Friday, October 10, 2008

Yeongju, Bonding with co-workers.

Last Saturday, Ms. Suh, the head of the English department, invited me on a small "girls' outing" to a temple in the countryside. As the weather has been lovely, and I feel like I should get to know my co-workers a little better, I skipped Korean class and struck out for Yeongju and Buseoksa temple. I had fun wandering around, taking pictures, and practicing my Korean (two of the four Korean teachers we went with didn't speak much English at all).

Flowers and Berries

Teachers walking.

All in all, Yeongju was pretty, but the tourist sites were much too touristy for my tastes compared to some others I've visited in Korea. I don't think I'd go back on my own, but it was a pleasant day. View the complete album of our trip for more pretty countryside photos:

Yeongju and Buseoksa

Then on Tuesday, the students began their midterm exams, so the staff all took a bus to Changnyeong for a little bit of hiking and bonding. It was like a field trip for teachers! This trip was a lot more fun because it had more people to talk to and the mountain was much more exciting for climbing, even if the temple grounds were less impressive than Buseoksa's.

I elected not to go on the big climb with about half of the teachers because the pace that the vice principal set was INSANE. However, the climb I did to the "Dragon Place" (I was just too tempted by that name), was awesome fun and I'd totally come back to climb this mountain for real with someone who's willing to slow down a bit!

The temple interiors were some of the most elaborate I've seen. Totally unexpected, since the temple itself was tiny.

Ms. Koh at the top of a rock scramble I just came down. She is my classroom co-teacher (meaning we teach together) and she's awesome. She reminds me of a slightly older Se Jin.

And the views? Breathtaking.

Check out the entire album:

Dragon Place (용선대)

All in all, over the past few weeks, I'd say my country girl self is a bit more satisfied than she usually can be in the very-city-centric Korea (like even small towns feature high-rise style apartments... sheesh!) and I've gotten to know my fellow teachers a bit better, so I'm feeling much more relaxed in my new situation.

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