Home Sweet Yeoju
This picture, not this one but one exactly like it, was the first ever visual evidence I had of town. I got it about a month before leaving for Korea on Google earth. Little did I know it was from the Yeongwaloo pavillion overlooking town. Sure gonna miss this little place!
Before coming to Korea, we couldn’t find any information on the designated town we were to call home for the next year. Literally, the only two solid bits of information, if you can call them that, in which we knew for sure was that Yeoju is the home for some kind of world ceramic festival and there is a premium outlet shopping mall in town. You could say we were going in pretty blind, but in the end, it was an absolute blessing.
Before I get into Yeoju a little, we’re currently enroute to Japan, the final leg of our Asian experience. Those blogs are coming right up, sorry I’m a little behind on the writing- been a little busy. We officially have left Korea, Yeoju, our jobs, and friends which was all quite sad. As most of you have gotten from the gist of these blogs we’ve really cherished this incredible opportunity (most of the time) is. It has been difficult at times, but we’ve learned an astronomical amount about the world, different Asian cultures, and have met some fantastic people along the way.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to accurately describe what this
The new artwork on one of the bridges in town. They finished a bunch of artwork for the ceramic festival that really touched up the walk to EMart!
year has provided, but maybe I’m just not supposed to. Ask any traveler why they travel and it certainly won’t sound as worthy as it is in actuality. Words so often thrown around, and accurately so, are things like, “perspective, growth, self realization, knowledge.” Even those don’t do the justice a year abroad living or working or traveling really offers; they still lack in some way I can’t quite put my finger on. What I really do know is this, the man writing this blog one year ago, is much different than the one writing now, and it is because of these things and so much more.
I wrote in the last paragraph of my article on Bootsnall,
“is the personal growth that happens as a result of the humbling, the first hand experience, the uncomfortable job and life, when you start to realize living and working in a different country may have just been the best decision of your life.”
So… we are excited to get back to the comforts of home, to see Denali and everyone we’ve missed this past year, but it is hard to say goodbye to such great friends when you don’t know
Yeoju's famous crop, along with peanuts and sweet potatoes, that is known around the country.
when you’ll see each other again. I suppose that is the journey of life and the growing process, but that doesn’t make it any easier. The comforting thought is that we all know that we will make an effort to stay in everyone’s life, in one way or another.
But I’m getting off track…
Yeoju, about 40 miles east-southeast of Seoul is an area of about 100,000 people. We soon found out that was the county of Yeoju (or Yeoju-goon), and not the city (known in korean as Yeoju-eup), which was smaller at about 50-70,000 people. It is ‘very country’ by Korean standards, but having everything you could ask for and only an hour bus ride from the city, it suited us wonderfully. You can run into the city for shopping, a night out, Superstar K, or a Jason Mraz show and be back in no time. One of the best things that happened to us was probably having our recruiter from Reach To Teach
saying, “I realize you’re both from Montana, so I thought you’d like a placement a little outside of Seoul.” You couldn’t have been more right, Mitch.
We’ve really enjoyed it, and it has a
Overlooking his city. He is the king that invented the Hangeul language (written korean) and is the only modern language with a documented date of invention. The reason was to differentiate the Korean language from Chinese and for easier communication between Koreans. He is currently buried in town.
lot of little treasures in and around it. I’ve learned this little blog has cropped up on some of the teachers/families Google searches for Yeoju. That’s pretty cool. Cass and I are most definitely going to continue posting to this blog (despite the “joncasssouthkorea” name), and keep sharing our adventures from wherever we are (as long as people keep reading it, I suppose) and I just want everyone and anyone out there to know I’m more than willing to field any questions now or in the future about it, Korea, or the general ESL experience (or really anything for that matter). Feel free to shoot me a message or comment- no worries.
But, since this is a “Photo Tour of Yeoju” I won’t right any more. I will rather share this cool little place we called home with you in the captions of these photos we’ve taken throughout the year.
From Gucci to Coca Cola and the ancient King Sejong, from farming famous rice to the world's greatest ceramic coffee mugs, please let me introduce to you…
Blog-abration #4- Yeoju, South Korea, A Photo Tour
p.s. don't forget there are 3
If you read the back sign it says Sejong. This is the garbage men's truck, sort of. So much of the work here is done by hand, this is a hand cart packed with trash the worker walks around town with all day, so tough.
pages of Yeoju pictures and some stories about them to check out.
p.p.s. - Here's a ploy at getting you to subscribe the the blog. It's the easiest way to know if I change it up ever, since I will continue this into the future. Just go to the front page of the blog, there is a blue square button that says 'subscribe' (under all the links I put up and the green trip links)- click it and give your email. Then, everytime I post a new blog entry, you'll get an email! Easy, painless... and I think it's probably the best way to keep in touch out there! Thanks so much!
Oh, and p.p.p.s. (is that right?), Yeoju rhymes with Soju… coincidence???
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