Monday, June 15, 2009

And it burns, burns, burns, The ring of fire, The ring of fire.

Last week I experienced a fire drill at my school.

We had been informed that it was happening so I was not surprised when a fire truck pulled up and a campfire was lit in the middle of the dirt playing field in front of the school. OK, maybe I was a little surprised at the actual fire ... we tend to just pretend in Canada, not light actual fires!

The bells went off and the kids ran out of their classrooms in orderly lines, all bent over almost 90 degrees, with cloths covering their noses and mouths. It was a contrast to the fire drills that I remember when we walked slowly out of the building, laughing and joking, knowing that it was just a drill.

Once everyone was outside and lined up, the designated first aid teachers brought out a student on a stretcher and she was forced to lay on it for the remainder of the drill.

The fire fighters then unhooked the hose from the firetruck and proceeded to blast the tiny campfire and to put on a little show with the water. Once that was finished they re-lit the fire using a can of gas and let a grade 6 students demonstrate how to use a fire extinguisher.

I'm pretty sure I was open-mouthed in shock for the duration of the drill because the grade 1 and 2 teachers got a good laugh every time they looked my way.

Only in Korea!

This weekend I was able to visit the orphanage for the second time. The kids were playing outside because the weather was beautiful, and it was a nice change to see them so happy and preoccupied. I don't think they even noticed we were there!

I also managed to spend a few hours on the beach on both Saturday and Sunday and think that my tan is coming along quite nicely. Haeundae is starting to get a lot busier so we checked out Songjeong on Saturday which was a nice change.

George and I are starting to plan our summer vacation trip. There are just so many destinations in Southeast Asia that I'm anxious to visit. It's going to be hard to narrow it down! We're both off for the last 2 weeks of August and are excited to take a break from Busan and see some more of the world.

Some homesickness set in last week, definitely the worst since I've been here. It seems I've come to the end of the "honeymoon phase" of culture shock. The rainy and dull weather, having been sick on Monday, a less then stellar week of teaching and finally settling in to a less exciting routine here combined to make me feel pretty down. I realized just how far away from home I am, and how much of my contract is left and it scared me. Luckily I have some great friends here to cheer me up, and George of course always does a great job at making me smile, and am feeling SO much better this week. I think I need to shake things up and visit some more of the sights that made my first month here so exciting. George and I are thinking of taking a day trip somewhere this weekend, destination to be determined!

In some very exciting news - my mom and Pam are going to be here in under a month!! I am so excited to see them and to show them my new home :) :) :)

Missing everyone at home,

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