Summer!

Summer vacation is over and I’m back to normal life and laughing at the cute things my students say. I’m just starting week two of the new semester after a lovely summer. The semester ended in July and I spent two hectic weeks teaching English camps before I could take my vacation. The first week of camp was at my main school, Mukho middle school. The resources are a little limited at Mukho- our camp is small and it’s just me and one co-teacher. I basically ran things, but my co-teacher was very helpful and she really liked my plan. Things went relatively smoothly. Some highlights were making ‘smores and playing Ultimate Frisbee. My co-teacher thought the ‘smores were much too sweet. It was with great misgivings that she announced the students had permission to eat a second one if they wanted (she thought they might get sick). I saw the look on one kid’s face when she said they could have a second and asked him how many he’d eaten already. “Five” he said sheepishly. That’s middle school boys for you!

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Roasting marshmallows

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Making ‘smores

We made paper mache monsters and had a mad-lib scary story competition, which was pretty funny. After one week, we wrapped things up with chocolate cake-in-a-mug and a movie, then it was on to Sahmyook for my second camp.

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Making paper mache monsters

Sahmyook has a much bigger camp and a much bigger budget. There were 3 Native English Teachers working there and we each got our own Korean assistant, plus Sahmyook’s regular staff helped out. The kids ranged in age from 5th to 9th grade. The lessons were well-planned out for us, so I didn’t have to do very much except plan a couple of fun, pokemon themed crafts. The Sahmyook camp was so fun for both the kids and the teachers. It made me a little sad to realize I can’t do those kinds of activities at my main school, though I’m determined to see if I can adapt it. I had lots of fun doing the crafts- each kid made a paper mache pokemon ball and an origami Pikachu. I don’t know much about pokemon, but it was fun to learn. The kids at Sahmyook are generally much higher level, so it was fun to be able to do some more advanced lessons.

After finishing up my last camp, it was finally time for vacation! I went home and packed and then the next morning it was off to the airport to meet my friends and fly to Kuala Lumpur. My fantastic travel buddies were Anike and Tyron, both hail from South Africa, so I was the lone American on the trip.

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Me, Anike and Tyron (photo by Tyron {or maybe a random tourist holding Tyron’s camera})

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I loved the bird park (photo by Tyron)

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Letting a pelican try to eat my head was a highlight of the trip (photo by Tyron)

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I could eat this FOREVER

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THIS TOO.

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In front of the Patronas Towers. Harry Potter references abounded (photo by Tyron)

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The Batu Caves

We had many adventures in Kuala Lumpur, as you can see from the pictures, and then headed beautiful Redang Island for some relaxation and snorkeling. We had so much fun snorkeling the first morning, and we decided to go again the second day, even though we had to rush in order to make it to our ferry back to the mainland.

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On the boat for snorkeling day 2 (photo by Tyron)

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That Awkward Duck goes snorkeling

Our flight back to Kuala Lumpur was short, but we were leaving for Seoul early the next morning, so we ended up spending the whole night in the airport where we consumed massive amounts of roti and coffee. The trip back to Seoul was uneventful and eventually we made it to our hostel and then went out on the town for “Mexican food” (well sort of but not really) and noraebang to celebrate my birthday. Then it was back to Donghae for another birthday party and back to work again on Monday. What a Summer!

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