Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finally Home

I've been back in Korea for over a month now, but I've just recently made my way back to my broken air con, ant infested, cow shit scented, hotter than balls apartment. And guess what I'm doing today: I'm going to visit Scott, Minju and Alex. It's a good thing I don't pay much rent here cuz I'm never here getting my money's worth. I'm like that old team the Harlem Globetrotters used to play, the Washington Generals. I'm always the visitor, never the host. However, I DID have a group of guests not so long ago. Heather, Mike, Reilly and Roman drove me home from Seoul a few days ago and they came in. The first thing Reilly did was test out the bathroom. Now keep in mind, I had been at children's English camp for 2 weeks and partying in Seoul for another week. After they left I used the facilities myself and was disgusted. There was MOLD on my toilet and my toilet seat! I'm sure they passed it off as bacheloresque neglect but I normally keep things pretty clean around here. I was embarrassed.

Yes, kids' camp. What a total BLAST it was this year! I went down south just below Gwangju to a beautiful little area called Naju. That's where they film the T.V. drama called Ju Mong and where they grow lots of pears. We stayed at Dong Shin University, which is a really great facility. The cafeteria was AWESOME by cafeteria standards. I even made a thank you card for the lunch ladies and got it signed by everyone. There was even a lunch lady who was a bit of a babe. The rooms didn't have air con but they put fans in all the rooms shortly after we arrived. But the classrooms had air and the campus was really nice.

The group of teachers was great too. Guns did a fantastic job choosing the teachers for the camp. And really, that is what makes or breaks the camp. This group MADE the camp great for everyone. I mean everyone. I think the teachers may have had as much fun as the kids. Or more! When Guns asked if I was gonna teach there this summer I half jokingly said, "Only if there's beer every night." He talked to Mr. Lee and told me there would be beer every night. And... THERE WAS! Beer, snacks, stories and song. Sometimes we were up till the wee hours but we just went back to our rooms, sweat it all out and were up fresh as a, er, dandilion for class the next morning. We were daisies by midday.

The highlights of the camp for me, apart from the nightly Hitefest, were the swimming/bananaboating/boating and the trip we took after camp finished to visit the set of Ju Mong. I guess I could include the night in Seoul singing our arses off at the noraebang, (singing room), and playing Bismarck, a game where you put a cup inside a pitcher of beer and pour beer from another pitcher into the cup until someone sinks it and drinks it, BUUUUT that's not really camp is it?

Swimming was great. Aside from the fact that everyone had to wear lifejackets, it was great. Even though no matter where you go in Korea water is never far away, hell an ocean is never more than a couple hours away, most Koreans don't swim. So I guess the lifejackets were a must. But it sure was weird swimming and diving with a lifejacket on!

Ju Mong is a drama about Korea in the olden days. I guess it's about a town where they do a lot of archery. Koreans are very proud of their archery and many of the worlds' best archers even today are from Korea. I just love the old architecture. I could look at it all day. I think we spent a few hours there and then went out for sam gye tang, (a small chicken in really delicious broth), afterwards. All courtesy of the camp directors. They treated us REALLY well.

I have one thing to say about the camp in Naju: Wee hi yo wee hi yo wee hi yo, wee hi yo wee hi yo wee hi yo..... (that means "cheers").

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