Wow, ok, I haven't updated this thing in over two months, I guess its time... Unfortunarly there wont be any new pictures on this one because my laptop finally ( after 7 years of faithful service) crapped out on me, soo all my pictures on there were lost :(. However on facebook there are other pictures of me that my friends have taken of the past 2 months that show some of the things I've been up too.
Ok well the past two months have been extremely busy. Nearly every single weekend had been booked with some sort of trip or activity. The first week of March I hosted a ski trip for the new TaLK scholars. I somehow managed to cram 16 people into my apartment!!! The trip was a huge success however, although one guy had to go the the hospital and get stitches after getting in a ski accident (nothing too serious though). One of the new guys actually made a little video of the trip and put it on youtube, so you can watch that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YvEdTfMpB8).
Anyways.... Also in March was St. Patrick's Day. The local a Jinbu Teachers and myself all went to Seoul to celebrate. There was an Irish festival in one of the areas downtown that we went to for a bit. There were live bands and lots of people out and about. The main even of the night however was a Boat Cruise down the Han River that we had booked tickets for. A big St Patty's Day part on a boat with food and music and all you can drink craft beer. It was a good old time.
The next week was when my Mom and Strega came to visit! I met up with them in Seoul on Friday night where we went out to dinner at a Korean BBQ place. We grilled samgyupsal (pork) and galbi (beef) on the right on the table. It was delicious! Mom and Strega were happy to because before I had met up with them they had been encounter some "interesting" food choices. The next day we went to Gyeongbok Palace, one of the old palaces in Seoul from hundreds of years ago. The grounds are huge and the architecture is amazing. I love how intricately painted all the ceilings on every building are. After the Palace we went out shopping at some crazy market that was completely packed with people. Later we met up with one of Strega's friends who took us to his uncle's restaurant in Insadong. Had a assorment of seafood rice served with edible flowers, bulgolgi with fried mushrooms, and pork ribs. mmmmmmm...... Sunday we headed out to Jinbu so they could get a taste of the country life. The town didn't smell to pleasant that day because all the farms are recently fertilized their fields with manure. We made my way to my apartment where we relaxed for a while. That night My Korean friend's mother made us a home made meal. This feast was massive and had so many different dishes i can't even remember what everything was. The next day i took them to my school and did my lessons with them. Everyone was very excited to see them! the following morning they left Jinbu and headed down south to Gyeonju. Just in time too as a snowstorm had just hit my town!
The following weekend we had organized another TaLK get together, this time at a water park up in Sokcho (north of Jinbu right on the Coast). There were about 16 of us in total, but instead of cramming them all into my apartment we had booked 3 suits at the resort hotel. The water park was alot of fun, although it was still a bit chilly out, so we were sprinting from hot tub to hot tub. There was even one area where you could sit in a pool of fish who ate the dead skin off your body. It felt sooo weird!!! We spent the day at the water park and then the next day went back home.
The next weekend I went and visited my friend in Seoul. He just moved here about 2 months ago and works at a Hagwon (private academy). That Saturday a group of his friends and myself (about 12 of us in all) went to Everland, kind of like the Korean version of Disney Land. Here's the kicker, we were all dressed in animal costumes. Needless today we got quite a bit of attention, haha. Almost any time we stopped parents and their kids started lining up to take pictures with us. After a full day of going on rides and enjoying Everland, we went back to my buddy's place and crashed. The next day we hung out at a park and just relaxed. The weather was so nice!!!!
Ok, I think I'm finally to the present time. This past weekend I went to a Baseball game in Seoul. It was nuts! Everyone cheers and sings songs the entire game. Serisouly, im pretty sure every single player has their own song and they fans sing it every time they go up to bat. I've been going through some baseball withdrawals since I've been here so it was good to finally get to a game. I will definitely be going again.
So anyway, for those of you who don't know yet, I've decided I'm am going to stay in Korea for another year. However, I want to switch over to the EPIK (English Program in Korea) program because then I can work full time (right now only teaching 12 hours a week) and get paid more money. I sent them my initial application last week and today I got an email back saying I passed the initial review and they want to schedule an interview! So I'm excited about that.
This next weekend me and some friends are going to hike Seoraksan mountain. Its the tallest mountain on continental South Korea (there is a taller mountain in North Korea, and the tallest one is on Jeju Island). Its going to be an intense hike but its supposed to be breathtaking scenery. Expect some pictures of it on the next update (hopefully not 2 months from now).