Monday, August 23, 2010

it's too hot for life...

The heat here has to die down eventually, living everyday with the temperature being at least 30 degrees is inhumane.  Plus the humidity.  Oi.

Let's see, what have I been up to...

Well, for starters, I had two weeks off from summer camps, that was nice.  I went to the ocean a few times and got to go swimming.  As far as I know, other than maybe when I was a baby and too young to remember, this was the first time I have ever been swimming in the ocean.  It was glorious!  The beaches in Korea are so incredibly beautiful, I wish taking pictures of them did them any justice.  It's always a great time going to the beach, though... we usually barbeque on the beach and go swimming and hang out and relax; I love it.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention the hospitality and acceptance that many people in Korea exhibit towards foreigners.  It's not always a walk in the park, and, yes, we get stared at a lot... but there are some truly magical times that make up for all of the creepy staring.  We were in a park on night, a bunch of foreigners, having a few drinks and hanging out, when this young guy approached us all and invited us to join the group that had accumulated in the park.  There was a group of at least 30 Chinese students who had come to Yeosu for a youth fair, they invited us to sit with them and have some beer and they gave us some of their snacks... it was just an amazing feeling to have a group of people want you to sit with them and join them because they want to know more about you.  Maybe it's not always out of them just wanting to be nice, maybe it's for the sake of curiosity, but it always happens.  We're always getting invited to join groups of Koreans and have a drink with them, or hang out and eat with them.  That really never happens in Canada.  There is just such an air of hospitality here for the most part.  So many people come here for the anonymity, but in the end, there's such a sense of community that draws everyone together.  I really love it.  It's a great feeling to feel welcome, for the most part, in a country where you can barely speak the language.

I also love seeing my students on the street with their parents, the kids get so excited, and I think that the parents like getting to meet me.  They always seem happy to see me.  And I love my students.  Teaching in Korea is so different from teaching in Canada.  The students here respect and love their teachers for the most part, especially in Elementary.  The kids give you hugs, I have groups of students that hold hands with me when we walk to class, there's a little boy who waits for me outside of school everyday so he can say hello to me and ask me how I am today... I just love feeling so respected and loved by my students.  It's also sad that stuff like that would never fly in Canada, that students aren't allowed to feel a close connection to their teachers, aren't allowed to hug them if they want to.  The Canadian education system is so cold in that regard, and it's an unfortunate situation, because I feel like my students trust me and respect me more, that they want to be around me and want to learn from me... and I see the same situation with the Korean teachers, as well, that the students react the same to them.

My week of summer camp went pretty well.  Meghan (one of the other teachers who volunteered to do the camp) and I decided to take both grade 5 classes and put them together so that we could teach together.  It ended up actually being a lot of fun.  We put on a play with the kids (Peter Pan), we played games, we did trivia, made cool necklaces... a whole bunch of fun things, I think they really enjoyed it.  The week went by really fast.  The kids were so smart, too.  It was a nice change after my first summer camp.  Not that I didn't love those kids, but it's hard to teach kids that have no idea what you're saying.

Now I'm on to my last week and a half of summer vacation.  I'll be going to Busan with Andrew and Kelly this weekend... the second attempt.  And we're planning a trip to China for Chuseok, which will be awesome.  Things are going really well.  It's still a little hard to deal with the whole break up thing, but I can at least recognize the fact that losing him means that I will be able to find someone else who will want to make me happy for the rest of my life, instead of staying with someone who only cares about making himself happy, and doesn't care if he destroys me in the process.

I'll post pictures from my Busan trip after I get back... a trip to the aquarium and to a weird coin operated amusement park are planned!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

oh dear...

I promise I have not forgotten my dear blog.  I do, in all actuality, think of you every day.  I really do.  I can admit it, though, I'm just too lazy.  It's hot here, and humid... like nothing I have ever experienced before, and I am suffering from a decidedly smashed to bits heart.  All I really feel like doing is sitting on my bed, with the air con on, and possibly crying for most of the day.  Healthy, I know.

For real, though, the temperature each day is at least 30 degrees Celsius, and the humidity never drops below 90%... it feels like it's a million degrees.  As soon as I go outside, I start sweating, and not just a little sweat, but rivers of sweat.  At least I'm not a stinky sweaty person.  It's horrid, though.  It makes beach days a godsend, provided I remember the proper sunscreen and clothing and such.  I get to be the crazy girl that wears a jacket to the beach in thirty degree weather.

Speaking of the beachee!  I slept there last Friday, it was glorious.  Friday was my last day of summer camp (oh, the horrors), and, in order to celebrate the beginnings of glorious summer vacay, we went to Mosageum beach, which is a really lovely beach, and we ate on the beach, my friends got drunk on the beach, I soberly watched their drunken antics on the beach, we set up our tents on the beach, and then we spent the night on the beach.  Oh, how lovely.  Except for the million mosquito bites that I contracted without realizing it.  It was worth it, though, it was a fantabulous time.  Nothing really beats sleeping on the beach with ocean waves less than ten feet from your tent.  Korea <3

My tattoo is healing up nicely, I shall post a picture from like two days after I got it done:

It doesn't look all red and gross anymore.  Thank goodness.  I still can't believe it took two and a half hours to complete.  Yoy.

My summer camp was a total shit show.  Oi vay.  It was all of the kids who know little to no English, and I was supposed to have a co-teacher to help me out with the whole thing, because of their lack of English communication skills, and, well, let's face it... how much Korean do I really know?  Basically nothing.  Not enough to communicate with them, anyways.  The school board graciously refused to pay for me to have a dedicated co-teacher for my camp, so, I was basically left to my own devices.  I spent weeks planning this friggin camp that I knew would not work without the help of a co-teacher, and then, the Friday before the camp was to start, they told me I wouldn't have a real co-teacher.  Joy.  The English teacher in charge of me volunteered to help me out for the first week, but, she was rarely there, and for the second week I had a revolving door of Korean teachers who didn't know English and would only come into the classroom once or twice in the whole four and a half hours... who could blame them, they weren't getting paid.  Eff.  The kids refused to use any English, they didn't want to listen to me, and they just talked through every single thing I tried to do with them.  It was a long ass two weeks.  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  The crafts went over well, so did watching Finding Nemo, and, one day, I just broke down and showed them Spongebob Squarepants for half an hour (and I HATE that show).  Anything to do with the English activities I had planned was ignored, none of the kids wanted to do anything but mess around.  Gah.  I'm just glad it's over.  I have one more week of summer camp that I volunteered to do for extra pay, and three weeks of vacation.

I have officially given up on whatever semblance of a relationship I had with Rick.  Yes, I believe it is actually over now.  I guess when everything is going amazingly well, when you start making plans for a life together for when you get back from Korea, when someone tells you they love you more than anything and that they want to spend their life with you and that they can't imagine their life without you, and then two days later they break up with you, for no reason, through a facebook message (after three goddamn years together), it honestly shows how little they loved you or cared about you.  I mean, everything else he's done to me should have proven how much he loved me or cared about me, but... I think I've given up all hope, now.  My heart is broken into a thousand pieces, and it's hard to make it through the day a lot of the time, but I guess I just need to move on.  It's hard right now to imagine a future for myself, imagine that anyone else will ever love me, but I just hope it will happen one day.  I guess I'll be moving to Calgary alone when I get back to Canada.  It just blows my mind that someone who so vehemently claims to love me and want a future with me, that someone would make plans for a life together with me, could possibly be so cruel and care so little about me.  But that's just the selfish son of a bitch that he is and, really, has always been.  I deserve better, and I really hope I will find someone better someday.  Right now it just really hurts.  All I know is, it's time to let go.  I can't hold on to someone who treats me like my life is a game.

Anyways, enough complaining.  I've passed the five month mark here, it's crazy, only seven more months to go, I can't believe it.  Maybe I'll come back again after I finish my teaching degree... or maybe I'll be on my way to having a life and a family with someone.  Who knows!  I'll try and make an effort to write more often.  Here's a picture of how humid it has been here lately:

The camera doesn't capture the humidity all too well, I suppose.

Anywhoodles, toodles, all!  I'm off to bed!