Top 10 Travel Photos of 2014 #9

2014 was my most traveled year yet.  I had the good fortune to bring in the New Year in the Philippines before returning to my job in South Korea.  Summer vacation was spent backpacking Vietnam and Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) brought me to Japan.  I ventured to Shanghai before heading back to America for the end of the year holidays and all along these crazy adventures my camera followed me.  Tens of thousands of pictures were narrowed down to roughly 30 finalists before I selected my top 10 travel photos of 2014!

#9 comes to you from the top of Namsan Tower in the heart of Seoul, South Korea.  I had the good fortune of visiting this tower with my students on a field trip touring famous sites around Seoul.

_DSC1508Check out #10 here!

Check out #8 here!

 

4th grade field trip to Namsan, Chyeonggyecheon & Gyeongbokgung

Friday I had the pleasure of going on my first field trip at my new school.  The 4th grade had a great time on our Seoul tour stopping at 3 famous places.  Namsan is a mountain in the middle of the city, Chyeonggyecheon is a stream running through Seoul near city hall and Gyeongbokgung is one of the royal palaces.  I’ve been to all 3 before but it was a unique experience taking 150 kids with us and I loved seeing all of them during the day in full Spring bloom!

Our tour guide chatted away in Korean the whole day and I’m sure my students learned a lot but I was glad I had my camera to keep me busy.  I hope you enjoy these pictures from an awesome field trip with the cutest and best 4th grade ever!

 

Even though the pollution has been pretty bad the last few days we got some great views at the top of the North Seoul Tower!

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On a lighter note

Aside from my school’s financial woes I really am enjoying being here.  My students, albiet unorthodox compared to what I’m used to, are great.  They are fun to work with (and I only have a few “problem children”).  Planning and grading has been pretty straitforward; the school gives us a curiculum I’m teaching my native language.  It all makes sense to me and we work on pretty basic concepts.  Last Friday I got my first “gift” (shhh don’t tell my principal) when my afterschool student brought me a beautiful chopstick & spoon set, possibly even silver, we think for Chuseok.

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The field trip last Tuesday was a ton of fun, even if I couldn’t understand anything.  We saw “You Are Special,” a musical derived from a children’s book that helps teach that everyone is special and you shouldn’t worry about what others think, merely what you think about yourself.  The costumes and music were great even if it was all in Korean and the random disney songs beforehand sparked a mini sing-a-long (even if it was just Americans). Not sure what the “Truman Tower” was but here it is!

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Meeting people is turning out to be a little tougher than I thought, mainly because I don’t speak Korean.  I have had a handful of Koreans introduce themselves but the majority of the people I talk to are coworkers.  That should get a little easier once I get my Alien Registration Card in 2 weeks and can get a local cell phone.  I’ve got a party through my recruiter this weekend and hope to enjoy the company of lots of ex-pats.

I’ve settled into my apartment and enjoy exploring my neighborhood (check out some of my previous posts for more on that).  I’ve got a 5-day weekend in 2 weeks for Chuseok, aka Korean Thanksgiving, and plan on checking out Bukhansan National Park and some of the more popular areas in Seoul.  All in all I’m really enjoying it here.   I’ve even found a fencing club and planning on checking it out on the 16th !  For those wondering dinner tonight was a hodgepodge of leftovers and some dumplings I made.  Stay tuned for more!

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