Monday, July 20, 2009

Thomas and Heather Going Away Party

We threw a big going away party for great friends, Heather and Thomas, who were leaving Korea after about 15 months of teaching. They were headed on a months-long tour of Southeast Asia. We took over our favorite local bar and they played cook and hostess for the night. Thomas made everyone amazing cheeseburgers (once at 10 PM and then again about 7 hours later). Thomas on the right, Hyo Joo (the owner of the bar along with her husband) on the left.

Heather and Liz (best friends who came to Korea together). Liz is leaving herself this coming Saturday. Sadly Thomas isn't around to make cheeseburgers.

Liz, Nate (a fellow teacher), and Heather.


Heather and Liz having one of a dozen heartfelt moments.

My campus is big enough, with 15 teachers, that there is always someone coming and going. Its exciting having new people to get to know all the time, but also sad to see good friends go. All the new teachers have to listen through way too many stories of funny things done by teachers long since gone.

Korean War Memorial/Museum

My good friend Liz checking out the stats on a tank.

A South Korean fan boat (with angry shark teeth decals) in hot pursuit of some communist water lilies.

90% of the people at the museum were groups of kids out on group trips....Korean boy/girl scouts, red cross youth, to name a couple. I think these kids in the yellow hats were red cross youth.

Pretty sure these guys are Korean boy scouts. They all had way too much in their backpacks.

Far and away the most popular attraction at the museum. Its tough to see but those kids at the end of the conveyor belt are goings nuts trying to get as many little plastic balls up into that big green box as possible.

I spent a Saturday afternoon recently at the Korean War Museum/Memorial with my good friends Liz and Heather. Its an impressive place and covers not just the Korean war, but also all the other wars Korea has been involved with in the past fifty years, including the Vietnam and the Gulf. There is also a huge section dedicated to all the little skirmishes the South has had with the North since the end of the war. I'd been curious to learn about them from the North Korean perspective. I think there might be some differences.

Ambushing Korean Ball Players

Korean baseball players aren't used to fans wanting to talk to/take pictures with them. While we were waiting for some stragglers to get to the stadium a group of friends and I happened to be outside the gate nearest the team bus. We cheered at all the players we saw. I think they were confused, though happy, to have a group of 10 foreigners yelling at them like they were bonds.

This guys might have just been confused.

My friend Marshall was especially stoked to be rubbing elbows with these guys, who all play for the SK Wyverns. SK is one of the biggest cell phone companies in Korea. All the Korean baseball teams are owned by the biggest companies in the country, including the Lotte Giants and the LG Twins.

This guy is the team's most famous player, an amazing new pitcher. My students freaked out on Monday when I showed them the picture.

The farm team.

Neighborhood Brunch

Cooking things on a glorified hotplate isn't always easy but lucky for everyone bacon and pancakes are hard to screw up.

After going five months without eating a breakfast that my father would approve of I went to Costco and bought plenty of bacon and some maple syrup. I invited all my friends living in the building and we had a calorie-heavy home-cooked American breakfast. In true Costco fashion I now have 3 more packages of bacon frozen in preparation for next time.