Monday, August 2, 2010

Dragging Along!

The humidity in Korea has reached epic proportions.  Today it took my hair FOUR HOURS to dry.  Four. Hours.  That is crazy.  My hair is not that thick and generally dries pretty quickly...but not with this much moisture in the air.  The oppressive heat and humidity make me so tired; I just want to curl up on my bed in my air conditioned apartment and sleep.  Of course that is out of the question since I have so much to do this week. I can't believe that at this time next week (and in two weeks...and in THREE weeks) I'll be at home!  I really have to say that since I finalized the dates and bought my plane tickets I've been significantly more homesick than if you had taken a random sampling of days over the past year.  It also is probably due in part to the fact that I have a bunch of friends going through MAJOR life changes.  In the year that I've been gone I know four people that got engaged (Lindsay, Jenny, Morgan and Bruno), six people that got married (Heather, Kat, Sarah, Sara, Erica, Annie) and two people that had a baby (Heather, Sarah).  And those are just the people I am close enough to know the details for...there are COUNTLESS others I frequently Facebook stalk.  I swear, photos of diamond rings, white gowns and sonograms are a daily occurrence on my Facebook feed.  I know it is dumb, but it seems kind of crazy that while I'm on the other side of the world, things have changed so drastically for people I love back home.  It will be interesting to see how much of a culture shock it is to go back...when everyone around me is speaking English how will I choose who to eavesdrop on?!

Camp finished without a lot of fanfare last week and I didn't do much this weekend outside of studying and doing some laundry.  I had a really good group of kids and the people who ran the Cheondong Camp had it basically down to a science.  They said they wanted to see us all again for Winter Camp and I would go back there in a second.  On Friday, after the closing ceremony, the principal took us all out to lunch.  We got picked up by a couple of vans and taken a little ways out into a SLIGHTLY more rural area where the restaurant was located.  I stepped out of the van and came face to face with two tiny beagle puppies.  I almost started crying...holy crap I can't wait to see my dogs!  They were absolutely precious.  Overall I couldn't have asked for more out of my two-week camp experience.  The kids were fun, the classes were small so I got to know everyone, my co-teacher was effective and spoke English well, and the other NSETs were a good group of people.

My co-teacher, Ji Won, and I.  She is super pale and proud of it...she carries a parasol everywhere she goes.  Definitely a girly girl, but a lot of fun to work with.

Apple Class REPRESENT!  Hahaha.
Top: Ji Won, Helen, Joshua (yup), Julie, Kevin, James, and Tim
Bottom: Lim, Jack, Andy, Sunny, Kevin, Simon, and Me

Last night I was up late freaking out over GRE/grad school stuff so waking up this morning sucked, as predicted.  Once again I have a long commute.  It takes me about 15 minutes to walk to Gangdong metro station, then a 15 minute ride, and a 10 minute walk to Guhwon Elementary.  I miss the commute to Cheondong already!  This camp also runs later...I don't have to be at work until 9:40am, but I don't get to leave until 1:20pm.  And I don't get lunch.  Last week I had to be there at 8:40am, but I was done at noon every day and I was fed a delicious lunch before retiring to Holly's Coffee for some studying.  I will not be a camp snob.  I will not be a camp snob.  I will not be a camp snob.

Today we had an opening ceremony and it was in the auditorium which is in the basement of Guhwon (a HUGE elementary school).  At one point I looked over and I was HORRIFIED to see...a spricket.  Thankfully someone killed it with celerity.  (Nope, not with celery.)  I thought I left those devil creatures in Bowie?!  After the opening ceremony we did some ice breaker stuff for about 50 minutes, and then taught two of our "craft" classes where the kids are learning the song Lemon Tree and then making lemons with invisible ink messages on them.  I thought this project up and the connection was that the invisible ink was, obviously, lemon juice.  Somewhere along the line, however, Young Ah (my co-teacher at Guhwon) switched out the lemon juice with vinegar.  Our classroom smells like Easter eggs.  Oh well.  Thankfully we only do this project today and tomorrow, Wednesday is Sports Day, and then we switch to making fireworks with paint.  The kids were told to bring their own we'll see how that works.  It is hard to control the outcome when you don't control the materials!

After work I went over to Jamsil, grabbed some lunch, and then picked up my visa renewal paperwork from my school before going down to Samseong Medical Center to pick up the results of my medical check.  (I'm fine.  Hurrah.)  Tomorrow I have an appointment at immigration to get my visa and Alien Registration Card renewed/extended and then I'm meeting some people for a farewell dinner at Ashley's (a delicious wine and food buffet that the Cru went to last week for our farewell dinner).  Last Friday I met up with Ayzia briefly and we said our goodbyes.  It is strange to think that these people won't be such a part of my life anymore!  Thursday night we are having a get together at the wine buffet to celebrate Chrissy's impending nuptials in Thailand, and Friday night Julia is having a goodbye party on her rooftop.  Looking forward to the party.  Not looking forward to saying goodbye to one of my very favorite people I've met on this crazy adventure.

So this is my goodbye to Andie, Angie, Ayzia, Brigid, Candace, Dana I, Julia, Justin, Madeline, and Melissa,.  Safe travels, good memories and happy homecoming. 

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