Korea


I just saw this posted on facebook and thought this was SO interesting! Here are a few statistics about the city where I live. Click here for the original page.

A Day in Daegu

The following shows various statistics of a day in Daegu.
This information will help you get a better idea of Daegu.

A Day in Daegu
Births 56 Oil consumption 34,581,000㎾/h
Deaths 32 City gas consumption 2,218,000㎥
Population movement 1,524 LPG consumption 838 tons
Marriage 33 couples Charcoal consumption 435 tons
Divorce 16 couples Wastes Discharged 2,637 tons
Export 9,715,000 Dollars Traffic Accidents 35
Import 7,145,000 Dollars Fires 8.5
Daily water per person 331ℓ Newly registered vehicles 171
Grain consumption 826 tons Airplane use 3,271
Meat consumption 4,571㎘ Rail use 32,900
Energy consumption 259 tons Express Bus use 8,000

Since I moved to Daegu two years ago, the city has been plastered with advertisements for the IAAF World Championships. I had to look it up to see what it was. The International Association of Athletic Federation hosts what is essentially a world track and field meet every two years. It’s like the Olympics but with only the running, jumping and throwing events. Click here to see more information. My city was this year’s host!

My friends and I went to the opening ceremony and the first night events! We were really thankful for the free fans!

I was the only one who forgot about dressing for my country. On the left- South Africa- and on my right- USA. I’m stuck in the middle, definitely not dressed for the occasion. What country is pink?

There are many things to note in this photo. 1) the cops are sitting in their van. Obviously they are not too worried about crime, even with an international event drawing a crowd of 30,000 +. 2) the ticket booths look like grain silos. Weird! 3) people are pouring in.

“Unforgettable moments that shouldn’t be missed!” uhhm, sure.

Before the events, everything is lit, prepped and ready!

This stadium was first build when Korea hosted the World Cup in 2002 and is a super impressive building. Although I’ve heard about it and know where it is, this was my first time to go out there. It’s a 40 minute subway ride and a then a 30 minute walk from where I live.

This is the beginning of the opening ceremony. These dancers were wearing modified versions of the hanbok (traditional Korean dress).

After this photo my batteries died, but I can tell you about the rest. The Korean president spoke, the Daegu mayor spoke, the president of the IAAF spoke, there was a lot of singing and dancing with plenty of cute kids. There were some big name Korean celebrities, several occasions of fireworks and a strange floating drum/orb with projected pictures. It was fascinating to see something of this international scale take place so close to my home, in what I had formerly only heard referred to as a “provincial city”. All of a sudden Daegu felt like a big city. Everything was done so well. I felt proud for my city! Way to go, Daegu!!

My friend Julie and I agreed that the most amazing part of the opening ceremony was the clean-up. After the ceremony was over they went right into the night events and the entire place was transformed in less than 10 minutes. There were so many helpers, all dressed in blue shirts and they completely took down and cleaned up everything SO FAST!

I watched Usain Bolt race in the preliminary 100 meter race, lots of high-jumpers compete as part of the decathlon, and 3 Kenyan women win the 10,000 meter race.  As we were dragging home after midnight I thought I’d make it back to see another night, but school started and I never made it back.

Now all the advertisements on all the bus stops, in the subway and on the sides of buildings are just a reminder of the event that was so long promoted and so quickly over.

If you’re thinking of rest stops like the ones in the southwestern deserts of the US with pit toilets and, if you’re lucky a vending machine, then the rest stops in Korea are like a dream come true! This is just one of the many strange and interesting differences between our countries. Not EVERY rest stop is so posh, but most have big clean bathrooms, food courts where you can get a good hot meal, a few convenience stores, a place for coffee, street food of all types and usually a place that sell CDs & tapes.

These little potatoes are my favorite snack and I only ever see then at the rest stops! They are sprinkled with sugar and are delish!

This is just a quick tour of the bathrooms. Who doesn’t want a clean bathroom with a nice little forest after a long trip?

And a little tour around:

 

It’s back-to-school time again, but this time without these two. I’m feeling a little nostalgic so this post goes out to you, Gloria and Bjoern!

At some fancy-schmancy restaurant/hotel in Daegu. Thank you Keimyung for this nice birthday present (for Bjoern)! July 2011

And for good measure, the food was awesome!!

 

Oh, to be!

Oiedo Island, Korea July 2011

This semester I’ve started an English club, meeting at lunch on Wednesdays. It’s just for students in my department who want to practice their English outside of class time (whether that’s my class or an English language class).

I have really wanted to do this for a while, but my eagerness quickly changed from “this will be great!” to “wait, how do I do this?” How do I help a room of 30 students practice a new language, feel comfortable enough to attempt something difficult,  and actually make an improvement all while eating lunch and in 45 minutes?

Suggestions welcome!

In the first week I asked them all why they wanted to be in an English club.

Student 1: Because I want to learn about all foreigners’ perspectives.

Me: All foreigners’ perspectives?

Student 1: Yes, all!

Me: But I’m just one person!? One American person. I don’t know all perspectives, just my own.

Student 1: Oh, right.

After the first week and actually this conversation, I realized that *wait, hold the phone:  it is not my responsibility to answer ALL their language needs, just like I can’t be ALL foreigners.  Sometimes I can just make things SO much more difficult than they need to be!! A little English club is not going to make them fluent but can be one part in each of their journeys towards fluency. And it can be fun- fun in relaxed way that “class” cannot be. phew.

Here are some of the other responses to the question “Why do you want to join this English club?” (we’re going for content here, not grammar!)

  • I want to learn speaking for travel and international friends.
  • Because I want to develop my English speaking so I will go language student in foreign countries and I want have a lunch time effectively.
  • I want to study English speaking and free talking with foreigner friend. Because this social must have needed. I think important speaking more than writing.
  • I wanna learn more natural English communication. Also, I wanna share each others culture. So I want active, natural time. Also, I want to introduce Korean style, culture to you.
  • For my future! I want to meet many people and I will become global designer.
  • I don’t speak English.
  • I want to speak English well. So I want to study English at the first opportunity. Then I like Karin teacher (*^^*) So when I speak English, I am terrified/remove.
  • Because English is important language that find employment.
  • First, I practice English because English is world language and it’s not a choice but it’s necessary. Second, I can focus on major subject. Third, communicate with other grades.
  • English communication very well/and I want to do. I want to meet new friends.

Thank you April, for bringing Spring with you!!!


Magnolia- 목련 (mog-nyun)

Two of the professors from my department with a beautiful display of spring flowers! I had to take their picture in front of the tree because as we were walking to dinner we could see  it in the distance, and they kept saying, “Oh, how beautiful, how beautiful!”

By the numbers:

1- week I have to compile all my information to start the contract renewal process!

1- Grandmother, whose death has caused me to feel great sadness and great gladness all at the same time. How is that possible? I miss you!

3- as in 3rd floor. Our English service @ Dongshin Church has been growing so much that we’ve had to move to a bigger meeting space to accommodate all the people! Praise the Lord!!

5- weeks into the semester already!!

6- days I spent with my dear friend, Maryanna, who visited in March from the USA. It was so fun to have a visitor!! Anyone else who wants to come- my house is open to you!!

30- assignments from my Repeat Pattern class are waiting on the table behind me to be graded. (Of course, that’s the main reason why I’m blogging!)

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