It's that time of year again, the festive spirit is in the air, the schools are all closed and the streets are bustling with busy Korean's finishing up their holiday shopping of Spam gift sets and fruit:)
It is my first official holiday in Korea, Chusok, something like American Thanksgiving. To me, as a foreigner who doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving in September, it is a much needed week long break from school. Our principal came in today and told us we could leave at 3, two hours early, so it is obviously a big deal! Most Koreans are traveling to their hometowns in the countryside to be with family, so I am told the traffic will be horrible for the next two days and the city will be emptying out. What a perfect time to see some sights around this spectacular city, since most of the attractions I have seen thus far have been the inside of bars. Of course, the weather is not cooperating but I, with a big F U to the rain clouds, am planning on hiking, seeing traditional markets, visiting some temples, going to the Han river, and of course engaging in Korean's favorite pastime, drinking and eating lots! And at the end of the week, as the cherry on my fun filled time off, Eric will finally be joining me on my adventure in Asia,arriving Friday night, moving into my "cozy" apartment and then I have a big weekend planned:) I can't express how excited I am! Now people will really be staring, two huge white people walking hand and hand ♥
Last week my school held a festival on Saturday (this is actually a normal school day, as Korean children go to school Mon-Saturday!) a fun filled day where all the students, their parents and grandparents and teachers play games,have races, and each grade puts on a performance. It is a big event that only happens every other year and the students have been preparing for many weeks. I went on my day off to watch since they had been working so hard and it was a great cultural experience to see all decorations, traditional foods and to see the competitiveness between the students, and even the parents! I was even roped into doing a tug of war (pun intended) with all the parents and teachers. As I was pulling with all my might, I could hear my 6th graders yelling, GO ELLIE! and it gave me a smile that lasted all day. During the 100m races, many parents fell on their asses as they tried to be the fastest mom or dad and the 5th grade class did a performance to HEY MICKY, pom poms and all... It was quite an amusing day.
My school with the 6th graders tug-of-war
Now its the adults turn for pulling on a looong rope, another part of my school.
I would like to see an American 6th grade class be able to a super great fan dance like my students, ha ya right!
Some of my 6th graders :)
The other subject teachers took me out for Italian food and cake as a welcoming dinner, this is my main co-teacher, Lily.