Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lately...

It's been a while since my last post, but nothing too exciting has been going on, so I've been trying to save up my stories for a decent post. Here's what we've been up to lately: parties, school dinners, teaching, and sunshine.

A few weeks ago, our co-teacher June and her husband Matt hosted a barbecue at their house (they're actually living with June's parents temporarily, so they threw a party when her parents went out of town on a trip to Thailand). It was supposed to be an outdoor party, but surprisingly enough, it was too cold to eat outside, so we let Matt freeze outside and bring our hamburgers inside.


Some of the guests enjoying cake, chips, gimbap (rice and fish wrapped in seaweed), beer, and raspberry wine.


Jon with June's niece and her friend.


This baby was the center of attention. All the women were passing her around and taking pictures of her (these were women who had just met the baby's mom for the first time).

A few days after the barbecue, things started to warm up. How warm? Well, we were still wearing scarves and jackets, but we were willing to walk around outside for a reason other than going to school or the store. We decided to finally check out a lake that is located just north of our apartment. We pass this lake all the time on the bus on our way to other schools and on our way into town to buy groceries, but we've never walked in that direction. We decided to take a Saturday afternoon to picnic and walk around the lake.

Jon, being weird in the pavilion.


Koreans don't eat sandwiches on picnics, they eat gimbap!


The view from the pavilion.


A view of the lake.


We are so happy to feel almost warm.

Last week, the teachers took a trip to Gyeongpo lake in Gangneung. We were supposed to be taking this trip to learn about the "wetlands" (a man-made swamp with signs identifying birds that don't actually seem to live there), so we spent about 10 minutes walking through the wetlands and 3 hours eating and drinking.


The whole gang (minus Yeong Eon, who was taking the picture, and June who wandered off somewhere) in the "wetlands." That's the principal next to Jon.


The delicious duck we had for dinner. The white stuff is minced garlic and onion. It's set over a pot of boiling water and seasonings that infused it with more flavor. The stuff on the right is Kimchi Pajeon, a Korean style of pancake that sounds gross but is actually delicious.


Jon pouring a drink for the PE Teacher.


We really like this guy. He's a temporary teacher at our sister school.

This dinner was one of the most fun ones we've been to. Adding to the fun, was the fact that a couple of teachers were late, and they were given funny punishments. One, the 4th grade teacher, had to sing a duet with her friend (pictured above). I managed to capture it on video.


The student teacher at our school (her English name is Hazel) was two hours late to dinner, because she tried to leave early from the lake and skip dinner, but the principal noticed, so she had to drive all the way back to Gangneung. She brought everyone beer to make up for being so late. We were told that in order to surprise her when she came in, we should all "disco."



Last weekend, we had a surprising experience. We went to Gangneung to eat and drink coffee, and after walking around for a while we started to feel this mysterious feeling. We were hot. I actually had to take off my sweater and jacket and walk around in short sleeves! Since then, the weather has gotten cold again, but we made the most of this glorious day of warmth.





Frolicking in a park area in downtown Gangneung.

Of course, we've also been hard at work (sort of). Here's Jon singing and dancing with students during a break between classes.




You can find more photos here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trip to YangYang and Sokcho.

This past weekend, after several delays due to horrible weather, Jon and I finally made our way up to the YangYang/Sokcho area to visit Will and Theresa.

While waiting for the bus to YangYang, I decided to take some pictures of downtown Ingu, just to give you guys a better idea of what it looks like. It's obviously a hot spot!

In this photo you can see (From left to right) our "salon" (with the yellow doors), "Oh my Fried Chicken," Music Town (The Norebang we went to with Jon' dad), and the pharmacy.
These are Ingu's grocery stores. There are three of them next to each other and they all sell the same things. They mostly carry dried foods and sometimes some meat in a freezer in the back.
Ingu's only clothing store:

The police station:
After arriving in YangYang, we took a bus with Will and Theresa to a really cute coffee shop in Sokcho.

Next we took advantage of the warm(er) weather by taking a nice walk around Daepo Harbor.
I tried silkworm for the first (and last) time.
and we ate some delicious fresh seafood by the water:


More pictures here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

It's actually looking quite similar to a season I heard of once in a far away land called "Spring." We still had to wear sweaters and tights (well, I wore tights, not Jon) on Easter Sunday, but I was atleast able to take off my jacket and not grimace for a picture under one of the beautiful trees that is budding in our apartment complex.

Here's one right under our window:

And here we are on Easter morning:
We've been attending the small Methodist Church in Ingu for a couple of months now, and I finally brought along my camera so I could share with my loyal blog readers (try not to feel guilty if you're not that loyal of a reader).
Ingu Church is a small church. No one speaks English except for one girl who is from the Philippines. She married a Korean last April, moved to Korea a month later, and just had a baby. She's only 21 and she speaks a little more English than she does Korean, although she is taking Korean classes now. Despite the fact that we have communication issues, everyone at the church has been very kind to us and we enjoy seeing them every week and eating together afterward.

The first Sunday that we visited the Church, everything was in Korean, of course. The next week, the bulletin and the slideshow used for Bible verses and responsive readings had been translated into English. Every Sunday when we leave, the Preacher's wife gives us some type of food and says the only English she knows: "I love you."

Many of the students attend the church as well as the handyman from our school, and we are always happy to see each other.

Here's the church:
and the playground, which is usually full of our students:
The great meal we had after Easter service (OK, the green stuff isn't actually "great" but everything else is):
I'll leave you with a picture of Jon, who lost his winter coat in Japan, and resorted to wearing the fur lining from my coat during the last snow storm. With this picture, I will say, "Goodbye winter in Korea. We won't be seeing you again."

More pictures are here.