May 30, 2010


Yoony, Rex and Angela....three great kids. Great laughs. I have taught them almost since the moment I arrived here. Rex, walks with his hands in his front pockets and we call him Grandpa. He is so cute and has the best sense of humor, and LOVES science

Yoony is just a tiny, smilie little girl. She is hysterical, shy and draws on my nails with her special little markers all the time.

Angella is brilliant and talks like crazy. Her english is fantastic and she likes to be in the center of the conversation every time.

I love these kids, they crack me up and they will be missed.

May 26, 2010

Tom Sawyer

In my PreTow reading class, we have just finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer...the abridged version. They all just submitted their bookreports and I just had to share this one. It is from Rosellin who is brilliant. But, at the bottom where they "embrased" I got the chills!

Question #3. Think about the ending of the book....after they find Injun Joe dead in the cave... rewrite the ending of the book. Write your own final chapter of the book.
Huck and Tom went out after they wore their clothes. After a while, widow's guests came there. This supper was for old Welshman and his sons' courageous acts. At the right time, old Welshman started to say something, and Huck expected to old Welshman to say that Huck also helped him at the back of his mind. However no matter how he waited to call his name old Welshman did not say, and he finished his speech and sat down on his sit. Huck was in the grip of anger and betrayal, so he led Tom and ran out of there.
"What's the matter?" Tom asked to Huck dubiously.
Then Huck told everything.
"Um.. old Welshman.. He does not look like that"
"Me, too. How could he do like that?"
After a bit of silence, Huck proceeded:
"Let's leave this village with our money."
"What!? Are you serious?"
"Yes, why? Are you afraid? You have been always generous and brave, then were they just pretending?"
"Of course, not. Am I you? I am okay to leave now. Then, what will you do after leave this village?"
"That is,, "
"Yes, I just hesitated because of that. We have a lot of money now, but if we leave here with no plan, we will spend all of them soon."
"Yeah.. Then,, what do you want to do?"
"I want to be a pirate or make a gang from long time ago. However, we are too young to be a pirate, so let's make a gang and when we grow more, we will be a pirate!"
"However, we cannot make gang just two-you and me. Therefore, let's make some people to take along with."
Therefore two children gathered people for some days, and Tom decided to say goodbye to Becky.
“Hey, Tom! It's been a long time~" Becky said with lovely eyes.
"I,, have something to say..."
"What to say?"
"Uhm.. Actually.. I leave here.."
"What? This must be a joke!"
"No, Becky. I will be a great pirate and surely come back to you."
"How can you leave me?"
"Sorry.. However it was my dream. When I came back, we would go circus, and travel all around the world. I will write letters often, and be sure to come back. Becky, can you wait me?"
"Oh, Tom. Of course I can."
"Thanks, Becky. I believed you that you must understand me. I will give you my hat, than remember me when you see that. I will leave tomorrow at dawn. However, do not come to see me off. If you come, I would be probably sad."
"I must miss you."
They embrace each other tightly on parting.
The next day at dawn, Tom left home with a note-I will be back. Do not worry'. At meeting place, there were about 15 children, and Becky was also.
"Becky, why are you here?"
"Tom, I have been thinking a lot then I finally got conclusion - go together"
"Oh, Becky, but you can be tired.""I have already braced myself."
The children walked through the dawn fog vigorously.

May 25, 2010


Awhile ago we posted a video about out apartment, the size and what it looks like...well what you didn't see is how we dry out laundry in our little abode. See above..

We do not have a dryer and the weather has not been perfect enough for us to use the this is what our apartment looks like with one drying rack and two ropes ...

Everything takes about two days to dry and we have a nice laundry free apartment for a good 5 days then up it goes again to dry our threads.

I miss the convenience of a dryer, but most importantly the smell of fresh spin dried clothes.;.

May 24, 2010

off to Heuksando.....

3 day weekends mean venturing a bit and as we had not used the tent and all the groovy camping gear we purchased in the fall in about 6 months, the timing seemed appropriate for a trip to a far off island where we could rough it for a few nights. The island of choice this weekend was Heuksando which sits about 3 and a half hours by slow ferry west of Mokpo in the Yellow Sea. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, great hiking and massively windy roads that run up and down the mountains within the island.

Our trip began at 4am on Friday so we could catch the 5:20 bus to Mokpo which would land us at the ferry port with plenty of time to grab the 7:50 speedy ferry (or so we thought). The concept of traveling on long weekends if done right (see Chuseok in Seoul Blog) is excellent, but when travelling with the tide of locals, its retarded. The arriving at the terminal at 6:30am was far to late to catch the 7:50 speed ferry which had been all booked for some time, so with the help of a very friendly bilingual woman we were helped onto the slow ferry that departed at 7am. She also gave us hard boiled eggs because we were quite obviously looking malnourished at that time of the manana.

Ah yes, and so I neglected to mention that Olive was joining us on this venture as she happens to be a very big fan of the beach and her life has pretty much sucked the past few weeks being couped up inside all the time...hell, its really been that way a good part of the past year. 

On the boat Olive made instant friends with the lil ones while Nicole and I caught some much needed sleep on the insanely uncomfortable ferry deck but we were on a boat and that was all that mattered.

The weather on the water was really foggy which made for a a surreal look to the waters around the ship and with the visibility at about 4 feet it was pretty funky but eventually the fog dispersed giving way to the island of Heuksando.

On arrival we hit up a local mart to pick up a few last minute supplies (i.e; food...because I may or may not have forgotten the entire cooler in the fridge in the midst of our packing frenzy).

The local cabbie we found recommended a spot about 20 minutes from the port called Sesguheysu which was a beautiful small secluded beach that had some camping facilities (a bathroom and wash sink). We paid the man $20 bucks which was a minor rip off, but for the roads we took to get there, walking would have ended badly so it was worth it.

The site was perfect. Even with the random tour groups that came through and gawked at Nicole in her bikini, we thoroughly enjoyed the day and the sunny weather.

Night brought on the storm that would continue for the next 2 days and although it spoiled the Saturday beach plans, our rain cover made chillin in the tent on a rainy beach about at peaceful as it gets. Eventually after our tent almost blew up due to the intense winds we manned-up and broke down camp and flagged down a tour bus to hitch a ride back to port in hopes of catching a boat home. I should mention that the wait for the tour bus was lengthy...part of the charm in camping out on a secluded beach.

The port was not surprisingly filled with a mass of travelers with the same plans of heading back to the mainland with the changing weather so getting a ticket was yet again, a negatory. Being as we had a day to give, we could afford to spend the night on the island so we snagged a room at a local hotel for $30 close to port. The town itself was actually really cool. After some kimchi ziggae soup at a restaurant nearby we packed it in and relaxed with some random Korean television in our room.

Sunday we awoke at about 6am to make our way to the terminal in hopes that there would be ferries running in the midst of the mini hurricane currently blowing its way over the island. Pretty cool marina along the way filled with some serious fishing rigs that seem to be the industrial mainstay for the locals.

We arrived to a closed terminal and were alerted by a nice korean dude that there were probably not going to be any  ferries due to the weather but that we could chill in the maritime police station until the termial opened up. The local popo's were super nice and let us chill in their office for about two hours offering us coffee, playing with Olive and making some calls to ensure that we knew the lastest ferry news.

At about 9am we finally got word that the ferry was going to to get to port by 11am and that tickets were available.

On the way back we rode the speedy ferry which was about a 2 hour ride and with the rolling waves, not one for the sea queezy types but we passed the time chatting with a very nice guy that worked for the South Korean Ministry of Labor.

One more bus ride from Mopko and we made it back by 3pm Sunday to conclude our weekend adventure. Although not exactly the picturesque experience we may have imagined, the random complications twists of our trip made it way more fun and another memory that we were stoked to make in our time here in Korea.

Check out the Heuksando pictures on the right for some more.
Thanks for reading!

May 18, 2010

local jeweler

On the corner of Art Street (the side closest to the GIC) the second store in on the left, there is a jeweler. A most fantastic artist who makes beautiful jewelry. Adam and I ventured in there this weekend. I bought a great bracelet made with silver and gold plated wire while Adam restrung his bracelet I had got him when we left for Korea. His jewelry is very affordable ranging from 5-12,000 Won.

I definitely recommend taking a walk and looking at this man's work.

May 17, 2010 out

Today I received a card in the mail. My nephew is graduating Pre-K and heading on to Kindergarten. I miss him so much I had to take a picture of me "hugging" him and email it to him. It is amazing how much happens in one year. I love you Brycekies!! Thanks for the drawing too...maybe you will be an artist one day!

Chosun University Rose Festival....

This Sunday was the annual Chosun Rose Garden Festival which is held every May here in Gwangju. It happens to be the 2nd largest in Korea with a fairly impressive 17,000 roses on hand from a variety of over 200 kinds. The largest being the Seoul Grand Park Rose Fest which usually hits around late May, early June.

We took advantage of some perfect weather to make our way over from the Dong on the 27 bus to check it out. Chosun University is a very pretty campus so even a walk around the school makes for a good stroll if you've got nothing better doin on a nice day.

The festival was a slight disappointment in that the roses had not quite bloomed as expected by this time which is due in part to the longer winter weather. There were a few very pretty blooms but overall you could see that the real showcase wouldn't be taking place for about another week or so. Nonetheless, we snapped some shots, watched the Korean's pose like models under the trellis and just enjoyed being outside for a while.

The good news is that anyone who missed the actual festival can be sure to catch the roses in full bloom over the next few weeks and as there is no entrance fee, its an excellent free way to spend the afternoon here in Gwangju.

thanks for readin,


Coffee Drama

A new drama here starts very shortly called Coffee House. and stars Kang Ji-hwan, along with actresses Park Si-yeon and Ham Eun-jeong. 
Kang plays successful novelist Lee Jin-su, who seems like the perfect catch but underneath is one of the pickiest people on the planet. One of Lee's biggest pet peeves is bad coffee, so he becomes an expert in grinding and making his own high quality brew. 
Park will appear as Seo Eun-young, the head of a famous book company where Lee is contracted to, and shows off her comical side. The two can't stand each other, but they consider themselves professionals and endure daily interaction without realizing their true underlying feelings. 
Ham, who is also currently a member of the girl goup T-ara, will play the clueless barista-to-be Kang Eun-jeong, who coincidently becomes Lee's assistant. Determined that this is her one chance to become a coffee-making expert, Kang follows Lee around like a puppy, despite all the snapping from the proud writer. 
Oh how I love Korean Drama 

May 16, 2010


i have done a really good job staying away from the shopping craze that hits you in Korea, that is until recently. Adam has limited my shoe intake to two a weekend...and i have reached my max this weekend. those of you who know me, may think that none of these shoes scream my name...well i am caught in the korean craze and am on my way to having a ton of cute ones to send home, at a 1/4 of the price back home.
these are my most recent weekend we are going away for a long weekend camping trip, but the weekend after, watch out shops, two more to add to my collection

Picture of the week

yesterday while walking downtown we saw a group of monks...of all ages...all men.they were all holding clear umbrella's with neon green handles and dressed in the beautiful grey material that we normally see them in. our wild minds were brainstorming and although we don't know exactly, we think it is an orphanage of some type who raises boys. we could be completely wrong, but that is the assumption we made yesterday.

Damiano Bag

How perfect! In less than 2 months, I will be a Damiano. How fitting that yesterday when shopping I spotted my second Damiano bag. It is a brand of purses sold here in Korea...I believe made here too, even though it says Italy. But regardless, my great friend Jessica, picked me out a fantastic light grey colored leather bag as a 30th birthday present!

Soon, my new last name will match my new bag..sounds perfect to me :)

May 13, 2010

Gwangju Subway

This weekend we rode the Subway for the first time since moving here last year. There is only one subway line that runs East to West through the city and doesn't really touch Bongsun-dong where we live. We went below downtown to the underground shopping area which is filled with tons of sparkly tacky Ajumma clothing and shoes and below the subway.

The subway is spotless and quite empty. It cost just the same to ride the public bus as it does to ride the subway. 1,000 W or about 90 cents. We rode it to a place called Songjeong Park hoping to sit in a park, have some coffee and relax. When we got off the subway, there was no park to be seen. So we walked around town and took the subway back home.

The subway train was only about 6 cars long with no dividing door. I kind of felt like I was in a movie watching the cars behind us swerve back and forth through the tunnels underground. There was an overhead announcement in each stop that said, You have reached....station, get off here... I found it a bit funny.
The subway was great, if only it was more useful to us and circled more of this big city. You can read more about the subway here.
Of course we couldn't go a day without taking a picture of one cute munchkin :)

sense of achievement!

There are moments in life that define a person and let them know that they have truly stepped beyond themselves to achieve a greatness unseen by many and a create a legacy that will inspire future generations.. Yesterday, Nicole took this concept and made it a reality.................

It took 2 long days of sitting in front of the computer....reading the directions and shouting expletives (mainly at me) the likes that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush, but she did it.............she solved the rubiks cube!!!!!!

Way to go Nicole!!!

May 11, 2010

a little sunshine

Today I woke up grumpy, I know you may find that very hard to believe :).
I went to yoga, it didn't help...still grumpy. Then, I got my hair cut and styled for a whole $15.00...still grumpy. Had coffee with a friend...still grumpy. As I sit here looking through our pictures and our blog, thinking about our life...a little smile spreads across my face and poof...grumpyness gone.

This is the flower pot I made a few months ago...with live beautiful flowers, I know weeds, but still flowers, picked from the brighten our days. I hope it brightens yours.

May 9, 2010

Student Independence Memorial

The Gwangju Student Independence Movement, which spread throughout the whole country from Gwangju on November 3rd, 1929, is the national landmark movement to speak out against Japanese imperialism. This movement was not just an accidental occurrence because of conflict between Korean students and Japanese students who were commuting from Gwangju to Naju. This was a landmark event which expressed the ability of student movements to free the country from the colonial rule.

The Gwangju Student Independence Movement began with anti-Japan demonstrations in Gwangju, but it developed into demonstrations and students strikes throughout the whole country. From 194 schools, approximately 54,000 students (more than half the number of students in Korea at that time) sacrificed themselves for the independence of their country and people. The Gwangju Student Independence Movement spread all over the country and into foreign countries as well. The demonstations and support which encouraged the Gwangju Student Independence Movement came from Gando and Jilin in Manchuria, Shanghai, and Beijing in China and even Japan.

In addition, despite strong pressure from the Japanese imperialists, the second Students Independence Movement occured when Gwangju high school students held a protest in May, 1943. Students with a sense of patriotism and justice developed the Gwangju Student Independence Movement for the independence of their country and people from Japanese colonial rule.

In 1953, the government designated the third of November, on which day the Gwangju Student Independence Movement took place, as a national memorial day for the students. June 10th of the following year (1954), a 10.9 meter high student tower, symbolizing the Gwangju Student Independence Movement, was built on the grounds of Gwangju Seo Middle School and Gwangju Jeil High School. Upon it is engraved the words, "We are hot-blooded students. Only the right way is our life." The Students’ Day was abolished in 1973, however, under the Despotic Reform Government, in an attempt to stop students’ uprising for democracy and against dictatorship. The Students’ Day was later revived in 1984 as a regional event hosted by the Ministry of Education when the Despotic Reform Government ended in 1984.

In 1967, the Gwangju Student Independence Movement Memorial Hall was opened.

May 8, 2010

Yoga Inspiration

Here are three of the most special women who have entered my life this year. The one on the far left is another student, the one directly to my left is my main teacher, the two to the right are her friends, also teachers who have touched my life.

Today, my teacher took me to her home across town, which doubles as a second studio. There they had a student who spoke very good english and I learned alot about the foundations of their yoga practice.
The three of them live a very simple and peaceful life. Their yoga practice is based on prana or breathe just like any other and inner healing. By sitting or moving into certain positions for 7-10 minutes, they can tell my the colors in your limbs, based on blood flow, what is wrong with your body.

You skin, acne, and any other issue that you may have can all be solved through breathe. Your weight loss can be increased based on 4 poses done in class. 

My teacher said that along our travels and throughout our life, it is up to me to continue my practice, on my own. I need to find the motivation from within to practice every day. It will slow the aging process and will heal anything that may be wrong internally.

She said that patience is important because it takes years to perfect a pose and that although she helps me with my alignment daily, my body will fix itself even if she is not there to adjust me, it will just take longer.
I know I have said it before, but I will miss all three of my very special teachers, immensely. 

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