Busy, Busy Weekend

I’ve got around 70 pictures for the blog, but that’s way too many to upload at once. I’m thinking I may take a page from another’s playbook and just upload a handful every time I post a blog for awhile.

Friday I didn’t really do much because I had to get up so early for the camp on Saturday. Just had a galbi dinner with Dave, then went home and got to sleep really early. I woke up at 5:30 AM, probably the earliest I’ve ever woken up on a Saturday, and got ready to go to Incheon. Mr. Lee, Dave and I got to the school around 8:30 AM. It was actually the same school that I went to my second week in Korea to do placement testing. The name of the school is Haesong Elementary. There was a quick meeting in the teacher’s room, and I got my black uniform shirt along with some necessary information about the day’s activities, then we went to meet the kids.

There were 16 teams of roughly 10-12 kids each, so probably around 170 kids were going on the trip. There were only seven foreign teachers, and then another seven Korean teachers, so a couple of the Korean teachers were in charge of two groups. I took attendence and started learning my kids’ names, then we boarded a bus and took an hour and a half ride to Jebu-do.

Now, Saturday it poured all day. Not particularly the best beach weather. Then again, it wasn’t like a white sand, pretty beach. It was more of a hazardous, razor-sharp rock-y, clam-y beache. I actually slipped and sliced the inside of my thigh open pretty badly after just a couple minutes. We spent about 45 minutes on the island, then went back to the mainland to some kind of museum/camp place. Had a huge lunch, then it was off for the day’s games.

I had drawn Station 1 out of a hat, which was a hula-hooping game. Not like actually hula-hooping, though. Each team would get in a circle and hold hands, and they’d all have to go through a hula-hoop just using their bodies and not their hands. It was pretty funny. The only thing that sucked was that I had to stay while my group went on to other stations, so I couldn’t spend as much time with them as I wanted. I had some pretty awesome kids in my group, but I’ll wait for the pictures to really talk about them more.

Around 3:30 PM we had the closing ceremonies and all the kids got English books. Team leaders (usually fifth or sixth graders) got a 5,000 won gift certificate and then there was a lottery drawing for even more books. Finally got back to Incheon around 5:30 PM, and then a group of teachers went out for dinner with the principal. I had wanted to come back to Cheonan for the game, but I just couldn’t make it because of the time, so I ended up getting a ride to Bucheon with Dave from one of the teachers, then watched the game at the RnB.

South Korea played quite well, and beat Greece comfortably 2-0. The bar was packed with tons of foreigners and soem Koreans. It was a great environment. I’d only put it half a step below an OSU football party. Still, it was a lot of fun. I tried my best to make it until the USA game at 3:30 AM, but I just couldn’t do it, and had to settle for highlights in the morning. Overall, I’d say I’m pretty happy with a tie with England, especially considering the fashion of the tie. We got really lucky.

Sunday, I got back to Cheonan around 5 PM, then killed time until the language meeting at 6 PM. I didn’t have anything to study on me, since I hadn’t been home yet, so it was just mostly English conversation practice for the Koreans. We all went out for a really nice gamjatang dinner afterwards, which is one of my favorite meals here in Korea (pig spine soup). After that I met up with James at a bar called Rock Station. There was a band there practicing for a show they’re playing there on Friday. It’s three Koreans and then an American drummer. I’ll see if I can go and check it out on Friday. I think it’s mostly just a cover band, though.

I talked with the drummer for awhile, and he lives in my area and says I look familiar, but he’s leaving in a month. He’s only been in Korea for six months, but he says he was just kind of disappointed in Korea, plus he missed being in a band. He said he thought he’d be hanging out with his teachers more and going to various places around Korea, but he hasn’t. He also doesn’t really like the expat community (or lack thereof) in Cheonan. I can kind of understand, but I think you also need to make your own attempt to branch out on your own and not just rely on teachers at your school and meeting people at bars.

Anyway, tonight I’m going to the language meeting, so I won’t really have a chance to upload pictures until tomorrow. I’ll definitely be doing that then. I’ll probably upload a bunch tomorrow and then a couple more every post after that. Thursday Korea is playing Argentina, and I’ll be going to the soccer stadium that Cheonan City FC plays at to view the game. Ruth went with some friends for the game against Greece and said like 15,000 people showed up to watch the game. I’d really love to experience an environment like that.

I’ve heard that in Seoul 1 million people gather together and watch the game. That would be absolutely insane. Maybe for their game against Nigeria, or if they happen to make it out of the group stage (a fair shot at this point), I can go to Seoul and experience the game there.

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