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Showing posts with label life in Korea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life in Korea. Show all posts

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Tea at O'Sulloc Museum in South Korea

You are here~
I have long been a fan of the benefits that come with a cup of green tea.  Ever since my grandpa mentioned to my grandma about it being a dieters drink, I'd been drinking a small cup daily with breakfast for several years.  Dr. Oz, a featured doctor on the Oprah Winfrey show who later got his his own syndication has raved about these tea leaves named after my favorite color and the benefits that come from drinking it; benefits that include antioxidants and a means for maintaining and/or losing weight.

I'd seen enough pictures of this museum that my interest had been sparked right from the beginning.  Add to the fact that I've long been a fan of the health benefits of green tea... The stars had aligned, today I'd be heading to O'Sulloc (오설록), known to foreigners as The Green Tea Museum.

Here's the tea...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Life in Korea: A Day in the Life of an English Teacher

Jeju in Autumn
I'm usually out the door of my one room officetel on the third floor by 7:30 am.  This is my routine for when teaching at my main school near Jeju-si.

Ear phones plugged in and hooked up to my iTunes playlist, I love the walk to work. It'll usually take me between 30-40 minutes to get to my school, but even when it's raining, it's a great start to my day.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spirited Gardens, Wood Tales and Spirits

I had been longing to get to this botanical garden for at least a year.  I do love botanical gardens and nature trails.  Same for animals, so visiting a local zoo or an aquarium in a new city is always welcomed.  The Yeomiji Botanical Gardens on Jeju Island was a fun visit as was the Seoul Zoo.  Still, my new favorite place to be on Jeju Island, the Spirited Gardens.

Like the name?  I do too and as the name hints, this attraction alludes to more that just plant life.  How?  Hmm.  Let's see.  But first, a few pictures from this amazingly large but serene garden.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Playing With Mud in South Korea

Of course, if you've taught in the United States and then come to teach in Korea, you'll notice right away that there is humongous difference in the respect teachers get in South Korea, generally speaking.

Really, if you're teaching elementary school kids, you'll know just how adorable they can be.

So, I really like teaching in Korea.  But what's better than teaching these little darlings you ask?? Taking a break from teaching and going on a field trip some where in beautifully scenic, Jeju Island.

On my most recent field trip, I got down and dirty with some clay.  While helping a few students out, the man demonstrating the technique and probably a supervisor or owner in some regard, permitted the teachers to create our own works of art.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sports Day in Korea


I couldn't pass up the chance to see what would go on at my school during the Sports Day that was scheduled this coming Saturday.  This was something we did when I lived in Trinidad and Tobago more than ten years ago and I was intrigued by a day of fun (and exercise) between teachers, students, parents and even grandparents; really, it's a day for community involvement and fun, fun, fun.  :)

There were several things I was looking for on Sports Day at my school, a classic tug-o-war, an egg and spoon race and relay races.  While the traditional egg and spoon race did not happen, I got so much more.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Life in Korea: The Culture Shock


I was a bit disoriented after my 13 hr flight with Korean Air, from Chicago to Seoul, but that's another story.  Absolutely nervous, I barely left my hotel room because one, I hadn't learned the language, and two, I was afraid of getting lost in a city that didn't have street names.  I am just learning to recognize streets by their names, having lived in Korea two years already.  Unless you've had some exposure to Korean culture, you're in for some culture shock.

This is just one of several things I found sometimes nice, sometimes bizarre, but none-the-less, shocking when I moved to Korea in 2012.  So here's a look at ten other experiences my friends and I had during our first few weeks in Korea.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: The Alive Museums

I used to think of museums as boring exhibitions that required way too much analytical thought.  Sure, an appreciation for the arts has taken time as growing up in the inner city, there wasn't much exposure and so an appreciation for and recognition of the aesthetic qualities that go into the arts took time.

Still, if you find art boring, you'll soon change your mind with Korea's sometimes quirky, sometimes bizarre but always fun, museums.

I've been to a few great places on Jeju that include UNESCO World Heritage sites on Jeju.  And seeing absolutely beautiful  places on Jeju IslandI'm very content.  

But there's a whole other side to Korea that is found in the fun-loving museums that are everywhere.  I did a short posts on some of the art from Love Land and another on Hello Kitty Island where I became a fan of the adorable cartoon cat.

Walking for Global Peace

I learned of the Peace Walk during a Korean Language class at the Global Peace Center near my house in Jeju-si.

Really, it sounded interesting enough that I decided immediately that I wanted to participate in the two hour long walk and partial hike to Sarabong Mountain on World Peace Day, September 21, 2014.

World Peace Day is day designated for "strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people" according to the website.  Really, it brings awareness to the state of global affairs and the countries where peace is lacking.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Life in Korea: Korean Apartment Update

My studio apartment.  
It's been a whole year but I've finally settled in to living on Jeju Island in the upbeat northern side of the island, Jeju-si.  This past summer, I've been out and about  seeing the sights and enjoying the warm weather at the best beaches on Jeju Island.

My first year in Pohang, I absolutely loved my apartment.  It came with a flat screen tv, a laundry room and the tiles behind the sink in the kitchen was my favorite color, green.  My kitchen also came with a pantry and a two burner gas range, something I haven't seen anywhere else.  I could not be happier!   The shower that wet the entire bathroom, that took some getting use to.  And with a fifteen minute walk to work where I could get some exercise in, I could not ask for more.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: Chasing Waterfalls Part 1

Me giving over to the majestic Jeongbang Falls
Unlike the popular TLC song 'Waterfalls' from the late 1990's, you're going to enjoying "chasing" every waterfall on Jeju Island.  Full of life, I found myself giving over to majestic beauty that is Jeongbang Falls, the only waterfall in Asia that empties into the ocean.  Jeonbang Falls is simply put, spectacular measuring 23 meters in height and 10 meters in width it is considered one of the ten scenic wonders of Jeju Island.

We arrived at Jeongbang Falls around 1:30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon.  And while it was during the Chuseok holiday, the area was beaming with tourists but not over-crowded.  Yah!!  We obtained our admission ticket and after a short walk down a few steps, we met with the splendor of Jeongbang Fall in the distance, our first photo opportunity.  The dots of color from the people below just made this view a bit colorful.  And the faint hum of birds in song really made this visit to Jeonbang falls err on the enchanted side.

We took the stairs all the way down and with so many photo opportunities, just from where we were standing, one could easily spend an hour perfecting poses.  Add that to the gush of the water hitting the bottom, the cooling mist from this, and the faint chatter of Koreans cooling their feet, I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: Hallim Park


Hallim Park is a place to spend the whole day, as it has nine attractions and several others within them.  Any person looking for a relaxing walk through a park is in for a treat whether you go it solo, with a date, or with friends.  One thing to note is that one visit might not be enough and with several festivals throughout the year, I plan to visit again and again. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Two Years In: The Truth About Teaching in South Korea

This past week, I celebrated two years living and teaching in South Korea.  Two whole years living in a foreign country!!  Two years of kimchi and lesson plans, misunderstandings and hangovers, solo vacations and meeting the acquaintance of folks from all over the world.  Two years of sightseeing and beach volleyball and one night, just one night of being so drunk I cried a really sloppy cry, nose dripping, mascara running, you know the 'good cry' in public.  Yikes!

Still, this calls for some celebrations!  Right?  But what could I do that would punctuate the realities of living abroad?  Hmm, well last year, I celebrated with cake.  Really good cake, yes.  But that friend and I so happened to arrive in Korea on the same date although he was a post-doctorate student and I was an English teacher.  

What can I do that sums up what teaching in South Korea is really like two years in?  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life in Korea: The Way Things Are, The Way It's Always Been


DSCF1456There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes 3:1


My time in South Korea has allowed me to meet lots of people from all walks in life and Ive valued the lessons and blessings Ive gotten from each of them.  Id never thought of myself as being sensitive, but after an insightful conversation with a handsome male friend I realized that not only am I sensitive, Im highly sensitive or an HSP..
Ive learned that things changing too quickly makes me anxious and stressed.  Ive learned that I really enjoy volunteering so long as it has some structure.   Im grateful for these new experiences, but new experiences are a part of life; theres something incredible about doing something for the very first time.

For one, people dont change.  Well, better to say that people rarely change.   And although times have changed, I havent changed much.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Life in Korea: I'm Halfway There

keep-calm-you-re-halfway-there-1
Contrary to the school year in the United States and most other countries in the Western Hemisphere, March marks the beginning of the school year for South Koreans.  Something about the Spring and a fresh start…However, for me, its six months into a one year contract with EPIK (English Program in Korea).  Which only means I’m half way through and really, I’m already counting down.
This is my second year in Korea.  A year I felt quite apprehensive about spending in Korea but with a shaky economy in the U.S and many other places, Korea was the best (well only) option.  It’s been a totally different experience the second time around with lots of hiccups from the beginning and several bumps along the way.   No surprise that the last six months continued much the way it started and well, I wasn’t sure I’d make it through my one-year contract.  


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Life in Korea: Long Distance Love

over-thinking
Living in Korea, one can't help but notice couples, hand in hand, matching outfits dubbed "couple shirts" and not to mention, young women daintily dressed in the latest fashions out on a date with the boyfriend.  I admit it, it's cute!  My older students here often inquire as to my relationship status, "teacher, you married?" or "teacher you have boyfriend?".  My response leaves them puzzled, if not sad, "oh no, teacher you need boyfriend".  I smile, and I carry on with the day's lesson.  

I often wonder if I could sustain a relationship long-distance.  I know a few people that are presently in long-distance relationships and the only benefit I can think of is, taking time to get yourself right.  Do they intend to take their relationship to the next level.  Is it bound to end because of the distance?  I guess the better question is, what does it take to maintain a healthy and fruitful relationship long distance?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Life in Korea: So Far, So Good


It's been almost three months that I've been in South Korea.  It's kinda surreal that I have packed up my belongings and moved my life to a country on the other side of the world.  Two plane rides, two weeks of jet lag, two suitcases stuffed with all the essentials...  I'm making a life here for myself, a simple life, but still, it's my new life.  I've opened my mind to living a life of balance (prayer, exercise, nutrition and friendships) and I must say, it looks good on me.