Spring in Village
April was a very nice time to wander around the village with a camera.
# 11 - SPRING AND DAY TRIPS
Spring has started in Korea and it is more spectacular than in Australia due to the long period of the dull colors of winter here. Of course everybody takes heaps of photos at this time. My main school has many white/pink flowering trees so everybody gets out and takes photos one day after lunch, just as some other trees are being removed.
All classes are going well now and weather is good. A lot of spring colors around and air is still good. I now have two other ‘local’ (35 minutes by slow bus away) FTs working near me now. Both are newbies and I am the ‘old hand’ or expert, so I guess we’re ALL in trouble. Belinda is from Australia and Wil is American who was born and raised in Haiti and spent half his life there. Both are in their thirties and enjoy working here so far in spite of the adjustment hassles.
KOREAN WAR SITE
I visited an area close to here which saw a lot of action in the Korean War. I must admit that I do not know any of the details of that
conflict except what I see on the TV show MASH (and how accurate is that!) I did not know that near where I live was one of the major turning points of the war. In 1950 within the first few weeks of the war, North Korea had taken over almost the whole country, except for this lower south east corner, north of Daegu. The Dabudong battle went on for 55 days and 27,000 lives were lost at least. Evidentially, it was a pretty brutal, desperate situation, and the South Koreans and UN/Americans gradually forced the North Koreans back. It is very strange to think that this went on all around this beautiful area where I now live.
March and April are the times for the annual dust storms from the Gobi Dessert in China. Nowadays these dust clouds also pick up chemical pollution from China’s big cities. So far my area has only had a couple of bad days. It looked bad, but did not seem to affect my health one way or other, although many people do suffer and many die every year. On two other occasions, the dust reached Seoul, but did not
Spring in Village
make it this far because the wind changed direction, luckily. These have occurred every year for centuries and dust even makes it across the Pacific to North America. They are getting worse every year.
I now have about four months left here with out any holidays, but things are going well. I had to give a ‘Demonstration Class’ with my first year students to all the English teachers in the area. There were more teachers and school officials than students (11) so I think the students were a bit intimidated and did not say much; understandable I guess, even though they are a good class. I did not expect them be so quiet, because usually they are quiet active. I should have expected it I suppose; so, it was a bit of a disaster, unfortunately. A video was made of the lesson. I doubt whether I will be able to find all copies for destruction (I am joking of course-mostly).
I can now say that I have been in the back of a Korean police car. At the other school we had a running marathon (2 Kilometers and back) for the
students and staff down a main country road. I told them I would only walk, since they were all younger than me. With my long legs this was no problem at first, but I gradually ended up at the back of the pack. We had a two police car (and push bike) escort for this. In the end the police car at the back thought it would be easier to just drive the stragglers to the finish line, hence my free ride.
Our school went on a school picnic to Amusement Park in Daegu city next to the Daegu Tower (mentioned in Blog #8) called ‘Woobang Towerland’. There were heaps of spring flowers everywhere and tulips seem to grow well here. The students went off and did there thing, while we teachers did ours. I have not had much experience in these parks, so it was like being a big kid again going on some of the rides.
There seems to be trips happening a lot at the moment, even on school days, during this pleasant time of year. Now most of the trees have bright green leaves and new flowers are still appearing all
the time. Also more vegetables are being planted.
Next blog on trip to coast city of Busan
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