Over the river and through the woods....
Trip Start Aug 18, 2010
31Trip End Ongoing
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I was picked up bright and early by a woman who spoke no English and we were off to the mysterious Jamgok Outdoor English Camp. Where was this? I had no idea! What was I going to do there? Once again, not a clue. I think I am starting to enjoy the Korean style spontaneity! Forty minutes pass and we are winding through forested valleys, crossing bridges with crystal green rivers below. Over the river and through the woods, we finally came to a small "town" with a small building with a small banner that read "Nue Town English Camp"(But in Korean haha) A friend and foreign teacher from the town next to mine, Esther, was there too, which made for more fun
After breakfast, we geared up to go on a small hiking trip to a beautiful reservoir. Every minute I turned around, I had a 10 year old, cute, chubby, boy hanging on my side, just staring at me. I soon found out his name was Soo Yun, who I then called "my little buddy." Since day 1 of camp, guided me around, tapping my shoulder to get my attention and asking me questions with his 5 words he knew in English, snuck me chocolatey snacks, and made sure that I was okay (every second). If you have ever seen the movie "Up," he resembled the character Russel, the cute, plump, boy scout who accompanies the old man, Mr. Fredrickson, in his adventure to South America, and at times got on the old man's nerves. But, in any event, my little buddy was a great friend and tour guide to me. In the afternoon, Esther and I were given scripts and told to do a short musical from Sound of Music, "Do a deer" with the students. We split into two groups and were given only an hour to memorize and perform a dance
The next morning, I felt a bit more confident in where I was going and what I was going to do. We started off the morning with breakfast and Esther and I were given the morning to go off and explore. My little buddy was begging to come with me, but he had activities to do, so I set off to take some pictures of the lake. They even gave me a bed and pillow and my own room to read and rest, since they knew the jetlag might be catching up with me
Friday morning, we set off to a local goat farm, which the kids were not too excited about. We each got to taste some of the fresh, expensive goat milk that they bottle up and serve all over Gangwon-do province. In the afternoon, Esther and I hosted 3 hours of English games and fun with the students. They were fully engaged in all the games, unlike some of my Sincheorwon students, and the older boys showed off their English skills, winning every single game.
It was time for the closing ceremony, in which each child was given a box of locally grown vegetables and a workbook including pictures and journal entries from their experience at English sleep away camp
**Joon Hee's hagwon will be opening up next month, starring Nina Malanga (my friend who moved to Cheorwon from Seoul) as the native English teacher! I was happy to recently introduce Joon Hee and Nina and hopefully they will kick off the grand opening of her school with great attendance and response from the community!**
Check out Jamgok!