6.27.2007

Tagged

So I got tagged by Nanc. over at http://lent4all.blogspot.com/ and here's my 7 random facts:

  1. Sometimes I wish I was black. Not really sure why but it seems more radical than the middle class, white life I live. Pretty sure it's not PC to wish to be a marginalized minority but hey, sometimes I do! And no, I don't want to be Eminem.
  2. My dream is to buy a shack on the beach of some remote island and just chill, Thoreau style. Have a little boat for fishing, do some reading and writing and just chilling. Grow a garden, chat with the locals (learn the language) and learn to be content with so much less.
  3. I'm a bad student. I think I hold the record for the most classes skipped while still passing. I've slept in and showed up an hour late for a final... which I passed. But I'm getting better.
  4. I am the hesitant owner of 2 state of the art hearing aids. Don't like them (but I like hearing) and they don't like me too much. They're not built for tropical climes and for getting beat around, they prefer to be worn by a little ol' grandma. It's a testy little relationship we have.
  5. Come September I'll have lived and worked in 3 different continents... just 4 to go.
  6. If I could have any job I would be a rock star in a band. To make music and get payed for it would be phenomenal. Or even just having that kind of talent would be phenomenal. I would just sing for myself and wow my friends. Too bad that's never gonna happen.
  7. Sometimes I find things molding. Could be a coffee cup, could be a shirt... I guess I am not so neat. So it's a good thing I have a neat wife. Though it's not so good for her. So I am trying to remember/find things before they start molding.

6.23.2007

The Last Days

We're down the final countdown, just 11 days left til we jet this place. We've been using the time to hang out with many of the good friends we have made here...
This weekend we went to the orphanage for the last time. It was a great time as usual, just playing and hanging out with the great kids there. Nolana took the chance to go see Beomeosa again and the fish market in Busan. She took some great pictures. Of the temple...And of this fish market which she said was quite overwhelming with all the seafood everywhere and the accompanying smells...We've starting packing (well, Nolana's been doing that for a while!) and we're doing all the last minute things before we leave. We also got our tickets booked for Ethiopia so I guess that means we're going for sure! Lots happening in the last days...

6.19.2007

Malaysia Planning

Life has been rolling along and as of today we have 17 days left in Korea and only 12 working days! It's kinda crazy to think about. All the stuff I have learned (how to read/speak Korean, how to get around the city, etc...) will all become obsolete. And we've got some good friends that we're gonna leave behind here so as much as we're totally looking forward to getting home it will be a bit of a shock to the system.
What's been occupying the majority of my time recently is our upcoming trip to Malaysia. I've been planning away and also decided to take my scuba diving certification (so stoked!) so I've also been studying my theory. Since I have little else to post I figure I would share our plans with you. We have almost 3 weeks there and it's gonna be sweet!!!! Just the relaxation we need.
We fly into Singapore and right away transit to Perhentian Kecil.
Here I am taking 2 days to finish my dive certification and Nolana's going to do some snorkelling and relaxing on the beach. Then we're off for a 2 day package deal on a nearby island, Redang.

Alot more relaxing on the beach, snorkelling and I am getting a day of diving in transit between Perhentian and Redang. Package means no worries so it'll be more chill than our usual "flashpacking" style. Then it's off for a few days to the Cameron Highlands.Tea plantations, jungle trails to hike and I've already booked an evening/night trip where they take you to see the firefly colonies.Back to the capital for Kuala Lumpur for a quick stop before we fly out to Borneo! There we have a couple days in the capital of Kota Kinabalu, maybe take a day trip out to some islands there for some snorkelling. Then flying to what promises to be highlight for me, Sipadan. It's one of the top dive destinations in the WORLD!Swimming with turtles and sharks in crystal water. There for 3 days of which I am diving one and spending one snorkelling with my lady (can't always desert her for diving!). And then lastly we have a 3 day trip in the jungle where we will hopefully see some crazy Borneo wildlife.Finally we unwind with a day and bit in the big city of Singapore.Some lazing around, eating, shopping, etc... And then we fly out for our marathon journey home. We honestly are getting quite excited and it's making these last weeks go rather slowly. But we have alot to do before we go so the days should still keep moving. Almost home!

6.10.2007

Hanging in the Alps

This weekend we got to chill in the Youngnam Alps of Korea with some friends and it was sweet.
But before we got to do that we had to work. I know, you're saying who works on a Saturday? We did 'cause we traded it for a couple days off the end of our contract which was sweet for us. So we headed to the beach with a pile of kindergarten students and their parents.

They played some games and made some sand sculptures...But as we were told before we went, the most important thing was for us to be in pictures. So we went from picture to picture for a few hours. Wasn't so bad considering we were getting what we wanted too. The beach was pretty nice but the weather was pretty chilly.

Then we took off from their and took our scoot into the mountains. These were real mountains and I'm a little suprised the scoot made it with both of us on it but the 125 cc's of brute force powered us through some seriously beautiful mountains...

Our church had rented a place in the mountains, right on the river...We BBQ'd and just hung out. Had a campfire and played with the little kids..A couple of us guys whiled away the night on the roof, just chilling in the beautiful mountains.We woke up in the morning to an amazing western breakfast of French toast, bacon and eggs...And then were quickly reminded that we were still in Korea when we had to eat it with chopsticks! Played around a bit in the morning and then I scooted back while Nolana took the bus. So tired (cause you sleep on the floor Korean style which is not so comfortable) but it was alot of fun!

6.07.2007

Temple by the Sea

So I'm not sure if anyone reads this anymore due to the lack of comments.... seriously people, Nolana wakes up in the morning and checks the blog, desperate for someone, anyone to comment! And when no one does she's grumpy for the rest of the day. And when she's grumpy you know who she vents on. Which makes me grumpy. So really, lack of comments is the direct result of my life being miserable. So please.... for my sanity's sake.

Wednesday was a day off so we went out and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We took the scooters out with our friends to go see a temple by the ocean. It was a nice 45 min ride through the Korean countryside....


The rice fields have just been planted and the mountains are green again. The temple itself was pretty standard but because it was right on the ocean it was beautiful.These guys greeted you upon arrival...


Then you walk down the cliff side to the temple...

Inside is the temple and surrounding buildings and a great big golden Buddha. I hear the more Buddha's you see the the more Buddhist you become so we are well on our way let me tell you! Here's a few more pics from the temple.It was a smokin' hot day for a ride which meant a little burnage but fun times. The rest of the day I went and played basketball for a couple hours with the boys while Nolana met some of the girls for dinner. Seriously, I think the countries around the world should agree to make Wednesday a day off, split up the week. A day off in the middle of the week does a body some good.

6.01.2007

School Daze

In a couple days we hit the one month remaining mark! Crazy to think that we've called Ulsan, South Korea home for the past 11 months (well, I'm pretty sure Nolana didn't call it "home" per say but at least she lived here!)

This past week at school we had our open house where the parents can come and see a class. It was a huge deal for our head teacher so we have been practicing with the kids for 2 months. Same class, 2 months. The kids were bored stiff by the end. It all was pretty anti-climactic actually... all that work for a morning of classes. Here's some pics of the finest teachers around though....


Silly thing is the moms come to see how their kid is doing and how the classes go but it's all just a big set-up and the kids have just memorized their few lines that they have to know. Oh well, that's Korean hagwons for you.

This morning I couldn't sleep (I have had the worst sleep patterns lately) so at 5 I decided to go for a walk and catch the sun rising since it's been so long since I've seen the sun rise. Here's some pics of our home for the past year...

I grew up in the boondocks and the biggest town I lived in before I hit high school was probably like 400 people. Then Regina at what: 150,000? Victoria at 350, 000 and that was big city, let me tell ya! Now Ulsan at about 1.2 million. Next is Addis Ababa at around 4 million. Let's hope it doesn't keep going up though there is some sort of urban jungle beauty to some large cities. I've gotta say somewhere around that Victoria mark is a nice size I think.

When was the last time you saw the sun rise?