Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Independence Day

Today we all had a day off from school, which was pretty nice! It's the Korean independence day from Japan, so I think most of the schools and banks were closed, but the important thing is, Costco was open! 2 of my fellow teachers were nice enough to let me hitch a ride with them, so I was able to load up on some staples. I also went for a walk along the Han river on this walking trail they have that goes for 30 miles or so, apparently. I included a picture with this post...even though it's gray and cloudy, it was pretty hot and humid and I was quite a sweat ball by the time I got back!

Some people have been asking about my students and fellow teachers. I haven't said much about my kids yet because I don't want to make all sorts of statements that later turn out to be all wrong! So I'll wait to talk about them, but I can talk a bit about the other teachers here. There are about 100 teachers total, for all 3 schools. Most of them live in the teacher apartments, which I've included a picture of with this post. My guess is about 60% are American, but there's a very large number of Canadians, a few Australians, a couple of Kiwis, and a couple of folks from England. It's fun to hear all the accents in staff room! Maybe after 2 years of this, I can finally perfect the Canadian "about"! I'd say about 2/3 are in the 35-and-under bracket (there are at least 3 29 year olds...I guess we're all wanting to do something exciting before the big 3-0!). Probably about 70% are married or seriously dating someone here or, in a few, cases abroad. So there are some single folks, but because it's something I'm involved in, 95% of the single folks are women...sigh! But I've met a lot of great people so far. There seem to be a whole bunch from the Northwest, including BC, which is interesting. I guess we're an adventerous bunch!

Another thing I've found, not surprisingly, is that all of them love to travel. Back home, I felt like I was on the high end of travel experiences (not that I've done lots of expensive "high end" trips, but that I'd traveled quite a bit), but here I'm like the big loser who's hardly gone anywhere! I've got to start traveling more! Thailand seems to be a hot spot. I think just about everyone here has gone to least I've been there, so I'm not quite such a loser! :-) I am one of the few who's been to North Korea though! I guess there's some sort of deal North and South Korea have worked out where non-Northerners can go hike some mountain just over the border with a guide, of course. I think that would be awesome!

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