Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What happens when you tell a Jeju teenager you're from Texas

 City Hall as seen from our apartment building

Not a lot to report this week.  Vicky started her first day teaching alone today.  I'll find out how that went in about half an hour.  I'm in the 3 week period where i'm teaching in the morning.  Not my preferred schedule since the school uses the extra time to fill my schedule to the brim.  Plus with Vicky staying on our normal night rotation, it means we only see each other late at night.  Fortunately it's only till the 14th.

Halla Mountain framed by Jeju City

Not much else to report.  We went to the beach for a night swim sunday evening and laughed as several high school students plus a random man from Sri Lanka came up to talk to us as we were swimming around.  When we told the high school boys where we were from, they reacted with "Yee Haw!!" and mimed riding horses, followed by a gunfight.  haha such are the lives of waygooks on Jeju.

Us on a clear day on the roof

Sunset on the mountain.  Am I the only one who finds pictures like this cool?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beach Volleyball Tournament = Great Sunday

 At Iho Beach

I'll keep it short.  Vicky's shadowing has gone well and now she has some time off before she starts next week.  So as far as i'm concerned, this time off is a birthday present for her (her birthday is the 27th).

Iho Beach volleyball courts

The other side of Iho beach

I'm also doing well.  The weekend was especially fun since I was invited to play with some friends in a beach volleyball tournament.  The competition was all day Sunday at Iho Beach (about 10-15 minutes from our place).  Our team turned out to be surprisingly good and even more surprisingly, i wasn't a weak link.  I somehow remembered how to bump, set and serve.  Spiking and blocking came easier (just used my tennis serve motion and my basketball shotblocking instincts).  Thanks to my friend Liz who did most of the setting for me, spikes were as simple as aim for the weak player and go for it.  Blocking was even better since it fired up our team so much and scared the other team away from attacking.

Let's get it started


Check the sand explosion below the feet

We went 10-0 in C level pool play sets.  Then we got bumped up to B bracket for the tournament and shockingly, we won!  By the end of it I was exhausted, sore and sunburnt but happy for all.  Perhaps the best part was that Vicky came out and took pictures.  She gets all the credit for the well timed photos.  Look for yourself.   :)


No chance 

We are the Champions!  My friends!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's like seeing Jeju again for the first time

City Hall and Halla Mountain, HDR style

Remember how I said last week I was off to meet Vicky at the airport?  Of course you do.  Well with only minor trouble (a bag that was 2 days late), I found her and brought her back.  She has settled in nicely and her sense of wonder at seeing the Asian way of life infuses the mundane tasks of everyday life with joy.  I (wisely) left the larger wardrobe to her and she's putting it to good use.  She even managed to find some websites that helped her label the washing machine which is all in Korean (and finding the translations was no easy task when you don't have a Korean keyboard to replicate the letters you're seeing).  So far this week I've been taking her around to the best restaurants on the island and introducing her to it's most interesting people.

Attention, we interrupt this update to say sorry for not having lots of pictures but grey, hazy skies make for lousy shots.  So instead here is a series of pictures i've been having fun playing with from our family trip to St. Thomas on 2005.  These all come from the same picture, with the original first.  Enjoy :)

This is the original Dad took at sunrise.  Cool huh?

Ok where was I?  Oh yea.  With those friends we've been playing games like Cards Against Humanity, ping pong, badminton and pool.  I've even played screen golf with my Texas buddy Jeb to help sate my golfing fix.  Screen golf is where you hit a ball indoors against a screen that simulates various golf courses from all over the world.   A computer analyzes your shot and shows what it would have done on a real course.  It's not foolproof (it subtracts anywhere from 15-50 yards from my shots and the greens hold approaches like they replaced the grass with superglue) but it's definitely fun.  I even manged to shoot even par my last round (in that it's certainly NOT like real golf).

This is the same picture cleaned up so you can see what's in the shadows and the clouds are less of a bright blur

Later this week Vicky is going to start shadowing classes.  For one week before her actual start date, she's going to go watch class and the current teacher to learn how the curriculum works.  We both believe that for a new teacher, watching and helping an experienced teacher will be invaluable experience.  I think it's a great decision and support it and her 100%.

Finally this is the same picture with the colors strengthened to create an image I really like

And because my Texas roots won't be denied, 2x24packs of Dr. Pepper will be delivered to our apartment in the next day or two.  Sometimes you gotta stop and enjoy the little things in life!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The crazy week that was

The view from our balcony on a good day

Sorry for the lone picture in this update but the last week has been completely crazy.  Who knew that a combination of .... finding places to stay until the apartment was ready, finding out it was ready, moving in, getting the AC, water heater and gas fixed, getting 2 single beds, a table and a chair put in, plus getting the internet installed and finding a wifi router to set up, finding a way to block the windows so sleeping in was possible without spending a fortune plus starting work plus preparing for Vicky to arrive .... would be so stressful?

Fortunately everything i listed above is done now.  The apartment is starting to look like the home I envisioned when i first saw it.  Work is excellent.  The classes are small and easy to teach.  The work load is relatively light and my coworkers are nice.  For the next 2 weeks i'll be at work from 3-8:30 (i actually finish at 7 but the director wants me to stay longer and i'm fine with that.  It's more time for reading, photo editing and relaxing.)  After that we'll switch to a morning schedule while the kids are out of regular school for the month of August.  In short, with the stressful part out of the way, life on jeju is about to become very very good  :)

Did i mention Vicky is almost here?  She's actually on the plane from Seoul to Jeju now.  So i'm off to a happy reunion at the airport.  Till next time :)