Monday, June 10, 2013

Suwon fortress and then Hannagae beach!

Recently I discovered this song, Ocean of Light, which I love, and so I will be listening to Nell more. Have a listen while you read!

This past weekend I went on two adventures! Once to Suwon, and once to Mooui Island to Hannagae beach.
Suwon has a fortress, part of which is kind of right smack dab down town, and then stretches up the mountain. It's not a continuous building or anything, but there are several buildings considered a part of the fortress that you can walk to.

I'll be honest and say that there wasn't much to tell about the actual fortress sight. You can see exactly what I saw in my photos. It was quite lovely, but the fun of that trip was mostly in the journey and hanging out with each other. Nothing like going on a long walk with friends if there are pretty things to look at! It is especially a blessing to laugh. I don't laugh much yet at my host family's house, so I miss it.

The trip to Hannagae was much more a journey/destination combination. In the morning we attended Subway Methodist Church and also visited Bus stop Baptist, (the last one was very crowded and not all   of members the congregation could find a seat). These churches are similar to Bedside Baptist, if you've heard of that one. Hallelujah.

Once we arrived, we had to take a ferry to Mooui island, which was super fun, even if it was probably only a 7-minute ride. Probably better for me that it was short, anyway. I still have memories of being 10 years old and horribly sea sick on the ferry from Cape May to Lewes.

The bus from the ferry to the beach was packed to the gills, with an assortment of foreigners and hikers. The hikers never cease to make me kind of crack up because of their outfits. In Korea, you don't just "kind of" do something. You go all in, and get every last little thing you could need to accomplish the hobby you've chosen to take on. In the case of hiking, it means matching athletic pants and jacket that you wear even if the weather is scorching hot. You must have a metal walking stick and a hat, probably sunglasses and a backpack too, which matches your clothes. The other teachers have even seen a female hiker in a pink hiking suit with a dog wearing a matching dog jacket. All these groups seem to buy their gear at the same places too, because they all are the same style, just different colors. It it almost like seeing a dance troupe or something.

Hannagae was so lovely. It's famous for having a very wide beach, and we saw this right away when we arrived. The tide was out and the beach went on for almost as far as the eye could see, transitioning slowly from white dry sand to dark wet sand rippled into ridges by the retreating water. It felt amazing on my feet, like a combination massage and exfoliation. There were piles of huge rocks along the edge of the beach, so we made our way there to climb around and sit in the shade to eat our picnic of homemade kimbap, hard-boiled eggs and sliced carrots. Nothing could have been more delicious.

After lunch we made a rock tower, waded in the water, took photos while trying to escape the incoming tide. Once it starts to come in, it comes in fast because the sand is so flat. It only took about one minute to reach my feet from 20 feet away. Then we all went to pick our own spot to read for awhile, so I chose a rock higher than the water, but close enough to dangle my feet in the cool waves and got to some seriously relaxing. A couple time I had to move to a higher rock, and got splashed pretty well a couple time as the water smacked up against the surfaces in its way, but it felt delightful in the hot sun, and it never got my kindle wet, just me :-)

It was just simply the most relaxed I've been in a while. It will be tough to beat that trip. Best part is that I think it cost me maybe $20 or so total?

I definitely thought about it a couple times today in between classes (which went very well today, by the way!)

I don't want to go into extreme detail about every day teaching, so I will just share my favorite things from today:

1. It was my day to cook with my cooking day bud, Sarah, and we made some pretty bangin' kimchi jjigae. Well, Sarah did. I utilized my chopping skills pretty well :-) Secret? briefly fry the kimchi first and make the broth with anchovies and seaweed, then take them out. Makes it way more tasty! Add two spoonfuls of sugar and two spoonfuls of gochuchang (red pepper paste) too.

2. My Blue 6 class is reading a book called Peach Boy, and I've been trying to make it more fun for them. Today we practiced reading "This peach smells wonderful!" in an old woman voice, since in the story an old woman finds a huge peach in the river and catches it, then smells it and says that. One of the boys was too shy to try, but the other two did and we laughed a lot.

Thanks for reading!

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