Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chapter Eight: The Beauty of Herb Hillz

As promised, more Herb Hillz pictures. These are all about how pretty this little place was.

This way to pumpkin town!

There was this big ropes course in the immensely tall trees. It seemed like a different route you could take around the place! I saw it everywhere. Imagine taking that kind of shortcut. It reminds me of Hook and my desire to live in a huge tree house.

Korean totem poles!

Little artificial waterfall (smelled gross).

This was the herb garden proper. Lots of beautiful herbs and bees pollinating the flowers. It made me want to be a beekeeper so much. However, the bees scared the kids a lot. They were pretty scary, not the cute little yellow American bees. BIG orange with strange little heads.

Kids freaking out about some bees.

This stuff smelled like pineapples. If you look closely, you can see a pretty little butterfly.

Another great Korean "WTF?" moment. Let's put in the garden of Eden. WITH A CREEPY BABY! I guess the baby is supposed to be an anthropomorphic representation of the snake, maybe. But mostly, it's a creepy Eden baby.

Floppy panda made of turf!

Strange little statue garden. Again, I think most of these were made out of turf.

Pretty Pretty Pretty

Two sides of the bridge, the tortoise and the hare! I really want to see more parts of Asia that look like this and fewer that look like downtown Daegu.

I absolutely loved these things. They were little floating clouds shaped like different objects (I guess ones that you daydream about).

Of course, daydreaming about getting married.

They were the perfect way to leave the park.

The mountains! They look so different than the Berkshires. The trees are taller and it doesn't look so smooth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chapter Seven: In Which We Go To Herb Hillz And I Take Cute Pictures of Children

I have so many pictures (literally about 200) from our field trip today that I am splitting it into two posts: the kids and the surroundings. Let's start with the kids, since there are about 75 pictures, I'll keep them small. If you want to see them bigger, just click them. We went to "Herb Hillz" which was an herb garden park of sorts. There was a bit of a zoo, some rides, and lots of pretty places to take pictures. I think it was mostly created as a photo spot. It was glorious to be in the mountains and hills when I have spent a month in the city proper. I want to go on another nature adventure this weekend. In fact, I need to. This was honestly one of the best days of my life. I spent the day with Kelly and Jupiter. I got to really see what it would be like to be an assistant teacher in a pre-school or kindergarten instead of just going in to teach lessons. I really loved it! I mostly played the shepherd but it was still wonderful. It's great to have one of those moments when you realize this is what I really love doing. I have to remind myself a lot that I do love teaching. But yesterday morning, I woke up and couldn't wait to go to school. I don't know how anyone could do anything other than teaching? What other job could make you feel this good? What other job is each day such an adventure? I could go on forever, but let's just get to the photos.

Above: The field trip begins! We ride the bus with Mars and Jupiter (Kelly and Lina next to me, everyone else in the back), wait on line, and soon the fun begins!

The big pigs and geese. The children had a mixed response of intrigued and totally grossed out.

Baby piglet! So cute! No one really got the "don't stick your hand in there he might bite it off" thing that Kelly and I yelled nonstop the whole time.

Silly monkey and renegade sheep. The kids didn't know what to make of the sheep and goats running around. Do we run? Do we pet them? Ah yes, that's right, scream.

Renegade goats climbing all over everything!

They all decided that the donkey looks really sad. I agreed, poor forlorn donkey. I also assured them that it's just how their eyes look.

On the walk over to "Pumpkin Land" (more photos about that later), Jupiter posing all cute-like.

This picture of Brandon and Cindy is the best thing ever. That is what kids look like 99% of the time. Not all of this nice posed pictures stuff. That's why I've got so many shots of them while the Korean teachers were trying to get them in order, like the before and after shot above of Uranus getting into the pumpkin cart. I love nothing more than Jully's outfit. Her little straw had and plaid shirt, so perfect for fall. I fear I may end up dressing my children this way.

Silly picture thing, which I had to hold 6 kids up to put their faces in the holes. I am building picking-up-kids muscles. Nicole with Mercury and me with Jupiter.

Kelly trying to get Jupiter to do... something. Mark and his silly coat. I spent most of the day trying to get Mark, Andy, and Brandon to just walk and this shows just a bit of what that was like. Lastly, more picture posing. Jupiter used to absolutely love me, but I fear that after yesterday, they don't feel quite the same. I spent so much time moving them physically and shouting "Two lines Jupiter, keep up, keep up, keep up, JUST WALK!"

More shot of Kelly trying to pose them. They didn't understand they had to face her, most of the time... Ah well!

I love Mark's face in this one. It's not the cute hand pose, it looks like he's trying to do fish face. Then him showing me a nut? And another shot of the group.

Inside waiting for the seal show to start. More nuts?

But are you prepared for how ridiculous this seal show will be? I certainly wasn't.

Our lovely hostess. I think she's a princess. Or a witch. Maybe princess-witch?

A huge line of guinea pigs, and a monkey tossing out candy with an old guy.

The seal and his trainer, who happens to be a police officer. Hmm, where are we going with this? Say, what's that in the right corner, is that a UFO?

Why, yes, yes it is. And it's "Mars Attacks" meets "The Coneheads." Please, don't think about it too hard. Where did the bad guys go Jupiter? Oh right, over there! You can see the police seal trainer fighting the Conehead martian.

Lunch time! Another chance for me to talk about Korean food. And show you Andy's nostrils. For lunch the kids mostly brought Kimbap which is similar to sushi. Kim (seaweed) with a layer of rice and then veggies and protein wrapped up into a roll and cut up. However, it's a free-for-all as to what goes inside. Ham, kimchi, eggs, fish, cucumbers, whatever you want. Also, there's no sauces or anything. Usually there's sesame oil or some sort of sauce put inside lightly. Surprisingly tasty (I'm really branching out on the eating of Korean food. These days I eat some food at school for lunch and take risks. Last weekend I ate SILKWORM PUPAE! I think I'll talk more about those adventures another time). All the kids have bento-box style cases prepared, most likely, by their Asian housewife mothers who spend a lot of time working on their kids' lunch. Some of the mothers send a whole two extra meals for teachers, which is how I got to eat. Quite nice! Certainly preferable to what I remember from field trip lunches at 5th street beach (like that one time in 2nd grade when I put a single carrot in my lunch box because I didn't want to eat a liverwurst sandwich and the teachers worried a lot about it for the rest of the day).

Jully bein' cute. Brandon sucking on his training chopsticks. Brandon is such an odd little fellow. He tends to just chipmunk his food and sometimes halfway through a lesson I realize that Brandon still has his snack from 30 minutes ago in his cheeks. Notice everyone else is mostly finished and he's sucking on his chopsticks. Last photo is of Mars' little lunch nest. They got a great picnic spot on a raised platform instead of a picnic bench. More chipmunk cheeks!

More Mars, Eric making a great face, and a back view of their picnic paradise.

Posing. Mark, what are you doing? And Brandon stayed in that position until Kelly actually moved him. He just didn't understand that we were done taking his picture.

Going into the herb garden and in the gazebo.

Jupiter in front of an in a little cabin. A shot of Jully's hair that I thought was trash but it somehow really pretty, so I kept it.

And what would a post of kids be without gratuitous Woody pictures? Woody, before and after. He's pretty much the cutest thing ever. What could be cuter than dimples and fluffy hair? The bus ride made me sleepy, too. I had to wake him up but he wouldn't get up so Christine had to pick him up and dance with him until he really woke up.