Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good News, Sand Art, Laos

Well, I have good news: Dad is now cancer-free. Hopefully he will remain that way for some time through healthier living and sheer stubborn will. Yay Dad! So even as I've gotten some crap health news, not all is bad in the world of E-family health.

I have other good news, but I won't share it with you all yet. I'm a tease. You'll know soon enough, lovely blog people. I suspect sometime in July.


Two weeks ago, Min Gi and I went to the Sand Art Festival in Busan at Haeundae beach. I went last year, too, but I think the art this year was more interesting and politically-themed. Last year it was mostly about how much they hate American beef. This year featured a tribute to former president and recently deceased Roh Moo-hyun, an anti-nuclear war protest, and this interesting anti-whaling design:

Look at the little whaling boat. And the red and white dye used on the sand.

We also discovered that sailing could be a recreational activity in Korea, although still nowhere near as popular as in the U.S.

Since it was still May two weeks ago, technically it was not "beach season" in Korea, and so even with the festival and perfect beach weather, Haeundae was not nearly as crowded as it is in July or August. We set up the green tent, purchased from Sarah before she went down under, and I hogged the corner of shade it cast so my pasty white skin wouldn't end up bright red. I was, unfortunately, feeling sicky, so I didn't go in the water...

But Min Gi got to practice for his new gig as a beer model (haha!)

In Korea, you can order delivery anywhere, even on the beach!

The day was lovely. We took the slow train directly from Haeundae home. It takes a lot longer than the KTX, but the seats are comfortable and the views are beautiful--all along the south and east coast then through the gorgeous Gyeongsang Province country scenery. If you have a little extra time in your trip between Daegu and Busan, I highly recommend taking the longer train!

In the meantime, check out the album:

Busan Sand Art Festival


Work has been really stressful and busy lately. From the gifted classes, to being so ill a week ago I had to take two days off, to organizing two major projects/presentations with my 360 students, it's been a lot. I will post about the drama festival William and I have been working on soon, as it's been really interesting and challenging to organize.

However, Friday afternoon we had a little break from the usual routine for a special visit from the Lao Ambassador to Korea for a Global Meeting. In the hot auditorium, it went on for about 30 minutes too long (the whole thing was 2 hours), but it was a great opportunity to learn a little more about the only landlocked Southeast Asian country.

Here the smiling ambassador removes his jacket in the middle of his speech, laughing about how the climate reminds him of home.


  1. what school do you work for if you dont mind me asking? i'm about to go to SK in July sometime and am currently talking to YBM schools hoping that it's a right!

  2. I'm happy to hear about your dad! I think I know what your July good news is -- a baby! You've been hiding your pregnancy right? I'm right, aren't I? I have a knack for these kinds of things. I think I'm psychic. Please name your baby after me. Jelly Baby. (But I advise against a middle name of Bean, Roll or Fish.)

  3. SeoulSearcher--

    I work for the public foreign language high school in Daegu. It's academically competitive; many of my students are already nearly fluent in English and have lived abroad, so it's often more like teaching gifted English in a middle school in the States.

    I have a teaching certificate from the state of Maryland and to work here, you need a minimum of a master's or teaching credentials (including TEFL) and experience. However, in Korea, I could easily teach at the university level and was offered jobs at prestigious gigs in the heart of Seoul because my experience as a teacher in the U.S. is a rare commodity amongst most foreign teachers in Korea.

    I worked at a small hakwon for a year that I LOVED, but that's 'cause the people who ran it and my co-workers were awesome. I don't prefer elementary students or evening hours, so when the opportunity for my present school opened up, I took it. Some people love their hakwons, some hate it. Do your research on the particular school you're going to before you come. Ask a lot of questions of the current teachers, especially the one you'll be replacing, and if possible, one or more former teachers (find out why they left--if it's a good place it'll be because they were done with Korea or like me, moved to public school or a university or wanted to live in another city or something).

    To all job-seekers looking for ESL teaching in Korea: DO YOUR RESEARCH. There is nothing that should excuse lack of planning.


    Oh my god! Why did you share my secret! Now there will be no surprises with little Jelly Bean on her way!


  4. I recently heard a story about someone that had pizza delivered to them at a street corner, while they waited for a bus late at night. Also on the subject of pizza, one of the DC City Council members (not Marion Barry, though) is trying to pass a city law banning late-night pizza places.

    I'm glad to hear your dad is doing well.

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