Week 17 & 18: A day in the life…

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Alright, so I’m at the point where requests and questions would be helpful. When I go on a trip or do something out of the norm then it’s easy to know what to say. But a good many of my days are just business as usual. It doesn’t take long to start losing perspective of the things that others at home might find interesting or strange. Sights I might have raised a brow at my first day here, pass by unnoticed. So any suggestions for topics or questions are encouraged.

One person suggested giving a walk-through of a typical day here, and I though “Sure, why not? Things have changed enough since I last wrote about a day at work, especially considering I’m at a new school now. Though, probably the biggest difference is how I get to work. Continue reading

Week 15 & 16

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I’ve been busy adjusting to my new school these past two weeks. I’m enjoying it a lot so far. Other than that, there’s little else for me to say.

The rainy season has started so now my days are either sultry or pouring buckets of water. Either way, there’s more moisture in the air than Colorado will ever have in a year of precipitation.

I had an epiphany moment when I was walking to school one day. I looked around me and really noticed where I was, and I actually felt myself to be part of that scenery. “Oh, I’m really here, in Korea.” I thought. “What have I been doing this whole time?”

I’d been sleepwalking of course….here, but also through life in general. Most of my time I live as though there is a glass shield between me and the world. I’m just an entity peering at the world through a pair of eyes.

“This is why I rarely play an interactive role in my dreams. They’re just pulling from my experiences after all.”

To really feel like you’re a part of the world that surrounds you, to really see it……it’s a wonderful experience, though a bit overwhelming. It’s also a difficult mental state to maintain, but I’ll try.

(images from a walk.)

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Week 13 & 14: Change

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IMG_4380 (2)This past week was the week Emily returned. Her arrival heralded some other changes. Kevin, another foreign teacher connected with the school but working at a separate branch, was scheduled to leave. I moved into his apartment room and I was also relocated to the branch to school to take his place.

It was a little hectic but so far I am liking this change. It’s a little smaller and right away, I felt more relaxed there. I’m pretty much getting a chance to start all over again though it’s not quite back to square one….maybe square two. I’ve learned a bit from my first three months here and now I have to figure out how to apply it in this situation. I’m going to be dealing with some different challenges though, so I still have much to do.

That’s all I have the energy for right now. If you are curious to know more, ask me questions and I will strive to answer more fully.

The only other update I have is this:
Emily and I decided to explore Sangmu this weekend (it’s the part of town where my new school is located–it’s perhaps considered a new “downtown,” the hub where the younger crowd gathers to enjoy the nightlife). Specifically, we wanted to walk around the 5.18 (May 18th) Memorial park. It’s a park that commemorates a time when the citizens of Gwangju protested the government of the time. If you want more details, look it up or wait until I learn more and make a post about it.

Anyways, the goal was just to walk around a park, enjoy the nature and take pictures. I haven’t had much nature lately and it sounded like this particular place would fill some of that need.

The “exploring Sangmu” part was a success but we never made it to the park. We were a little fuzzy on its exact location so we took a guess using the map of Sangmu on my phone and a hunch. So off we went, to the the big park indicated on the screen. It wasn’t what we expected, and rightly so. It turned out we’d found the people’s park of Sangmu. Sure, it was pretty….IMG_4417

But there wasn’t much of what I’d call “Nature” there. IMG_4423 (2)

IMG_4411Also, what’s the point of camping in a place like this?

We walked around a field where people were playing soccer.  My camera and a tree worked together to take this picture.

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It was funny enough that we’d left our apartment building looking like a pair of walking highlighters. We continued to be entertained when we came across this soccer game and realized that we matched the them as well. We could have passed as players or at least fans of opposite teams.

 

My GPS located another park just south of us and this time we could read that the name started with the numbers 5.18.

Walking in the heat had tired us out but it was close by and in the direction we needed to go anyway. Unfortunately, this was not the park we wanted either. It was the 5.18 Liberty park that is a small bit of land that commemorates the event with some buildings in the style of that time and functions as a museum of sorts.

We finally found what we wanted on my map but by this time it was late afternoon, we were tired, and it was pretty much in the opposite direction from where we had explored that day. We got on the subway and headed home.

I’m determined to try again another weekend. I should get it right this time. There are only so many parks left to explore in Sangmu.

And finally, a scene we came across on our way back to the subway station: Kids finding ways to stay cool on a hot dayIMG_4473 (2)

 

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