30 December 2008

China- Beijing

David and I went to CHINA BEIJING for our Christmas vacation. (I call holidays vacation now as I work with Americans!)We flew on Christmas day! It was an incredible trip. We stayed in a 5 star hotel and went to all of the usual tourist sights. It was immensely cold. I definitely did not pack appropriately! The icy cold weather did not prevent me from enjoying myself and having fun! I heart Beijing!  

27 November 2008

Promotional Video for my school in Changnyeong!

video

This is a section of a promotional video about Changnyeong. In this part of the video you will see Changnyeong English Camp and the teachers who work there featuring in it. Including an interview from all of us!!!

25 November 2008

Black Belt!

I am know officially a black belt in Taekwondo! Suzi and I went to Masan stadium and we took part in a official examination. There was over 2000 people attempting to get their black belt. There was students of all ages. From age 6 and upwards! The examination consisted of a variety of tests. First of all Suzi and I had to perform our Poomsae in front of a panel of judges and the any other of the 2000 people who was interested in watching. (I think a foreigner and an mature Korean lady are not the common contestants!) After we preformed our Poomsae Suzi and I had to fight each other. The sparring lasted only a few minutes. It was all very nerve racking but well worth it!!!

30 October 2008

Staff Workshop Trip

This month we had our staff workshop trip. Once again our boss asked us to write a report on what we did so he could send it to Changnyeong County Office. Here is my report....

Workshop Trip by Rebecca Rhone 2008

Monday 6th October
We set of from Changnyeong English Camp at 9.30 Monday morning. I was extremely excited about our trip. I had not been on a workshop yet and I have heard positive feedback from previous English Camp teachers. From the pamphlets I had read Hadong sounded beautiful. With stunning scenery and a fascinating history which was traditional and unique. After all the staff had greeted each other in the morning we made our way onto the bus. Suzie gave all of the staff a delicious pack lunch, which we were all grateful for.
 We arrived at our first destination, which was Ssanggyesa Temple. Ssanggyesa Temple in Mt.Jirisan is the 13th of the 25 head offices of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. The Ssanggyesa Temple and everything on its surrounding grounds was incredibly beautiful. The weather was pleasant and as it was the beginning of October. The seasonal change made a great impact on the appearance of the plantation. The colors were spectacular. Ssanggyesa Temple grounds had many monuments to admire. It also had an extremely interesting museum. I also really enjoy visiting the gift stores. All of the traditional Korean bits and pieces were so beautiful and distinctive.  
The Tea Cultural Centre was our second destination. Here is where the cultural tradition of cultivating and enjoying tea is handed down through the generations. The actual museum is not open on Monday’s but Richard and Suzie asked the manager and she opened it just for us. This was fantastic! The museum was lovely. It explained about the different methods used to produce many different kinds of tea from around the world. We also went into a tearoom and the owner served all of the staff with original green tea in traditional Korean pottery. It was a pleasant experience. I bought a petit vase, which I will use for a flower centerpiece for my apartment dinning table. I was pleased with my purchase.
The third destination was Hwagae Market. It was a lovely traditional outdoor food market. There was charming traditional Korean souvenirs which were tremendously cute. We had lunch, which was absolutely scrumptious.  
 The fourth destination was Choi Cham-Pan’s House: Filming location of the TV drama Toji (My land) Choi Cham House was situation on a mountain. This made the view from the peak magnificent. I was able to see the surround landscapes clearly. Again the colors of the season made the outlook appear extremely attractive and outstanding. There were also animals at Choi Cham- Pan’s House, which was nice. There were two pigs, a few rabbits and a couple of cows. I enjoyed stroking the pigs they where cute but a little smelly! We finished exploring Choi Cham- Pan’s House around 5.30. After this location we planned to travel to our motel.
We arrived at our motel at six in the evening. The hotel was extremely satisfactory. Richard and Suzie arranged everybody to meet in the motel lobby at 8.00. We all had two hours so freshen up and recharge our batteries. After a little snooze and a refreshing shower I was ready for dinner. We had dinner in the motels main restaurant. The table was full of food that looked glorious. I was very satisfied at the end of the feast. After dinner we moved the party to the hotel’s basement. Where there was a cool nori bang. We all had an energetic time singing and dancing.  I believe this was an invaluable team bonding exercise and was greatly appreciated by all who attended.  


Tuesday 7th October
 I woke up at 8.40. We all set of for breakfast at 9.00. We stopped off at a restaurant and had a gorgeous soup for breakfast.
 The next destination was Samseong Palace. The really name of the palace is Jirisan Cheonkakseonwon Baedalseongjeon Samseong Palace. The entrance for the palace appeared to be a mystical secret entrance to some kind of secret garden. The door was grand and built from steady colorless stone. Once in the grounds I was extremely intrigued by the agricultural domain. It was spectacular. There were magnificent walls build purely by with natural stone. The use of natural resources was mind-boggling. The creativity was indefinitely overwhelming. Once again the surround view from this destination was immense.   
 The final destination was Cheonghakdong. Cheonghakdong had breathtaking scenery as far as the eye could see. Here many visitors have said that Cheonghakdong is a good place to live or to find out a Utopia. This is understandable. Here at Cheonghakdong we had the honor of visiting a follower of Yubulseon-habil-gaengjeong-yudogyo. We listened to the monk, he told us about his visions of South Korea and North Korean uniting. He explained his vision for eternal utopia and his desire for harmony on earth. I thoroughly enjoy by time listening to Song Seng Nim. 
Overall the workshop was a wonderful cultural and historical experience. Furthermore the bonding within the team during this period was essential and helped team moral lots.

15 October 2008

Red Belt

I am now a red belt in Taekwondo!!!


This is a photo that I am going to send to my family in the form of a Christmas card!!!

01 October 2008

Scooter

I bought a scooter! David helped me buy it. It is only a 50cc but I love her! Two other of the staff bought one as well so now we have a 'scooter gang'!!! As we bought the scooters in Daegu we had to drive them back to Changnyeong along the back roads as 50cc's are not allowed on the highway. The distance we had to travel was 70-80Km. It only took us 6 HOURS!!!! It was a lot of fun!!!!

28 September 2008

Road Trip

As I bought I scooter recently David, myself, Chelsey and Ramiro decided to go on a bike ride around Changnyeong. It was a lot of fun! We went quite a distance. We started to head to Miryang (the next town over) but had to stop at a cafe up in the mountains because my little 50cc scooter needed a rest!
My little 50cc, David's 750cc and Ramiro's Motorbike!
The really deal!

21 September 2008

Chuseok- Korean Thanksgiving


I had a week off in September. This was a nice break. I decided to spend my time relaxing and exploring Korea. When ever we have time off  from Changnyeong English Camp our boss likes us to write a report on what we have done with our time. Our reports are sent to the local county office. I am not sure if anybody reads them but I guess it is good that we have to write them because I can post them on here!
Chusok Thanksgiving Holiday
Rebecca Rhone
15th September – 19th September
Chusok, also known as the Korean Thanksgiving, is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Chusok means a great day in the middle of August. It occurs during the harvest season. Thus, Korean families take this time to thank their ancestors for providing them with rice and fruits.
The celebration starts on the night before Chusok and ends on the day after the holiday. Thus, many Korean families take three days off from work to get together with family and friends.
The celebration starts with a family get-together at which rice cakes called "Songphyun" are served. These special rice cakes are made of rice, beans, sesame seeds, and chestnuts.Then the family pays respect to ancestors by visiting their tombs and offering them rice and fruits. In the evening, children wear their favorite hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and dance under the bright moon in a large circle. They play games and sing songs. Like the American Thanksgiving, Chusok is the time to celebrate the family and give thanks for their blessings.
Diary Entry
Monday15th September
Today I spent the day in Daegu with my friend David. We decided to take a trip to down-town on David’s scooter. I was extremely surprised when I saw that down town was tremendously busy. Most of the shops and restaurants were open for the holidays. We ate lunch at a traditional Korean restaurant. After lunch I thought it would be exciting if we spent the day at Woobang Land. I love amusement parks and I have always really enjoyed frightening rides. In the late afternoon I and David took the Sky lift to Woobang Tower. This was really nice as the journey to the Tower was incredible enjoyable because we were able to see a great view of the city. We had some drinks in the Tower’s main restaurant and decided that we would come back to Woobang Tower the next day to eat at the restaurant as we thought it would be pleasant thing to do.


Tuesday 16th September
I slept in till early afternoon today, which was lazy of me but I guess that’s what holidays are for! David and I went on a little explore around Daegu on Davids scooter. It was nice to get out of the city and see more of Daegu’s countryside. It was very pretty and the weather was lovely. After our exploring we decided to go back to Woobang Tower. The restaurant was closed but there was still plenty to see and do. I noticed that the Sky Jump was open and I became intrigued. The Sky Jump is a certified height of 123meters approximately 10 seconds fall. It has been described as “base jumping by wire.” I was incredibly nervous and extremely excited at the same time. Would I been able to go through with the jump? I decided to go up to the platform where other people were taking the jump. They looked exceptionally frightened but they also looked like they were enjoying themselves. I decided to pay for my jump. It was forty thousand won. Shortly after I paid I was given a jump suit and harness to wear. There was no turning back now. As I walked to the edge of the platform I suddenly was overcome by fear, no excitement just pure fear! I was absolutely terrified. Before I knew it I was falling 123 meters. The adrenalin kicked in and I was having a fantastic experience. As I reached the floor I couldn't believe what I had just done. It was out of this world and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

Wednesday 17th September
This morning I woke up at 10am. David had to go to work today so I decided to go shopping in Daegu and then travel back to Changnyeong. I spent the day wondering around the shops buying some essentials for myself and gifts for my   family.


Thursday 18th September
Today I woke up at 9.30. Chelsey and I decided to go to Busan. Cheslsey had not been to any beaches in Korea yet. I thought Haeundae beach would be the perfect beach to visit first as it is gorgeous. We arrived in Busan around mid-day. We headed straight to the Haeundae where we spent the majority of the day. We went swimming in the sea and built a couple of sand castles. When we realized we had gotten a little sun burnt we decided it would be best to have some dinner in the shade and then make our way back to Changnyeong.
Friday 19th September
Today all the staff at English Camp decided to go for a meal together in Changnyeong. The meal was delicious and we all had a great. Over lunch we all decided that were interested in buying scooters. I have wanted to buy a scooter for a while but have never seemed too got around to purchasing one. We decided that we all would shop for scooters together in Daegu on Saturday. After the meal I decided to spend the rest of Friday in Daegu. When I arrived in Daegu I met up with David and we decided to look at scooters. We went to a couple of scooter shops and had no luck. We decided to call it a day and to continue to look the next day with the other staff from English Camp. I was very excited with the prospect of purchasing a scooter of my own.

Overall I had a fantastic week and I am very grateful for the extra vacation. I was able to go and sight see and do activities that I have been meaning to accomplish for a while. I also feel that this extra free time allowed all the staff at English Camp to become more comfortable and relaxed with one another. As well this vacation allowed me to recharge my energy batteries which were inevitably needed! Thank you once again.  

25 August 2008

August, Seven months...

Hummm….. What have I been up to?  I have been to Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach it was really 'fantastic' I had the best time.
I am now a brown belt is Taekwondo so only 2 more belts till I am a black belt! I feel that our Taekwondo instructor is pushing us onto new belts because he is afraid we will become bored and quit, as a lot of the other foreign teachers have!

Laura , Lenny and  Rooks are leaving on Friday. Boooooo... It has been fun working with English people. The next group of teachers will be from America. Maybe my boss thinks the English drink to much? I am not sure but I am VERY excited to meet the new staff. It will be fun showing them around Changnyeong and the surrounding cities etc.

I realized the other day that I have been here for seven months, already! It was gone soooooooooo fast and I am sad because I am over the half way mark. I don’t want this experience to end! I will have to figure out what I want to do when my contract is up. I may consider working in Korea an additional year.

10 August 2008

THAILAND!!!

*I didn't keep a diary when I was in Thailand so I will just have do my best and try and remember….

I arrived in Thailand safe and sound. My flight went by really fast. I arrived on Ko Samui Island on Saturday morning. My hotel was really nice. I spent my first day on Chawng beach. In the evening I got a boat to Ko Pan Ngan for the full moon party. I met some people from my hotel who where going to the party. We all got a mini bus to the port together.  The party itself was really good. I met some more people that evening. They were from Canada. They are teaching in Thailand. They were interested to know about teaching in Korea but I think they have a better deal! Later that evening, well early hour of the morning, I went back to Ko Samui. I spent the next couple of days here before moving back to Koh Pan Nyang. When on Ko Samui I also went jet skiing canoeing in the sea. 
My next destination was Koh Pan Nyang Island. Here I went on an over night trip. It was really good but there were a lot of bugs! I really liked the elephant trekking. I met a girl  from Denmark. She was travelling on her own too. We decided to move to our next destination together. This was nice as the journey was pretty long so it was good to do it with somebody else. 
On the 27th July I travelled down to Phuket on the night boat and bus. Overall the journey took 15 hours but it was fine because we travelled through the night so it went really fast! When In Phuket I said goodbye to the girl from Denmark as we wanted to explore different areas. That night I stayed at a REALLY fancy hotel and there was a bath next to my bed...very cool! I stayed there for 2 nights. I met a couple from London. They were travelling around Thailand for 3 weeks. It was nice to exchange stories.
My next location was Phi Phi island. I was having loads of fun BUT THEN I got bitten by a monkey!!!!! YES THAT IS RIGHT, A beach monkey. I had to go to the hospital and had a rabies jab. I have to have one every 3 days for a week! I got bitten on my leg and butt!
My next and final destination was Bangkok. I decided to get a plane rather than the night train, just to save time. It was a little more money but I think it was worth it to get an extra day in Bangkok. In Bangkok I went on a lot of day trips and I met a lot of people. I went to Tiger temple and got my picture taken with a cute tiger cub. It was good but it was also raining so it was a bit disappointing. I also went to the floating market, which I loved!
I loved every minute of my solo adventure. It was a little strange being by my self.  Although, I did always find people to talk too, it was sometimes hard work.

Hmmmm where to next....?