Saturday, August 28, 2010

Park's, Kiddo's, IBPF, and Friends

Every morning I walk to school I pass by two parks that constantly remind me of the culture I have entered in to.  The green hills in the back drop, the many trees I walk under giving Jamie and I shade as we walk to school, and the music playing in one ear and the other listening to Jamie and the sounds of the morning. This passed week I went to the top of my apartment building where the owner of the building has beautiful plants all along the border of the roof top with a really cool glass enclosed library of sorts where he definitely goes to get his quiet time.  He was very welcoming although I think I startled him at first as he was trimming and sweeping up the leaves of his plants and didn't notice me at first.  The view from my rooftop is beautiful and we are already planning to have a BBQ as soon as it gets a little cooler.

The kid's that I have in my classes are nothing less than spectacular.  Although they are consistently filled with enthusiasm and need for attention their ability to comprehend the language is astonishing.  The age difference in Korea is pushed forward one year as they count the first year in the mother's womb as part of your overall age.  So in Korean age I am actually closer to 28 than 27, YIKES!  Not only did I travel to the future I got older at the same time.  I had my first week of full classes last week which I endured because of the craziness that as this month.  All this week I had 6 exams to give, grade, and complete for my afternoon classes.  Not to mention I didn't know I had to give half of them!  Furthermore, every two months my morning classes change rooms... We have themed rooms such as McDonald's Room, Universe Room, 7-11, etc... And my co-teacher (Becky) and I had to transfer all their books, colored pencils, drawings, and projects to the different rooms.  By the way the name of my two classes are DOVE and PANDA.  And while all this is going on all of my books for my afternoon classes change next week so I have been developing lesson plans, home connections, and matching which books go with what class and co-teacher.  I can tell you with honesty though it feels amazing to have this kind of responsibility and accountability to these kids and to Wonderland.  They TRUST me to do an excellent job and that means going to ANY LENGTHS to make sure that happens.

Yesterday Jamie and I met up with some of my new found brothers (Soccer Gents) and we walked to the annual International Body Painting Festival (IBPF, see pics below).  Jamie finally got to meet some really cool chicks which for both of us is AWESOME!!  She started talking to me about shoes and dresses and such, and I knew immediate action must be taken.  But, as we are walking into the park we take a wrong turn and we see these two old Koreans (man and a woman) literally fighting in the park.  Now imagine two 60+ year old Koreans fighting and hitting each other in the woods of a park...  It was funny but only to an extent and we just kept on walking. The festival was filled with amazing body painting artwork and a great environment for families, friends, and the like to have a relaxing Saturday afternoon in the park.  There were bands playing, people getting Henna and their faces painted, and laying on the nice grass, which is a rarity in Korea, was a necessity.

A new friend of mine Gary who is actually leaving on Monday whom I began playing futbol with two weeks ago every Thursday night with the Koreans on my backyard pitches, invited us out Friday night for his going away party of sorts and to meet some really cool people.  And that's just it!  The type of vibes and energy that we put out into the world we will receive back invariably.  It blows me away that in such a short time we have met people like Gary, Matt, Shaun, Dave, Jon, and the like that remind me constantly that no matter where you go that energy will be received and reciprocated.  Jamie and I have started a new life in Korea, with real bad ass people, and look forward to continue to share it with all of you out there in this beautiful world of ours!

Views from my rooftop!

Parks as I walk to school every morning.

The Kiddo's!

International Body Painting Festival

It's not nice to stare!

Korean Indian Folk Band... Pretty funny if you ask me.  They actually put on a CD and were lip playing some of the instruments, but they were still cool.

My PIC of the IBPF!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whole Lotta Love!

This week I was asked to take off b/c of a mix up in start dates at my hagwon (private english school).  I had this week off except one class that I was asked to teach as a favor to the Director of the School (Sue).  My mind wanted to tell me to say no but my intuition said yes and start my teaching career with an optimistic attitude.  So, as a result I have had a lot of time to myself while Jamie is at school... she isn't to happy about it but understands and I have been bringing her coffee and lunch almost everyday this week.

Last Friday night we went to the local bar where "foreigners" usually hang out so Jamie could grab a beer and we could have a conversation with someone that was longer than 1 minute.  We met a woman, Jennifer, who is evidently there every single night and an english man from whales by the name of Will. We got to talking and of course I mentioned futbol (Soccer) and that I was looking for A. Somewhere to watch and B. Anyone to play with.  I got an immediate answer and was told to contact a gent who plays with a bunch of foreigners on a team Daegu FC.  I was really excited and contacted Thomas and met a bunch of the guys out on the field Sunday afternoon and played with an all english team angainst Koreans. It was freakin awesome and as it works out 4 of the guys live here in Chigok, Daegu, South Korea.

I wanted to add some pics of my new friend of Bills, Joe, and some pics of my apartment.  The past two weeks have been undoubtedly some of the most rewarding and challenging days.  I feel so blessed to be LIVING life to the fullest, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and giving back to a thriving respectful culture.  Oh and I also wanted to mention Jamie and I had our first SPA experience.  For 5000 won which is equivalent to around 4 dollars US, we got to go and relax in an awesome spa with 5 different  tubs, sahna?, pool, and an all incluse shave, shower, pamper!  You can't get that in the states for less than $100 easy especially for the quality!  New Futbol team, new friends, consolidating our funds till our first paycheck, trip to one of the most beautiful temples in Korea, awesome students, and a whole lotta LOVE!

My new buddy Joe!

My hallway leading up to my apartment.


Evan wearin the STS9 Fedora!

Evan is hilarious dancin like he does!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Haeinsa Temple

All the things we see, all that we hear, is an expression of buddha nature.  buddha nature is everything.  buddha nature is our innate true nature, which is universal to every one of us, to all beings.