On The First Two (ish) Weeks...

Here's a brief of what happened during the first two weeks:

We have Korean language class for four hours almost every morning. And sometimes I still leave class after four hours and don't remember a single thing. For the second week (days 8-13) after Korean language class we had workshops on teaching, Korean culture, and Korean history.

On day 14, that would be Friday July 24th, we left for a weekend in Sokcho! Leading up to this trip we had heard a lot of rumors. First that we would be visiting the DMZ which didn't happen. Second that we would be forced to hike the tallest (or perhaps second tallest) mountain in Korea. I say that it might be the second tallest mountain in Korea because I heard, possibly a rumor, that there is a taller mountain in North Korea and that on said mountain is where Kim Jung-Il was born. Feel free to fact check that, dad! And no, we did not have to hike.

Lesson of Sokcho Weekend? Don't believe any rumors.

We arrived in Sokcho around the lunch hour. And it was glorious. Such comfortable beds and amazing showers. I don't have a picture of them, but just believe me that these digs were great.

Our hotel in Sokcho. I had to stop myself from making jokes referencing 300.

The view from our room. Quite overcast, but still better than my dorm room.

On Friday we went on a temple visit. We took a small hike up a large hill, not really a mountain, to get to the temple. I'm not big on nature/hiking (even in a tamed environment like this), but we got to see some mountains and things.

We got to eat dinner at the temple and had a tour from a very nice monk. He liked to sing American songs. We visited Naksansa temple. (Please feel free to check that link out, dad.)

We visited Naksansa temple. (Please feel free to check that link out, dad.) We got to eat dinner at the temple and had a tour from a very nice monk. He liked to sing American songs. After our tour of the temple we took another small hike to the top of the large hill and got to see some some other great views.

Here is Haesugwaneumsang (Bodhisattva of Mercy), known as the goddess Gwanseeum-Bosal, who gazes out to sea. She's pretty amazing.
Sokcho from the top of the large hill. I think this marks the first time I've seen the ocean in years.
On Saturday we had free time all day. So naturally, my roommates and I ate, slept, ate, slept, and ate. I'm not kidding. We woke up, ate breakfast (and by that I mean we ate as much bread as possible), slept, ate lunch at an Italian restaurant described as "surprisingly calm, tasty, and affordable" (100% true), walked back to our hotel, laid down, then had Korean barbecue with our entire program and Director Shim and her staff. I successfully cooked one round of samgyeopsal! #AmIKoreanYet?

After dinner we all parted ways and engaged in a range of extracurriculars. On the way back to Goesan from Sokcho, we stopped at two large homes where fancy rich people once lived. I would love to tell you where we stopped, dad,  but I lost the pamphlets. One place had 99 rooms and I believe was the home of Shin Saimdang. That should give you enough information to find one of walking museums we went to.

Artsy photo from the first museum that we went to.

I think this was from the residence of Shin Saimdang.
This place had 99 rooms and a small amphitheater.

In other news, not related to Sokcho Weekend, the outdoor pool opened at Jungwon! And Fulbright English Program (FEP) started this week! FEP ("F-E-P" because "FEP" sounds like a skin disease) is a 2-week English intensive/immersion program for Korean elementary through early high school students. I'll be teaching two lessons in FEP. Check out my next post for more info on my first teaching experience!
Jungwon outdoor pool is now open!
Also, let it be known that I ate a whole can of Pringles while writing this post.


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