Thursday, August 30, 2012

everything is new again

The past four weeks have been such a whirlwind: new places, new people, new experiences. I've settled into my apartment in Wonju (which is adorable by the way), and with the typhoon looming outside I finally have the time to update this blog. I am definitely still honeymooning here - despite the wacky weather, I've had such an incredible time so far, and I hope my photos can express at least half of what I'm feeling.

Thanks for snapping this Sean!

Our TaLK orientation was held at Korea University's Jochiwon campus. We spent three packed weeks there attending lectures, eating three meals a day on a schedule, going to optional after-dinner activities (cooking class, Korean language class, movie night, paper craft class, etc) going to the "benches" (you'll see what this is via photos later), rushing back to our gender-segregated dorms for our 11pm curfew, making it on the Wall of Shame for being late and hungover the following morning, and training to and from Seoul on the weekends.

Doing all of this with 298 people in pretty much the same boat as I was (strangers in a new country) meant that I had some of my most memorable days in Joch. I can't tell you enough how amazing it was to meet so many awesome people in such a short period of time.

Here is the very first set of photos that log my very first week in Korea. I'll be posting the remaining images over the following few days, including those from my two weekend trips to the big city (Seoul).

Early early morning on campus. Just before leaving for the opening ceremony rehearsal!

The TaLK welcoming ceremony was held in Seoul on the very first day of orientation. I was asked a few weeks prior to make a speech on behalf of the 9th generation scholars, so I headed out early with some of the media team members to prep. I still don't know why they chose me but I am happy they did. It was very cool standing in front of a brand new group of people and telling them all at once how nice it was to meet them!

The Rainbow Choir: these kids were adorable and perfectly in sync.
Pangut: traditional Korean folk dancers
K Tigers: beyond incredible. So much strength, skill, and talent rolled into one big group of kicking limbs.
Thoroughly entertained!

Following the ceremony, we were set loose in the Insadong area of Seoul to go on a scavenger hunt. 
We were divvied into small groups and given a map and checklist.

Green shirts take over Seoul
Sick tree? :(
Look these guys up on youtube. They're a thing! (Insadong honey skein/candy)
Our group decided on K-bbq for dinner
Mmmm.. fatty pieces of meat..
Steamed egg
My group members being cute.
So beautiful.

During the first week I only took photos of the "fun" classes. 

Here's Rachel translating for us.
Such a steady hand
This was effortless for the two instructors. Not so much for me.
So cute!
Some of the students' work! Mine did not turn out nearly as nice.
Kev & Jaimes - lurve these two
For our paper craft class we made fans, which became ultra practical for me during some of Jochiwon's most sizzling days.
Jenny! What a cutie.
Looks like Michelle is deeply concentrated on making her fan a perfect circle.
Vinesh reppin' Canada!
I attended the cooking class one night looking forward to learn how to make bulgogi! However there was a schedule mix-up and we made seafood pancakes instead. I ended up taking photos the entire time and didn't help out a single bit! Haha whoops.

Brian the pro-flipper! Happy to say I have video of his epic flip.
My cooking group left to right: Aaron, Brian, Joshua, me, Zack. Hardworking boys! :)
The finished product!

After cooking class I went to Homeplus with a few of the scholars.
Homeplus is Korea's Walmart.

Vicky, Dara, and I
Checkin' out the candy aisle
Cashin' out.

Located in front of a convenience store down the hill from campus, the "benches" (two rows of picnic tables) was the number one hangout during orientation. Many of the TaLK scholars (and uni students) went on a nightly basis for drinks and chatter.

Apparently this is the only photo I took at the benches when Jaimie and I went at some point during the week. Here is Jaimes showing us her "Dear My Love" flaky snacks - super cute packaging and equally hilarious Konglish.

And then it was Saturday! Time really flew by like it was nothing. Just after our medical check-ups and before catching our train to Seoul, Jaimie and I checked out the Peach Festival happening right in town. Apparently Joch is known for its peaches! The fest was way bigger than I expected and there was tonnes to see and try.

Mist station!
Whoever can guess what these are wins a gold star! Hint: silkw_rm l_rvae
These grandpas have swag.
Peach wine
Free snacks for all!
Omigosh this ajumma was so adorable. She fed us kimchi the motherly way!
By that I mean this! Action shot.
Cute babies galore. I love the extra smiley ones.
This lady looked so graceful.
Competition winner
More peaches and more winners
This used to belong to Jaimie's grandpa and has been kept in perfect condition. I'm uber jealous.

 Hope you enjoyed these! Watch out for the rest of the photos coming up!

1 comment:

Tay Tay said...

These pictures are great. They're like my own memories, except in higher resolution. Jaimie is unbelievably photogenic model material. That is all