Tuesday, September 28, 2010

socks! sweatshirts! wahoo!

I LOVE fall.

It means that I can wear sweatshirts (my favorite article of clothing), sweaters, and long pants. Also, I get to put on my mismatched socks. Now, I don't particularly enjoy shoes, per se, but I looooove socks. But they can't match.

Today I'm sporting one blue with polka dots and the other with white/red/pink/yellow, courtesy of my pal, Nikki.

And JEANS, as it is now week 5 and I'm allowed to wear them until week 8. Fab.

The workplace is a bit hectic, what with our Head Instructor gone without a replacement, but we're all surviving. I think I will have to watch "CCTV's" of the other teachers because I have a free period on Thursdays. Not really looking forward to that, as I said NO to the Head Instructor position and this is one of the duties...........but I'm trying to stay positive about it. If anything, I can pull from my fabulous coworkers' great ideas and use them in my own classroom. :)

I'm thinking of joining a gym, mostly to get me busy in the mornings and to get some exercise when the weather turns chilly. Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on.

I must say that I'm enjoying my coworkers a lot these days and I find myself wanting to hang out more beyond work. It's a great feeling, but a little difficult with also wanting to be with Justin 40 minutes away. We'll figure it out, though.

That feeling when the seasons change, that I wrote about a few weeks ago? It's still there. It's not quieting yet, and I don't know what that means. In practical terms, it means I stay up late at night tossing and wake up early with my heart racing. It's uncomfortable, and I'm afraid it's affecting my relationships. I don't know how to quiet the storm in my chest.

Ahhh, but it's socks and sweater weather. Can't be down about that now, can we?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

chuseok and goodbyes and other stuff

Hey! I'm back on the blog. With pictures! Get excited.

Korea has a national holiday called Chuseok, which historically was a time for families to go home to help with harvest. Now, it's named the "Korean Thanksgiving." For the foreigners, it's 3 days off of work. I taught silly classes to the few students to show on Monday and Friday and three glorious days away in between.

Remember when I went to the beach? Well, the same folks organized a trip to Deokjeok-do for the holiday. Deokjeok is an island off of Incheon.  We had to cross under the biggest bridge ever.

Justin and his coworker didn't have to work on Monday, so they went to set up early. They found a great spot, right on the beach.

There's our $15 kid tent with Justin's tarp from home. Thank goodness for the tarp, because Tuesday was a VERY rainy and windy day.



 After arriving, Justin and I walked around the town. I guess it's more of a village. Anyhow, there were a few old buildings and many pensions/minbaks (typical motel-like rooms...without beds). As it turned out, a group of about 80 foreigners came to stay on the island, as well. Luckily, most of them slept in the pensions and we had the camping to ourselves.

Here are some of the buildings and sights around the town.




















I was all ready for some fun in the sun......but the weather wasn't cooperating.

These trees are hundreds of years old. Apparently.


Shortly after the walk around town, it started to rain. Then, it started to pour. Then, there was sideways rain. We took cover to make food that night:

The next morning, it had stopped raining but the skies were still gray. It was a lazy day and we mostly just made food and talked with everyone. Justin and I took a short walk to a bit of a pier where some men were fishing. I really enjoyed the fishing boats.

























There was a rousing game of volleyball that evening and the sunset was the best I've seen since I've been in Korea.



We'd been wanting to go on a hike but the weather hadn't cooperated thus far. SO, knowing the weather was supposed to turn around Thursday, we woke up early and were not disappointed. What a beautiful hike! When we got to the top, we rested at a pagoda and were able to take in views of the surrounding islands. GORGEOUS. That's all I can really say. I hope the pictures speak for themselves.
 The pagoda:



Below you can see the beach that we camped on and the small town.

A great place for a picnic, along the ridge we walked to get back down:

The water was crystal blue. 

After the hike, I had 2 hours to lay on the beach in warm sun before Justin and I had to leave to come back to Suwon. Overall, it was a great trip.

The water from the ferry ride home:


Friday marked the last day of the Head Instructor at my school. He's a pretty great person, with whom I've enjoyed discussing the latest "This American Life" podcasts. Blake was here for two years and he and his girlfriend, Nicole, plan on traveling in South America for the next year. Living the dream.

Anyhow, my coworkers and I took him out for dinner and a fun night before he left. I will miss him a lot!

Alex (a Brit) and Vy. Lovely folk.

At dinner! Notice the delicious chocolate cake.

Cheesin'. This is Blake.


BYE BLAKE! YOU WILL BE MISSED!


It's back to work tomorrow. So far this term, I'm enjoying my kids. We've gotten 2 new female teachers (great!) and are expecting another next week. It feels a bit hectic, but I'm sure it will all work out. Trying to stay positive and just get the job done.

The weather has turned drastically and now each day is sunny with a bit of chilly air. My favorite time of year. I can't wait for the leaves to start ch-ch-changing!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

nothing to do with korea...

It's beginning to feel like autumn. Yesterday, while the sun blazed hot, there was a cool breeze whipping through my hair on my walk to work. Waiting for the bus this morning, I actually got goosebumps.

At a change of season, I'm always reminded of that movie, Chocolat, about the woman and her daughter who always moved when the winds changed. I feel a bit of a kindred spirit with that movie, that woman. The winds change I and I want to change. I want to move. I want to start new.

In years past, I'm afraid I've made some rash decisions during the changing of the seasons. I'm really trying to stay sane this time around.

But it almost feels like I can't breath. I want to scream and cry and laugh. I want time to speed up, but also to slow down.

I just want to get past the change, because I know it will all settle down eventually.

What is to be done in the meantime? Breath. Breath. Breath. Reconnect. Listen to my favorite songs. Read my favorite books. Be with my favorite person and skype with my favorites at home.

I have to stay in the moment. I can't wish for something else or look back on what was. Because the moment is all I have.

And really, it is quite wonderful.