Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kyoto, Japan 2012!

Tommy Lee Jones - The Boss by locomocos
Tommy Lee Jones - The Boss, a photo by locomocos on Flickr.

Take a look at our Japan photos! There are a lot, so if you just click on the set, (japan 2012) you can pick the thumbnails you want to see!

We had a great time! We first stopped at Kyomizu-dera where we saw a wonderful shrine and cemetary.
Then we were off to Nanzen-ji where we jumped in front of the big wooden gate!
One of the most impressive places was the Fushimi Inari Tisha gate in Nara. It had 1000 redish gates and was really cool! We finished up our trip going to the Golden Temple and a few more zen gardens.
We ate sushi, miso, donburi, and tempura!
What a wonderful trip for just 2 days!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Long Winter

We're off to Kyoto, Japan tomorrow for 3 nights and 2 days of site-seeing. We will be staying in a hostel with 3 more of our buddies. I hope we will have a fabulous trip, and I can't wait to bring back some great photos.

On a different note, I have been training for a transition into kindergarten. Anthony and I have both been teaching elementary school, while only dabbling in kindy. But as our year in Korea came to a close, we decided we liked it here, and resigned our contracts. The only difference is that now I will be teaching 6-7 year olds all day, for a year program. Cross your fingers!
Recently, our school has been losing students. We used to have more than 200 students and the kindergarten program was the money maker. But in March, 2 classes of students will graduate, and we will be left with only one class of 11 kids. MY class! The kindergarten program is all day, everyday, for a year (our other classes are on a 3 month cycle, and parents only have to pay monthly - no contracts).

The area we live in is pretty new. Apparently it has only been about 15 years ago that this was all farmland. Now, there are giant apartment buildings EVERYWHERE. It's a little awe inspiring (especially when looking at construction times). But with more growth, there has been more and more competition for English Academies (private after school programs). What used to be the only English school in the area for 6 years, is now one of 50. So lots of competition, and lots of fickle parents.

So in March, I will be starting kindergarten. Let's hope it lasts for a whole year! And as much as I like teaching elementary students, Anthony suggested a change in pace for us, seeing as how we live, work, eat, sleep, and vacation together. He says 24 hours a day for a year is enough.

I think it's just because he doesn't like watching Star Trek after work.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ice Fishing in Hwachon

Cassie's Fish by locomocos
Cassie's Fish, a photo by locomocos on Flickr.

So we went ice fishing last weekend. It was pretty fun and I caught a fish! Who knew I have mad fishin skillz?.....

The festival was huge- over 10,000 people. We went with Adventure Korea and got some rock star treatment. We got our own private foreigner fishing area, and lots of cameramen. We were on the evening news, but I didn't see my multiple interviews.... probably because they were intimidated by the skillz.

It was fairly easy to catch the fish that they kept stocking in the water. But what was better than catching them, was eating them! Fresh fish on the grill with a little salt! Yum!

Anthony did some bare hand fishing. It was really cold in the northern part of S. Korea, and everyone had multiple layers of clothes on. So they made all the volunteers put on some tshirts and shorts, and walk on some icy, snowy path around a small pool of freezing water. Every one jumped in and tried to catch a fish with their bare hands. A few people succeeded. I kept my clothes on and took some pictures. Anthony said it was one of the most painful things he's ever done. He didn't catch a fish, but he was on the news! We did it with our tour group, but lots of people were PAYING MONEY to do this! Whaa????

There was sledding, ice skating, ice sports (hockey/soccer), snowmobiles, mazes and tons of people. We had fun and the next day went to look at some ice sculptures. It was a fun weekend. This weekend we are taking it easy, but next weekend is Chinese New Years. We are off to Kyoto, Japan for a couple days! We are super excited!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Winter Pics of Korea 2011

We have been busy this season - but my new years resolution has been to keep up on the blog. So I FINALLY uploaded some recent photos! Take a look at our photos of Winter in Korea! We have some of our school, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Anthony's band, and the giant FLEA. I'll post more soon!