Monday, November 28, 2011

HodgePodge POST

I'll say it right now: I haven't been taking very many pictures. Luckily, I have Justin to do that. He's been snapping away the last few weekends, documenting the random things we've done. So, here are a few pictures. Put them all together and you have a typical weekend/month of weekends in my life.

Suwon Fortress. We biked over there a couple of weekends ago and wandered around, kicking rocks and accidentally hitting people with said rocks. It was a good time.

[The couple I *accidentally* hit whilst kicking a rock. Note the matching sweatshirts.]

Spenser's Birthday. Unfortunately, he took most of the pictures that night
......and then had his camera stolen. Bummer. Here are a few.

[Birthday Boy on the way to dinner!]

[A little rock/scissor/paper action for the last bite]
[Grabbing Spenser a drink from a bag, successfully (almost) ending the night]
[5am waiting for the subway to start so we can go HOME]

A much slower-paced weekend. Insadong and "Thanksgiving" dinner with friends.

[I managed to partake in 3 "surveys" on Saturday. This was #2. They gave us a present for answering their questions! Sweet.]

[Oregon-brewed beer! Tasty.]

[Dinner with friends. No turkey, but a lot of laughter and great conversation.]
[Heading home at a much more reasonable hour--before the subway and buses stop!]
[Where we wait for our bus back to Suwon.]
 So, that's that. A few weekends in one post. Pretty good, yeah? Work is picking up, busy-wise. We're at the end of our semester, which means preparing for the next one. I'm about ready to say goodbye to my current batch of kiddos, but, as always, have slight trepidation for what the new semester will hold. It's a gamble what kids and classes you will get. Yikes!

Oh, and I'm also enjoying my last week of being 26. I'm looking forward to a quiet birthday weekend and a fantastic year ahead. Here we goooooo!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

It's Thursday, November 25th here in Korea and I'm waking up to chilling temps. blue skies, and a stillness that accompanies the winter that is approaching. It's been much colder in the last week, which leads me to believe that winter will definitely happen. There were a few weeks there that I wasn't so sure--while my homes in the states were getting snow or ridiculous amounts of rain, Suwon managed to stay a balmy 60*. I am thankful to be living somewhere that stretches its summer/fall into November.

I am also sending thanks out into the world for a family that supports me living in Korea. I know, some days it's not the best situation and we would all like me to be just a *little* closer (particularly on days like today). However, you all (Mom, Dad, Julie, Abby, Jesse, Gen) tend to stay on the encouragement side of things. I appreciate not having to hear the question "When are you coming home?' every time we talk. I REALLY appreciate it. You understand that I'm here for certain reasons, that I'm trying to experience all that I can in this short time, and I want to enjoy it. SO, thank you. ALSO, thank you for loving me. Always.

I'm giving thanks for the opportunity to be doing something slightly unconventional with my life. I'm in my second year living in Korea, yet I still catch myself in wonder that I actually live here.

Thank you, World, for dear friends who write me emails (of which I take forever to respond--you know who you are) to remind me that I am loved.

I am thankful to live a life that is open to new experiences. To have been given that little bit of courage to take action. I am thankful that I am able to use my limbs to their full capacity. I'm thankful to be able to hike. I'm thankful to work where I'm told "Teacher, pretty" at least once a week by the cutest kids you can imagine.

Lastly, I am thankful to be able to give thanks. There have definitely been times in my life that I have had a lot of difficulty thinking of things I am appreciative of. However, I believe I'm learning to be thankful each and every day. I have been given countless blessings and it feels good to recognize them.

I hope all of you back home enjoy a peaceful day. Sending love and thanking the universe that I know you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lantern Festival (TAKE TWO)

Last weekend I went to the Seoul Lantern Festival. It was my second time (having gone last year on the same weekend) but I was pleasantly surprised to find new lanterns and beautiful sights. As with last year, there was a mob of people and we waited in line for about an hour. Luckily, it didn't feel that long...before we knew it, we were walking on the Cheonggye River, admiring lanterns!

[Mob of people!!!]

[One of my favorites. I loved the birds.]

[There were two of these and they blew fire!]

[My favorite section--hundreds of small lanterns on coffee trees.]


Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Happy Wednesday! How are things where you are? All is good here in Korea. We just finished term tests yesterday (2 very easy days) and are resuming the usual schedule today. Calvin, a coworker, is on vacation, so today and Friday I have "long" days. Shouldn't be too painful, though.

Anyhow, here are pictures from the Makgeolli 막걸리 festival and HALLOWEEN. I know, I'm a little past due here...

[The setting of the festival! Beautiful!]

[Booths forever]

[Being silly]

[Makgeolli cups in hand. 2,000W for all you can drink]


[A man who had consumed WAY too much Makgeolli and was eager to chat...or yell]

[I fulfilled a bucket-list dream of being inside a costume like that! THAT'S ME!]

[Foreign teacher staff + 1 TA (in the mask!]
[The staff that dressed up. Erik and Harry did not partake.]

[Making bags to trick-or-treat with. That's Jack in the red. He's a funny kid.]
[Sarah. She wore her costume the Friday prior, too. Just because it was pretty.]   
[Janet! Alice!]

[Sally! Sweetest girl.]
[Jenny. Super smart and she really got into her costume!]
[Trick-or-treating to the older kids' classrooms!]

[Madness! I think they had a lot of fun, though.]

Autumn is really happening now...