights dinner also up for grabs. 

Before long we were out the door and loading up the buses for a day of adventure. I was given a schedule before we left (all in Korean) but per usual our plans had changed - same destinations but all out of order. Thankfully that didn't matter much to me, I was just along for the ride. Our first stop was a beautiful coastal walk at a place I can't remember (or was never told) the name of.  Basically it was time to hear the students complaining that their legs were tired and it was too hot ~ not a good sign for the rest of the trip. Aside from the beautiful views and walking we took numerous pictures, the boys were hilarious (and gullible) as I got them believing my boyfriend was back in Buksam at my house while I was on this trip. I'm hoping these guys continue to talk to me back in the school setting because they were a blast to spend time with in Jeju ~ their true colors were definitely showing. 
This may be my new fan club 

Do you see what i'm dealing with here?
He wanted to do the titanic pose, how could I object? 
Another group of rockstars 
After our morning walk it was back on the bus for a short trip down the road, leaving us at 천지연푹포 [waterfall].  Again great picture opportunities, beautiful weather, hilarious students and lots of fun.  Oh one other thing to note - these kids are constantly eating! I guess I forgot what it's like to have the rapid metabolism and hunger of a high school student but I swear every stop we made they were buying ice cream, chips, meat, candy..pretty much anything the vendors were selling they were buying.

임동향 and I
*She's like my second mom over here*
After leaving the falls we made a quick stop at the International Peace Center, and when I say quick I mean it. I think we spent maybe 15 minutes there - basically ran through the place so I don't remember much other than the creepy wax statues on the lower level. They started with famous Koreans (actors, athletes, politicians) and then threw in a bunch of others - Ghandi, Nelson Mandella, Bill Clinton...strange.  Finally it was time for lunch, but again the food was unimpressive, another buffet line with some standard Korea dishes, again our school lunch might be better.  Back on the bus and heading north we finally found ourselves at 요두암 or Dragon's head rock. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse and my lightweight fleece wasn't exactly suitable attire for the walk.  Along with the drop in temperature there were some gusty winds to greet us along the shore.  Aside from that though the place was gorgeous, a bit hard to enjoy and appreciate as I was getting smacked in the face with cold gusts of wind but still impressive none the less. 


Yeah okay fine i'll try it - insta vomit 
I've now discovered a second food I dislike in Korea (the first being bondeggi) the second being whatever this creature was - I think they refer to it as Sea Cucumber, either way: never again.

이일, 동향 and I - really wish he spoke English 
고병진, principal and myself
~These two  love their soju, but what Korean doesn't?~
Back on the bus I had some time to thaw out - seriously I don't know how it got so cold so fast but I kind of wished I had brought my ridiculous yellow jacket along. Our next stop was, as I was told, a miniature theme park. I'm not sure what comes to mind when you hear that but I was thinking small scale Disney/Six Flags action, well I was a little off. They literrally meant miniature things - the white house, statue of liberty, titanic, tiananmen square, sydney opera house, etc.  It was basically gardens filled with mini statues, cool but at the same time I was getting tired, hungry and cold - next.

손정현, this kid is awesome, he doesn't always come to my class as he spends some time in the special ed room. Not sure if he has ADD or what but last year he would barely look me in the eyes much less even introduce himself to the whole class. He now greets me every morning (Hi, hello, good morning) and makes any attempt he can to carry on a conversation with  me. I've been blown away at the progress he has made in not only speaking English but also in having the courage to use it, I can only hope that I had at least a little something to do with this. 

대준, he makes my Fridays bearable 

After all of this and we were nowhere close to being finished, like I said, marathon tour of Jeju. I guess our tour guide wanted to make sure we got enough in because we were go, go, go all day long.  The next stop was at 곷자알 which was basically just a 20 minute walk through the forest, hence why I have no pictures of it. Then finally it was on to our last destination, 주상절리 which again provided some spectacular views.

Even after all of this adventure the day was no where near being over.  After returning to the resort (where all I wanted to do was take a nap) but instead went to the room next to ours for coffee and snacks. Ultimately I think all of us dozed off for a while before being called down for dinner ~ again unimpressive selection of food ~ but that didn't really matter because I was looking forward to the rest of the nights entertainment....but you'll just have to read on to find out what all the hype is about. 


  1. It really does look like 6 flags in the pics with superman. reminds me of the gift shop at the end of the roller coaster where you can buy junk or get your picture from the ride. Second, no wonder you're sick. You were underdressed for a significant period of time. Get back to getting better. You have a race in 2 weeks!!!

  2. The entire trip so far looks like everyone had so much fun. Every single picture is absolutely wonderful and the look of joy on the kids faces makes me happy. It does look kinda cold in a few pictures, but at least you had pants on......what about those poor girls that had skirts on? Brrrrr