Friday, July 29, 2011

Mud Slide

Here is a Youtube clip of one of the landslides.

Flooding and Mudslides

Over the past few days Korea has had a lot of flooding and mudslides due to rain. It is the rainy season here but over the past week we have received A LOT more rain than normal. I read one report that it was raining about 2 inches an hour! Seoul was flooded and many areas were evacuated, including ones near us. Luckly, Fred and I had left our apartment on Sunday, well before most of the damage on Tuesday. We were already in Busan when the mudslides began. One of our co-teachers, Chad, was on a train from Busan and Gyeongju when a tree fell on it. They were covered in glass and taken to a nearby emergency room. We saw reports of Seoul with trees all around and over turned cars. There is even a video of actual waves rolling through the streets of Seoul ( The area that was hit the hardest, and had the most deaths, in where we went to ride ATV's last weekened. We are glad that we were safe during this period of time and glad to be back in our apartment.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day in Gangchon

Yesterday Fred and I headed to Gangchon with Joo and Yumi (Batman's owner and his girlfriend). Gangchon is a city in the mountains that is northeast of Suji. We left Suji around 11 am and arrived about 90 minutes later. We had chicken galbi for lunch. This area is known around Korea as 'the area' for chicken galbi. After a delicious lunch we decided to rent 4 wheelers. The town was filled with places to rent scooters, bikes and ATV's. We set off on the trail around the mountains. After about 15 minutes it began to rain. The rain made it hard to see but the views were very cool. All of the mountains and streams were surrounded with fog and mist. After riding for an hour we were soaked. The ride was very beautiful, thrilling and memorable. Before we left town we stopped at a batting cage. We also stopped at a small waterfall. After a while we arrived in Suji and relaxed for the evening. Even though it was a rainy Saturday, it was one that we will always remember.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hailey's Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated another birthday. Hailey, the class care-giver and social butterfly, turned seven years old. She came to school in a beautiful blue dress with her hair styled perfectly. Her mom came with enough food for 25 grown adults. Each student had their own tray filled with shrimp, chicken, cookies, bacon wrapped duk-boki (rice cake), cookies and rice cakes. We also had fruit cups, mango juice and a heart shaped strawberry cake. I knew that her mom would go all out on the food. She is so sweet and generous. She has even brought me lunch because it was a rainy day and she didn't want me to have to go outside. We all ate and ate and enjoyed the day. Daniel ate so much that he became my first class barfer. The party was amazing and everyone had a great day!

Hailey and I

Hailey, her mom and I

My class (still missing Claire and Zion)

An example of the food

Monday, July 11, 2011

Olivia's Birthday

Yesterday I finally had a birthday party with my new Kinder class! Olivia, who is the class smartie and a very sweet girl, turned 7 (6 in America) years old. She arrived in school in a beautiful pink dress complete with matching hairbow and pearls. Her mom had a baby last week so Hailey's mom came with her to help her with the food and festivities. We took a ton of pictures and sang then enjoyed our fruit cups, yogurt, cookies, cake and of course chicken. Olivia's mom had made hand-made hairbows for the girls, hair clips for the teachers and bow ties for the boys. Everyone loved their party favor. Sadly, Claire was on vacation with her family on Jeju Island and Zion got chicken pox so we were missing a few key friends. Overall, it turned out to be a very fun party. 2 days until the next birthday party!

Happy Birthday Olivia!

My class and I

Olivia and I

Daniel and Brian with their bow ties

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th Place Out of 96

This past weekend Fred competed in a dart tournament in Seoul. His partner was our favorite bartender Joo, who owns our local hangout, Batman Bar. We met at Batman at 8am on Sunday morning to practice before heading into Seoul. The rainy season has offically started so we woke up to rivers running down the streets and pouring rain. Lucky for us, Joo was able to drive us everywhere. Once in Seoul the guys got their name tags and bracet assignments. The played four games in the pool play. Two teams from their pool moved on and they were ranked first. From there they played 5 other games before losing in the semi-final game. They ended up in 4th place! They had the largest division, with a total of 96 teams. 4th out of 96, not bad! Our friend Colin was playing with a Korean man and a few other friends were there all day in support. It turned out to be a very exciting day for Suji Batman Bar!

Joo, Colin and Fred

Colin hoping for a win

Friday, July 1, 2011

Third July in Korea

Time has been passing by very quickly. Although we have not done anything too exciting, we have been busy. Fred spent the last months preparing to take the LSAT. He took the test last Sunday in Seoul and will find out his results in about two more weeks. We got up very early and headed to Yonsei University in Seoul for the test. He is very glad to be done!

As Fred was studying, I was planning for our big trip once we leave Korea. We bought our tickets and now are planning out each leg of the journey. We fly out of Korea on September 1st and head to Bali, Indonesia. From there we will travel to Singapore and Kuala Lumpu, Malaysia. We will then travel through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Once we leave Asia we are flying to Lima, Peru. We will be traveling through South America until the middle of January when we head to Costa Rica and then to MSP. We will arrive on January 19! I can't believe that it is almost time to begin this next exciting adventure!

Life in Suji has been uneventful. Work has been good but stressful. My Kinder students have been learning so much! I am always amazed at what they can say. I have one student that has been acting out a lot and causing a lot of distractions in class. She has to leave at least once a day and she is starting to cause me a lot of stress. I am hoping that this phase will end soon!

We are only three weeks away from summer vacation. Since we leave Korea one month later we decided to spend our vacation in Korea. We are going to go to Busan, the second largest city, on the ocean, in the southern part of the country. We have been to Busan many times and even spent our first summer vacation there in 2009. We plan on relaxing and going to Giants baseball games. It is going to be great to get out of Suji. I can't believe that this is our third July in Korea!