S: An EPIK Experience - South Korea 2011-2012
BC: Make new friends, but keep the old – some are silver and the others gold! Q. Who do you love? A. Your mama. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzo. I love you a bushel and a peck! Explore/eks-plore/vb. 1. To investigate, study, or analyze: look into. 2. To travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery. You are on the trip of a lifetime. Be in the moment – take it all in *food *sites *people *shops. – Mom. Let the good times roll!!! Have fun!! You are only a phone call or a plane ticket away. – Dad. Bon Voyage – You’re on your way, going places every day. When it’s time to come back home, just dream of your next years’ spots to roam. – like your mom and dad. – ? Have a wonderful trip! Don’t forget to get us presents!!! – Laura & Bruno. See you on Skype! – Laura. Woof woof woof (Have a safe trip)! – Link. Wooo woo woof woof woo (We’ll miss you lots)! – Zoey. Hope you have a blast in Korea. Come back with a brother-in-law for me! I’ll make sure to keep up the shopping addiction. – Kim. Thanks for passing your shoe addiction on to Kim. – Kyle. You are loved and I’m so proud of all that you do. Enjoy this year of discovery and make memories that will last a lifetime. Have no regrets. Hugs and Kisses. – Judy. Remember ever day how fortunate you are to have this opportunity, and you will spend the rest of your life thinking of this year. Make great memories. – Meghan. May God light your path, and guide you home safely. Live. Laugh. Love. In South Korea. Enjoy! – Tom V. How’s the Euro boyfriend search?! Skype me soon. I love your ta-tas! – Kiesling (hahaha) “Elle”. May the sun always find you on a rainy day. When you need to be home may you find your way. May you always have courage to take a chance and never find frogs in your underpants. I miss you. I hope you are having the time of your life and learning and growing in all your experiences. If you’re not, get on that! Then come home and watch the “Little Mermaid” with me. I love you to pieces. pieces, pecies – I before E - Get your hot ass back to MN soon! I miss our slumber parties. Does this make sense? I‘ve had 2 gin and sodas. This is only one time in your life. Enjoy it as much as you can because you’ll never have this the same again! – Ellie. Hope you’re having a blast. Change your mind about that Korean guy yet? – Tony Hunt. Remember: “The only thing you can achieve without effort is failure.” Hope you have a great experience. – Kyle C. How am I supposed to run without you? Oh, ya, faster. Just kidding. I’ll miss ya! – Chris. To the next chapter in your life I know it’ll be good. – In my prayers. – Grace. Maybe you’ll meet the love of your life over there in Korea. Your mom has one more picture frame to fill of you and a husband. – Becky. Stop and take time to enjoy this great experience. – Tom S. Your cousins miss you. – Gail (Katie and Kirstin). Gail and I believe you’ll have the time of your life! In writing a message we would like to encourage you to remember to start your day as we do with morning devotions. God bless you and know we love you. Be safe, stay alert. – Gail & Gordy. Enjoy your time and experiences. We look forward to your return. – Gail. I don’t think this strip is long enough for everything I want to say. I love you and will miss you very much and can’t wait until you come back. – Abby. You are my best friend. I am so proud of you and all that you do. Kaleb will miss “his Amy” and I can’t even begin to express how much I’ll miss you! See you soon and hopefully your hot European bf. – Nicole. I envy that you have the opportunity to travel/work abroad. Now, enough with the serious side. When I heard you were leaving I was a little sad that we wouldn’t hang out at happy hours and parties this summer. Anyways have fun in Korea and remember to try to experience something new every day. I’m awesome. – Brandon. Amy, baby. Even though we are far apart, my heart is with you. Life here goes on as usual, but without your bright shining smile to warm my days. Sasha and Marisa love you and still talk about dinner at Nordstroms and Christmas shopping at MOA. We can’t wait to talk to you soon about all your adventures in Korea. Love you! – Colleen. Hope you enjoy your time on the other side of the world! Cheers. – David. Good luck! We will miss you very much and will be praying for you! It was so nice meet you you’re such a sweetie. – Chelsey & Tim. Hey Bingo Buddy. Hope you have a great time in Korea! Even though we’ve only known each other for a brief time, I will miss you! Be safe Hunny! – Crystal. Rum at Grumpys is strong. Lets sex skype”skysex?” Hmm those words don’t combine too well do they? Not that I really wanna have skype sex. I’m not gay. But I do love you anyways. – Wendy. Hello from MN my friend! Don’t worry – we won’t have any fun until you return. Erick and I will sit in the corner of our lonely townhome till you become our roomie. Maybe I’ll start calling Larry ‘Amy’ and squirting him with your perfume (whatever that is) and he can take your place for awhile. I love you and know you’ll be having the time of your life. If not, don’t worry, cuz you’ll be home before you know it. –Wendy & Erick (and Larry and Smushy, too). Thanks for being the life of the dept. Have a great time! We’ll miss you. – Mike Nelson. It was wonderful to meet you! Hope your birthday celebration was fun and hope your experience in Korea is amazing! – Maren Nelson. I hope you are making out with a foreign guy RIGHT NOW! Seriously. Allina is not the same without you! I hope you are having an amazing time you are so brave! Miss you tons. Megan Steil. I love you Daddy! From Shrek 3rd – ? I hope you are all settled in by now and enjoying your big adventure. We all miss you here but know you are following your dream – enjoy! – Merry Berns. Don’t eat too much spoiled cabbage over there. Hope all is well. Take care. – Dan Berns. I’m actually a bit jealous. If you ever get bored or are unsure about what to do, do something random – you can get away with a lot as an outsider I bet. Check out the U.S bases sometime: Walker, George, Henry. –Nathan. How’s Korea? Is it super fun yet? I certainly hope so. I wish you all the best over there and tons of stories to come home with. Maybe I will join you over there who knows! Can’t wait till you’re back. –J’Nai
FC: An EPIK Experience
1: Seoul Long
2: Depart 15 FEB. 11. Arrive 17 FEB. 11. Minneapolis - Dallas - LA - Seoul - Busan
3: Busan | 410 teachers 7 countries 1 week
8: POSCO Steel mill
10: Subway | Police Station | Post Office
13: Home sweet home
16: Dalseo Market
20: Waryong Middle School | I taught grades 1 (275 students) and 3 (232 students).
22: School lunch
23: Lunch was my least favorite part of the day. I was required to eat school lunch, pay for it, too. On good days, there would be fruit or a plain vegetable. On bad days, even the rice contained meat. Since my tray was pretty boring, these pictures are examples of what my school offered for lunch.
24: Amanda and I were invited to the science teacher's wedding and celebration dinner. A few days before the wedding, a small group of teachers went out for dinner and coffee to celebrate. Amanda and I were a little nervous because none of the English teachers went and of the eight teachers that did go, only two spoke some English. Overall, it was a fun and interesting experience. We enjoyed spending time with the other teachers and were introduced to a great restaurant near Keimyung University (we've already gone back). The wedding was held at a wedding hall in Daegu. The science teacher's homeroom happens to be one of my favorite grade 1 classes - mostly because of two students, who speak English well and make funny comments during class. The class sang a song for the couple during the ceremony.
25: It's considered good luck to have many family and friends attend your ceremony. The chapel and lobby were packed with people. The chapel doors were kept open so people could walk in and out during the ceremony. A group would go in for a few minutes and then come back out. People were talking to one another and on their cell phones during the ceremony. It was not very intimate and I think more people were just there for the massive buffet lunch. The lunch was enormous – several tables filled with food and more than 300 people dining. Guests from multiple weddings eat together, so you never know if you are sitting next to the couple's family and friends or another couple's wedding guests. A required wedding dish is noodle soup, long noodles boiled in beef broth and garnished with vegetables. Wedding banquets are called kook soo sang, which means "noodle banquet." The long noodles symbolize a wish for a long and happy life. Sticky rice cake is also served at most Korean events. The food was really good and I'm starting to get used to the warm cola, cider and beer they serve at restaurants and group gatherings. After the official ceremony, the couple has a traditional ceremony among family members. At the ceremony, the groom often gives a piggy back ride to his mother and then his wife to demonstrate his acceptance and obligation to both his mother and wife. The most common gift for the couple is cash. Outside the hall there were people collecting and documenting donations. Soobyoung and his wife, Minsoo, went to the Philippines for their honeymoon.
26: SPORTS DAY
32: Andong Paper making. Temple. Beach. | Head teacher | Rice
35: Summer camp
42: My name is and I ... | Knight | Horse | Cavalier | Winter Camp
43: Word find | Relay
44: Describing a picture
45: Guess who
51: A day of many rice cakes. | Andong Shikhye: traditional beverage made by fermenting hot peppers, ginger and sweet radish that is served with peanuts. | Flower for Teacher's Day.
52: David Lee Eunseo | Elizabeth Eunje | The music teacher's children.
53: We loved playing Scrabble for Kids. The most memorable moment, while playing, was when Elizabeth was looking for the "beef" card. She asked me "where's the beef."
54: Green tea cake with black beans - after it took a tumble. | Still sleepy after her nap.
55: Hyun-hun, Su-yeon, Min-jung | Proud of his award for good homework.
58: Amazing Friends. Fast Internet speed. Plentiful and cheap public transportation. Inexpensive utilities. Low crime rates. Feeling safe. Bank balance in the millions. Love motels (cheap place to stay). No tipping. Walk-in appointments and low-cost of health services. Service at restaurants (free stuff). Greeters at stores. KTX. Drink in a bag. Never carrying keys. Stone pot bibimbop. Finding good movies on TV. Most stressful part of my day is finding the TV remote hidden in my bed sheets. Traveling. Free rent. Most students. Random things witness on daily basis. Cute kids and babies. Unique restaurants and coffee shops. Coffee shop on every corner. Only 2,000w for hemmed pants finished in two hours. Free concerts. Being encouraged to bring food and drinks into events. Amazing and creative drawings by students. Well dressed students. Students humor. Tuning out noise since I don't understand what is being said. Lots of free time at work. If there is a hair in my food, always knowing it belongs to me. | Will miss.
59: Bar soap on a rod. Lack of toilet paper and liquid soap. Limited alcohol options. Uneven sidewalks. Crazy bus drivers. Cookie-cutter towns. Moldy, smoky, small apartment. Limited shopping - cheap stuff is really cheap, decent stuff is really expensive. Spitting/loogies. Rice cakes. Summer humidity. Kimchi. Language barriers. Being pushed/ran into. Scooters on sidewalks. Limited banking hours. Sewage smells. Being stared at. Food options. Little dogs wearing clothing with colored hair. Pet shops with tiny puppies for sale. School lunches. Air drying clothes. Wet bathroom floor after showering. Discipline at school. Expensive heat and hot water. Gum smacking. Freezing cold water in bathrooms. Knowing people are talking about you, but having no idea about what is being said. Daily comments about what you are eating for lunch. Being told you look tired or look better than you did the day before. Large importance placed on being in a relationship and appearance. | Will not miss.
61: Food comes with 3 layers of packaging. “Free samples” means “feed your entire extended family” (even if they're not there). People just love to watch your groceries go through the checkout. Clerks in the stores stand at attention and ready to pounce on you with customer service. Being followed while shopping seems natural You love buying food in the supermarket that is scotch-taped to something else. You get toothpaste and towels as gifts. The KTX smells like dried squid, fast food and coffee. People are respectfully quiet on public transportation. Koreans are in a rush to go everywhere... except when they are standing on escalators or moving walkways. There are more bags of recycling taking up space on public transportation than baby strollers. Middle school girls practice their dance routines at the subway station. Even if the cab driver has no idea where you want to go, he will spend ten minutes pretending that he does. People think you should board the train first before allowing people to get off. Moving into an apartment takes no time at all when you have a truck, ladder and big windows. Koreans employ mannequins for some of their road work. You're getting used to walking on brick after brick after brick. Pedestrians share the sidewalk with automobiles and motorcycles. Parking a car means turning off the engine. Even if you are fast asleep on the subway or city bus, you won't miss your stop. The main function for the GPS is playing Korean Dramas. You are at risk of being hit by a car the second you walk out of your apartment. Little kids traveling alone on public transit is nothing to be concerned about. You are more likely to run into another foreigner at EMart than at the immigration office. Your Alien Registration card is renewed through the use of magic marker. You've lost some respect for the US Army. If foreigners can't understand Korean, then they are obviously clueless to body language and gestures as well. Other foreigners fascinate you. A single bar of soap can kill the bacteria on the hands of 1000 people. There are 3 shower settings - boiling hot, luke warm, freezing cold. Men never shut the bathroom door. You think you're back in university after hearing loud drunks stumbling home at 4am on a Sunday morning, but then realize its 50 year olds wearing suits. Men in business suits puke and urinate in the street. Children stay up later than you do. The elderly have more active lives than you do. Koreans are terrified of being caught on CCTV. There are more oscillating-fan-related deaths than shootings. You feel safe walking down a dark street at 3 a.m. Matching outfits show a committed relationship. There is no such thing as non-smoking areas. Fresh air is more important than comfort - windows are open mid-winter. Korean women can do anything in cheap high heels. Who needs a napkin or a towel when you have toilet paper to clean up messes. Koreans actually read newspapers regularly. Seoul is less confusing than Daegu. You've stopped wondering why all your cardboard disappears the minute you throw it out. Koreans have more public places to squat, than places to dump their trash. People politely start public trash piles rather than littering everywhere.Koreans do not like rain, heat or the sun. People think that it is really nice to meet you once again for the 300th time. People love to know your blood type. No matter where you are standing, you are always in an old lady's way. The elderly are scarier than teenagers. Someone is always watching you. It no longer shocks you that trespassers will be violated. People only need to walk one block to reach a convenience store or PC room. Most laws are merely suggestions. You can never have too many self-taken photos. You need to start making a schedule of your laundry waiting period. There are only two languages ever spoken - Korean and English. Always answer yes to the questions are you a Christian, are you Catholic, do you go to church. Every child you pass on the street will say 'hello' to you. Somehow men who don't speak English find a way to ask if you are Russian. Blue or green eyes can put others into a state of hypnosis. You can watch reality TV for hours and not understand a single word spoken. It's okay to show people have sex on TV but anyone smoking must be blurred out. The more leg the better, but don't expose your shoulders. Everyone, including 5 year-olds, has a nicer cell phone than you. Cell phones are meant to always be turned on. The most used feature on the phone is the mirror. A group of people out to dinner spend more time on their cell phones, taking self-portraits and applying make-up then they do speaking to one another.
62: Bus ticket to Gimhae Airport in Busan.
63: Off to my next adventure, to be continued...