Amazing Co-teachers and Chuseok Week

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September 27th 2010
Published: September 28th 2010
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To begin I would just like to say how kind and helpful the teachers I work with are. I couldn’t be more fortunate. A geography teacher who is self-learning English through the internet was especially welcoming. After asking for restaurant recommendations around the area she offered to take us around and show us the sights. So on a Thursday she drove us both around pointing out good restaurants, a public bathhouse, and other attractions that were near our home. She then took us to the best meal we’ve had consisting of 40 side dishes with the main dish of Korean Sushi called Whey. We walked around Daedapo beach and finished a magical evening by watching the free laser water fountain show.
The equivalent of Thanksgiving happened last week, it’s called Chuseok. It’s a time for families, honoring the ancestors, a long break from school. An English Co-teacher kindly invited us to his home for the holiday. We were greeted by his family, his two sisters and their families, and his mother. There were 6 children ranging from 3-8 years old. (On a side note Korean children are adorable)! We were asked to participate in the ceremony honoring their ancestors (they commented on our ability to bow although the children found our attempts quite comical) and were treated to a delicious home cooked feast. If you thought American Thanksgiving had many side dishes it pales in comparison to the Korean equivalent.
We had two days trips during the 6 day break. The first was to the old capital of Gyeonju. This city has a 5000 year recorded history. The only other city in the world that can claim this is Rome. It was a beautiful city with a very unique feeling. Ancient burial mounds, hundred year old trees, and fields of lotus flowers contributed to the feeling of timelessness that was Gyeonju. While we didn’t make it to the famous Buddhist temple the normally pricey museum was free and were able to see artifacts from the many eras. A day was not enough to see all there was to offer.
The next day trip I left behind my Husband and joined other EPIK teachers to the city of Andong. Here there was a famous village built on the bend of soon-to-be oxbow lake. While the village itself felt full of history spending the day with fellow English teachers (and a complete lack
Chuseok ceremonyChuseok ceremonyChuseok ceremony

Ancient tomb
of a language barrier) was of value in itself. We attended the Mask Dance festival in the local village. This proved to be more of a story then a dance and without a translation service the majority of the emotions were lost on us. Perhaps most memorable for me was the scenic beauty of the place especially a large cliff across the river and the walks among the trees. But I’ll let my pictures do most of the talking there.

Additional photos below
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Cute boy in HanbokCute boy in Hanbok
Cute boy in Hanbok

Hanbok is the traditional Korean garb.
Playing dead gamePlaying dead game
Playing dead game

A craze called the "playing dead game" has swept this nation where people of all ages stage elaborate death scenes everyplace. We participated.

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