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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Children's Day!

Yesterday, May 5th, was Children's Day in Korea, so school was cancelled! ... hich meant that Aaron and I were going on an adventure! Location choice: Grand Children's Park in Busan-jin! What better way to celebrate Children's Day than to be surrounded by, well... Children! Makes sense, right?!
The park is ginormous (I realize this isn't a word, but it accurately describes it's size), and was filled with thousands of Korean families! First stop was the welcome table where I was given a pin to write my name and phone number on... just incase I got lost in the park! haha! I was also given a fun red balloon and a computer video game! :)

There were all kinds of different booths lining the entrance to the park! This woman was an incredible artist and quickly drew this girls portrait!

Parents layed out picnic mats, throughout the park, to sit and eat their lunch on and relax while their kids frolicked around with their free balloons, enjoying nature!

We found a dirt pathway that was "off the beaten path," and followed it around the river bend until no one was in sight, except for 3 middle school aged Korean boys playing near the river, skipping rocks, and holding this turtle that they found! They let me play with him for a little while too...

and check out this picture of his face that Aaron took with his new lens! Talk about an up close and personal look!

We kept walking along the river until we reached this bridge that took us to the other side of the water... Who knows how old this thing is! Aaron was jumping on it behind me, and the mom inside me yelled, "Aaron, Hajima!" (Dont' do that!) Please God, give me girls when I have babies one day!!

Aaron was trying to find small insects and creatures to practice his new lens on, so we ended up wandering into the forest a bit. I found this gorgeous tree right in the middle of a forest of all straight trees!

After we had had enough of nature, we wandered back over to the main path to do some people watching... But first we grabbed some ice cream! This was the closest thing to an ice cream sandwich that I've seen here! It was delicious!
It wasn't long before we realized that we were definitely the only foreigners in the whole place (amongst thousands of Koreans)! We had A LOT of stares, a lot of "Omma, Migook!" (mom, look an American!), one kid had a mouth full of banana and yelled "Migook!" You'd think we were circus monkeys or something the way they stared at us! There were tons of parents pushing their kids in our direction to practice their english skills, and one mom and dad sat their daughter on our laps to get her picture with us! Aaron saw 4 of his students, and at one point we had about 25 people crowded around us, watching us talk with the kids! Aaron said we should have put a hat out to make some cash... not that we don't already make a ton and have holidays all the time! (That's just another plug for Korea so some of you will come teach here!)

Here's Aaron with his student "Isaac"! When Isaac saw him, he yelled, "Omma, Aaron sun seng neim!" (Mom, Aaron teacher!) Aaron only teaches him for 1 hour a week, but he recognized him right away! Aaron has an incredible memory when it comes to his kids! Isaac was adorable!

There were hundreds of families dressed in matching T-shirts and couples dressed in matching outfits! This couple took it a bit far though, in my opinion! I'm not sure how she got him to wear that bow on his head... for all I know, it could have been his idea! Korean boys are SUPER effeminate! (That's ice cream they're eating by the way! You squeeze it through the top of the package!)

It was definitely a beautiful day to be out in nature! Notice, we both have short sleeve shirts on! This was the first time in about 6 months! Woohoo, Spring is FINALLY here!

We made our way over to the Amusement Park area of the park. These little cars are on a roller coaster track, but you have to pedal them like a bike! A genius way to save on electricity!

The lines were outrageously long... The roller coaster line was probably 6 hours long and while it looked really fun, there was no way we were waiting in line that long to find out!!

But we were determined to ride something! So, we decided on the huge white Ferris Wheel! (Not sure how this happened, considering extreme heights make me panic!) We waited about 30 minutes, and wala, we were at the front of the line!
We jumped into the ferris wheel cart and the door closed and locked behind us. I immediately started to panic (mind you, we were at ground level at this point!) and I screamed, "I can't do this" and started banging on the window to get out! Aaron's face was classic! He didn't know what to do and I probably completely freaked out the young girl working there. He said, "No Jillers, you can do this!" and he was right! After about 2 minutes, I started to relax and was able to enjoy the ride! Here's the view from the top!

There were kids, throughout the park, with these bubble blower deals, and I knew I had to have one! As soon and I saw one, I immediately started thinking of ways I could use it in the classroom to incorporate counting and ABC's! I really am an elementary teacher aren't I?! :)

We called it a day at the park after about 3 1/2 hours and headed over to Nampodong. Aaron has been working on a really big goal, and finally reached it this week! I was so proud of him and told him a while back that I would take him out to a really nice dinner when he reached it, so tonight was the night! He decided he wanted to celebrate at Outback Steakhouse! (which was fine with me!) Congrats A!

What a wonderful way to spend Children's Day!

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