Military Week, the DMZ, and More

I just realized that my previous post was my 50th since starting this blog, which was exactly a year ago last week. Congrats to me!

First of all, I want to thank all of you who prayed for me, wrote to me, and even sent me letters and packages in the mail to lift my spirits during my recovery. I would thank you all individually, but there are too many of you to do that! (What a wonderful thing that is!) Also, thank you to my co-workers who brought me ice cream, lent me books, and sent me messages and emails. I cannot thank all of you enough!

Two weekends ago was right after my first week back to work. Saturday, I went to Itaewon with Glenn and a few co-workers to watch some rugby games in a bar called Sam Ryan’s. Afterwards, Glenn and I went to a Brazilian restaurant for dinner… and it was so good that Glenn wants to go back there again this weekend. 🙂

Last week was a good week to ease back into teaching, because it was Military Week. As you may remember, we had military soldiers come for a week back in November to practice and improve their English. It was exactly the same program this time, only with all new soldiers (and only one girl this time! I felt so bad for her!). They were a lot quieter and more reserved than the group we had in November, and a few strange personalities. Even though they make great students because we don’t have to worry about discipline, it honestly wasn’t my favorite week. On the other hand, I didn’t have to do any yelling and I was able to continue recovering. I gradually felt worse throughout the week, but I think it had to do just as much with the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well as it did with the fact that my throat wasn’t 100% yet. I was so tired that I slept 11 hours last night.

Monday, last week, was my co-worker’s birthday. She wanted to go to Ilsan and have Indian food for dinner, and had sent out a mass email to all of EV, inviting everyone. Only 4 of us showed up. I felt so badly for her, but we ended up having a great time and I think she was pleased with how the night turned out. We had Indian food and then walked around a part of Ilsan called “La Festa,” where we got ice cream and laughed at Glenn trying to eat a messy waffle. You can witness this for yourself by checking out my newest pictures. 🙂

Before coming home and crashing yesterday (Friday), we taught in the morning and then admin arranged for us to take a field trip to the DMZ! The DMZ is the “De-Militarized Zone” between North and South Korea, which is just a few miles from English Village. In fact, we can walk there from English Village and it would only take 35-40 minutes. When we arrived, they ushered us into an auditorium where a North Korean refugee talked to us about the reality of North Korea and his personal story of poverty, starvation, and escaping through China to South Korea. We watched a short film showing secret footage of people in South Korea. It really is too heart-breaking for me to explain in detail. I would encourage you, if you’re interested, to go to ted.com and to look up talks given by North Korean refugees. There truly is no other country in the universe like North Korea. The situation there is beyond atrocious.

Next, we went up to the observatory and were able to take pictures of the DMZ. We’ve been able to see North Korea from the hill outside EV and even from the bus, but being so CLOSE to North Korea was quite eerie. The difference between the North and the South is incredible; on the North’s side, the land is mountainous, but barren, and there is no sign of civilization. On the South’s side, you can see trees, buildings, telephone poles, etc. Please take a look at my pictures when you’re done reading this post. You will see what I mean about the dividing North/South line, and you will also see other parts of the observatory, like the chart showing the average size of a North Korean, and an altar where you can sit and pray for North Korea. They have a gift shop there where you can buy North Korean products, which I had really wanted to see, but they rushed us and we didn’t have time to go in there. We had to get back to work for our last meeting. (Luckily, living so close by, I can go over there another time.)

This weekend, Glenn is playing in a touch-rugby tournament in Seoul with several other teams in the Gyeonggi province. I had wanted to go and watch, but they had to leave at 6:30 this morning and I decided to sleep in instead. I’ll meet up with them later in Itaewon, and tomorrow we might go see the new Superman movie in Ilsan.

Now that I’m rested, recovered, and feeling myself again, I can take advantage of the warm weather and go out and enjoy Korea. I’m looking forward to doing more things here, and I will be sure to write about everything!

Take a look at my pictures now!

Teigen’s Birthday
Odusan Observatory

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