Village templeThe main temple in the village. it's just across the road and up a laneway.
#6 AROUND THE VILLAGE
The village where I live may be too quiet for most people, but I have not been to a more pleasant village yet. Most of the other small towns and villages I have been to, seem to be mainly built of concrete and are fairly ordinary where you are constantly trying to maneuver around parked and moving cars. Here, most of the lanes are too narrow for cars, so 99% of the cars are on the main road thru town; so these back stonewalled lanes are ideal for walking. The village, Daeyul, is actually designated a ‘Cultural Heritage Village’ and together with another area 2 kilometers down the road, is often visited by tourists from the big city, on the weekends. It may get busier in the holidays; we’ll wait and see. At least I am a fair way from most of the activity. The village was started in 950; that’s 950, NOT 1950! Of course there are electricity poles, satellite dishes etc, but most of the houses are stone, wattle and dab, wood and modern brick with mainly blue curved roofs. It is still a working, living, rural village that has not
cemetryAncient cemetry near pine forest and Elementry School
been ‘prettied up’ for the tourists. The main street is nothing special, with not too much ‘thru’ traffic. Most of the small shops sell mostly the same stuff, such as milk, drinks, some fruit and veggies and other basics; no real bread though. There are a few restaurants, but no real takeaway places. It is very different to my closest local village in Australia. That has one general store, one café, a garage and of course; a pub. There is a beautiful temple up a laneway across the road, and at the other end of town a sitting pavilion, Elementary School, ancient cemetery and Pine Park. There is special house, mostly reconstructed, belonging to the main family in the area-the Hongs. The garden is open to the public and if I lived in Korea centuries ago, it is the house that I would like to have lived in with its open design, view and ‘ondle’ (fires under house for heating in winter).
TRIAD BUDDHA CAVE The other area 2 kilometers up the road is the home of the Triad Buddha Cave. It is a cave up a cliff wall that has 3 Buddha statues inside. This was the
original ‘Triad Buddha Cave‘ in Korea, but is called the ‘second’ because it was lost for centuries and only rediscovered in the 1930’s. There is another more famous one in the tourist city of Gyeongju, but that one is reconstructed and not as good as the one near “my village”. It is also a temple complex, with a few tourist shops, restaurants and market. I often walk the back roads thru rice fields and apple orchards to this place. There is a stand of pines half way for resting. There is a huge car park near this cave, so I expect there will be a lot of tourists in holiday season. That’s just far enough away from me, but it could be an interesting place to come and gawk at Korean tourists and see how they spend their time.
END OF YEAR PARENT ‘OPEN DAYS’ AND CONCERTS Yes, it’s that time of year. Not having any kids myself, (let alone taught classes to any! ) I have not been to many of these so they were interesting to me. The ‘Open Day’ had a few interesting things on display made by students. There was quiet a range
Stone wallIvy, vines, moss, lichen and algae grow on these stone walls
of performances at combined county concert and once again our students did quiet well, in several areas, I am told. A lot of musical numbers, -modern and traditional made for an interesting diversion from normal classes. There was an interesting dance routine of 5-6 years old boys and girls in Arabic- harem costumes doing a belly dance to modern ‘rap’ type music. Now that’s something you don’t see everyday. Unfortunately, the photos did not come out. I am still trying to hunt some down.
END OF SCHOOL YEAR CLASSES I just found out that both our second and third grades came top in out County. I am sure our first year class ( and new first year class)will do better next year. We’re working on it. Exams are now over, so lessons are now easier and more fun. The students seemed to be interested in where I lived and all the Aussie animals round my land (and house!) so they were using more English. They were a bit unsure of all the ‘dangerous animals’ so I showed them a video clip on ‘Youtube’ called “Come to Australia”- a very funny clip about all the various ways you can get
killed in Australia- they loved it but I still think they would visit, on a ‘safe’ tour. We are also playing more games which can be a real chore to get working and can end up getting very noisy because the students can get very competitive. Also, I have not had much experience playing these group games. I always ask myself after these sometimes exhausting, chaotic classes “Well, was English the winner?” (ie. Did they use a lot of English?) The answer is usually “Yes”; so it looks like we’ll use more of them. I’ll have to get used to using them more over the next month because the ‘English Holiday Camps’ are about to start. Theses are NOT what the name implies. We won’t be sitting around drinking cups of Earl Grey Tea, playing Polo and Cricket. These are extra classes thru the school holidays for students who want extra lesson time. Playing English games is the usual activity. I am not sure how many hours or days I will be doing these; more in next blog as well as details of a couple of other Day Trips. Next semester starts February 11th for one week then two weeks
LanewayMy home is next to church with tall spicked steeple in background
holidays so as some teachers can relocate to their new schools. By February, it should be seriously cold, so I have booked into Cambodia for two weeks so I can turn my body thermostat onto ‘Defrost’.
I have finally managed to add videos to the Blog. Just click on film clip icons below. The quality may not be good,, but it gives you an idea of the place. Let me know if they work and is it worthwhile dong more in the future?
FROM CHINA TO KOREA
I have recently returned from two trips to China teaching English and I am about to start teaching again; this time in South Korea. I love travel, especially in Asia and by working there, feel I experience the country more than by just passing thru it.
My previous travels before China were 15 months in North America and Europe in 1975-76 and many South East Asian countries in 1980-81 for another 9 months. After almost another quarter of a century living in Australia, I got the travel bug once again.
This time I decided to do it slightly differently by working. I hear... full info
Korea was an independent kingdom under Chinese suzerainty for most of the past millennium. Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. After World War II, a...more info