Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Fieldtrip for Guest English Teachers

The first weekend in South Korea had a few hundred EPIK English Teachers loading into buses and catching some sights near Jeonju, South Korea. For the Harrington's and about half the new teachers, the fieldtrip began with a temple located on a mountain affording the many visitors their first good view of Korea's impressive mountains and greenery. Many English teachers explored the temples and grounds while others continued to meet new friends and converse about expectations, reason for choosing Korea and previous travel experiences.

From the temples, the group made thier way down to the river where it is common to wade, swim and just be. Numerous Koreans were soon joined by numerous foreigners - fully clothed and enjoying the cool water on a rather hot and humid day.From the temple, the group of teachers made their way toward the traditional Hanok Villiage where the first order of business would be to sample the infamous Korean dish of bibimbap - a base of rice and accompanied by a wide variety of vegetables and topped of with an egg. The table is set with a number of side dishes from kimchi to peppers and many unknown items inbetween. The dish tends be a favorite of foreginers and did not disappoint the hungry crowd.

The day continued with a number of activities including: making fans, trying soju, exploring the streets and viewing the traditional architecture of South Korea, sampling some traditional teas (from persimmon tea to pine needle tea) and topped off with an entertaining traditional performance of dancing, drumming and eventually the joining in of most the English teachers.

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