So it has been awhile since my last post… mainly because I’ve become extremely busy over the last few months, and partially because I didn’t really have anything too “exciting” to blog about.
I am still loving life over here. Things at my school are still amazing and my students seem to be much more comfortable with me. Ever since coming back from summer vacation, more and more students seem willing to run up to me and have full out conversations with me as opposed to the standard “Erin Teacher! HI!!!!!!” that I’m used to on a daily basis. So I’m proud of them for that. I have also taken on some extra afternoon classes twice a week which allows me to make some extra cash money … so I’m very happy about that! And it’s mainly younger students that I don’t teach on a regular basis, so their cuteness is just sickening. I could be in the worst mood that day, but as soon as I walk into that classroom with my eager, energetic 1st and 2nd graders, my day does a complete 180 and it’s non stop smiling. They do, however, take up a lot of my energy as I am constantly trying to keep their attention for the entire 50 minute class. So by the end of the day, I am usually drained, but it’s totally worth it.
So unfortunately I didn’t go anywhere cool during my summer vacation, but I really enjoyed havign 2 weeks off to just veg out and relax. I spent basically every day at the beach … so my tan was phenominal, but other than that, I didn’t get up to much. I managed to get sick with a cold during vacation and since then I haven’t felt 100% … and I am just getting over yet another cold. I went to the doctors and was given about 63 pills to last me 4 days. Eugh. But I am feeling much better so hopefully that was the last of it!
During my summer vacation I did receive a new nickname — the Korean Whisperer… and one cab driver even called me “Miss Korea”. HAHA. All of my friends seem to think I have a 6th sense when it comes to the Korean language and Korean people. I can have full out conversations with Korean people just by saying a few words and also I am able to somewhat understand what a person is trying to say when they speak to us fully in Korean. It’s pretty amazing and it actually really helps make living here easier. I have also started taking free Korean classes twice a week at a university in Busan. The Busan Educational Office opened the class to 30 Guest English Teachers like myself and so far I am learning things. The classes are twice a week until the beginning of December. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the location, but it keeps me busy. On top of that, I have joined an ameteur volleyball league with a bunch of Korean elementary school teachers in Busan. My coteacher is also on the team, so she picks me up and drives me home twice a week for our 2 hour practice. This Saturday we have a big game day, so hopefully we can pull off a victory! Depending on how things go with my afternoon classes and my Korean classes, I may be forced to quit volleyball if I become too run down and tired. With things on every night Monday – Friday, it’s making it difficult to get to the gym and make use of my super expensive gym membership.
However, Laura, Maddie and I did run a 10 KM race last weekend. The three of us had been getting together each Friday evening to do a “long” run and then training on our own the rest of the week. Despite being ridiculously sick with a cold for 3 weeks straight (all three of us) we all finished in under and hour and I’m so proud of us! We were so proud of ourselves we decided to register for another 10 KM race in November. Maddie and I have continued our training, starting today, and our weekly runs will be back in session this week. Running is pretty boring, but when you do it with your best friends, it’s almost bearable. haha … we are thinking about doing a half marathon in January, or February … but, like I said, running is kind of boring. I’m not sure all the k-pop and pump up beats in the world could get me through 22 KM … but we’ll see! The challenge itself may be enough motivation to do it. Maddie has done two already back in Canada, so she will be having me on a rigorous 16 week training program if we do decide to do it. Stay tuned for updates on that!
Other than that, I am in planning mode. I can’t believe I’ve been here over 7 months! The time has flown by … I will be heart broken to leave, but I am very excited for what next year will bring. I was toying with the idea of renewing my contract, but unfortunately I’d have to renew for another full year, and with my sister’s wedding next Fall and my family and friends back in Canada, I don’t know if I could spend anoter full year away. (At least not right away – HAHA!!!) … so I have been getting into “travel” mode and doing lots of planning. The first weekend in November, myself and two friends, Maria and Leah, are going to do an overnight temple stay at a famous temple here in Busan. So basically I will be living the life of a munk. Waking up at 3 AM for worship, eating strictly vegetarian food, and helping out in the community. It is sure to be a unique experience! I am also trying to get to Japan for a weekend before Christmas, so I am aiming for the first weekend in December. Then, after winter English camps, Caitlin and I are hoping to head to the Philippines for some relaxation on the beach for about 10 days. Once my contract is up, I have some serious travel plans, so hopefully financially it will all pan out!
I have also been doing a lot of reflecting about what I want to do when I get back to Canada. I am likely going to be heading back to school and I think I am slowly narrowing down my options. This 7 months away has really opened my eyes as to what I can personally accomplish and how I can handle new experiences, and it really is helping me make decisions regarding my future.
In local news… Saturday night was the famous Busan Fireworks Festival at Gwangali Beach and it was absolutely stunning! It was the most amazing fireworks and light show I’ve ever seen, and there were sooooo many people. It was incredible. It also provided me with the chance to try out my new camera that I bought … and I was far from disappointed!
Well, I think that’s enough of a mass update from me. I’d love to hear from any one at home.
Miss and love you guys!!! xoxoxo
P.S. The weather here is still amazing! It’s almost the end of October and we are still able to get to the beach on the weekends and enjoy some moderate sunshine!
Here are some random pictures from the last few months!