Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 35: Last weekend, as we mentioned in the previous post, we went to Seoul Land Zoo. It is ranked the 5th best zoo in the world! They kept all of the animals out in the open (there was no glass) and you are totally allowed to feed them, which made for some interesting photo opportunities. First we came across these hippos- the baby was so cute, we were so close to them- it was awesome!
The funniest animal by far were the 4 types of bears. As with the hippos, there was no glass and people were finding berries in the bushes and feeding them! After a few minutes, the bears started actually begging for food and posing...
We'd never seen anything like it and we both were able to feed them, which was pretty cool! They seemed to enjoy it as much as we did, look how happy this guy looks...
Next we saw the Red Pandas- we were really looking forward to seeing actual pandas but they didn't have any :( So these were the next best thing, and they were pretty cute.
Nearby were some lemers, which were pretty entertaining to watch, especially the babies!
Next we saw the cougars, and thankfully they were behind glass, because they were eyeing all the little kids pretty intensely...
After that we wandered into the peacock garden that had tons of peacocks just roaming around. They had colorful ones and white ones and they were stunning!!!
After walking around all day and seeing all of the animals, we took a nice relaxing ski lift up the park which had amazing views! It's a beautiful place with breath taking scenery...
Before we left the park for the day, we decided to check out the rose garden which was on the way out. The place was huge! It had rows and rows of all types of flowers and every kind of rose every made. The place was filled with young families and photographers snapping tons of photos.
So that was our Sunday last week, it was a very long but super fun day! It's amazing that it only cost us each $4.00 for the whole day :) We've already made plans to go back in October because the polar bears and gorilla and orangutan areas are all under construction until then. Anyways, hope all is well back home, we miss you!!
With love from South Korea,
Brandon & Shayna

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 30: Friday was Poly's Mini Olympics, so we spent the entire morning and early afternoon in the park with all of the pre-kinder and kindergarten kids! It was fun to be outside and we had great weather. It was awesome to spend some time with the kids outside of the classroom and our director asked Shayna to photograph the we finally have photos of our kids to share with you!
In the photos above, Brandon is with his home room class, Rylant (all of the classes are last names of children's authors). Starting on the far right there is Solomon, Ashley, Christina, and Alex is the one hanging on Brandon's neck. Below is another shot of his of those four, since the other kids were off playing and didn't want their photos taken :)

These next two are from Brandon's other kindergarten class, Vincent who he teaches science to. On top we have James,whose a bit of a hand full but has a big heart. On the bottom we have Michael who is really smart and a very sweet kid.

The rest of these shots are of Shayna's kids. First we have my home room class, Blume. To say they are a handful would be a huge understatement. They are extremely cute and very wild! This first photo is of Justin and Esther, they are the best of friends on most days as you can see in this photo :) But, it was only a few days ago that he strangled her against the wall and she cried on my shoulder for 25 minutes, lol.
Next we have Scott, who is so sweet but pretty clueless. This picture captures him perfectly, he kind of looks confused and somewhat lost at all times but never gives me any real trouble. Yesterday, he gave me my first experience with puke! I looked aver and he was covered in it, poor kid :( He just shrugged it off, washed his face and came right back to class- he's a trooper!
Then we have Daniel, who is the complete opposite of Scott. Although I think he is one of the cutest kids I teach, he gives me the most problems. He never pays attention and is constantly hitting anyone that comes near him- so he keeps me on my toes at all times!

Next, this is Louis on the left and Justin on the right- the two class clowns. they are so cute but so crazy. Always making faces at everyone and getting each other to laugh, its hard to get mad when they are really so cute!
This picture of Thomas is my favorite from the whole day! He just finished some type of game where they had to fish gummi worms our of some type of powder and this was taken 5 minutes after the game was over and he was still walking around with it hanging out of his mouth :) As you can see, he gets the cutest little dimple on his cheek when he smiles, that I think is so adorable. He is one of the younger ones in the class, and needs help at all times. He's a handful but I adore him!
Now we have John, who is easily one of the best behaved kids in the class. As you can see, he's a cutie and if only I had 12 John's I'd have a perfect class :)
Finally, we have Nari (left) and June (right). Nari is super cute and super sweet, and June is super cute and a little evil. People always think June is so cute at first glance (this is not her best photo...) and then the more you look at her the more you see the mischief in her eyes. She always lends people things and then two minutes later starts a fight with them because she's decided she wants them back. No matter how much she gets yelled at, she always says she loves me :) She's the one who gave me the mug on Teacher's day that she wrote i love my teacher on, awww. She also dresses in some sort of princess dress on most days which makes it hard to yell at her with a straight face. I do love this class, they make me nuts, but they are good kids at heart.Lastly, here are a few on my second pre-kinder class, Carle. I dont have photos of them all- and I'm also missing some of Blume now that I think of it but I'll find more to post another day. Anyways, starting from the left, we have Henry, Eric, Andy, and Rose. These kids are angels compared to the others, they all love each other and are great friends. Today I actually had to stop class becuase Eric would not stop kissing Jacob (pictured below) :) They really are adorable!
This is Lina, she is the youngest of the pre-kinder kids and I love her. She is so quiet and by far the cutest girl in the class. She is pretty shy and her smaile makes me melt :)
Last but not least, we have the three of my favorite boys- from the left: Jacob, Eric, and Henry. Jacob is so smart and so sweet, he makes my job much easier. Eric has total A.D.D but is his cuteness makes up for his complete lack of focus at all time, lol. Finally there is Henry, who is awesome! He always asks me to stay and eat lunch with him, and gives me a big hug before I leave the room.

So, there you have it, these are (most of) our kids. Sorry for the really long post, but we want you to see who we spend our days with. So we hope you enjoyed it! We went to the Zoo on Sunday, and so expect a big post of zoo photos soon as well...but that is all for tonight.

With Love from South Korea,
Brandon & Shayna

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 21:
Hey guys! Hope you are all enjoying your weekend. today the weather wasn't great, so we stayed in Bucheon and did some more exploring. A co-worker of our had told us about market near our place, and so we decided to try and find it. With a roughly drawn map that she had made for us, to say we had trouble finding the place would be a huge understatement! After walking around for an hour to find a market that was supposedly 15 minutes away, we hopped in a cab which drove us to the market in less than 5 minutes (in the total opposite direction we had been walking). The market was ok I guess, if you're looking for live octopus and poorly made clothing...which we weren' we walked through the whole market and headed home.
As we were walking, the weather started to get alot nicer and we took a detour through a huge park near our school. Little did we know, the park was also an outdoor gym! There were tons of machines that are free for anyone to use, which we are planning to make use of tomorrow. As it got warmer, we headed home to pick up the camera and take some shots of all the new flowers that are starting to bloom.

As I was shooting away, Brandon found a Korean volleyball game that caught his attention. The net was lower and and they used only their heads and their feet to hit the ball. It was pretty interesting to watch and Brandon hopes to get in on the action once he learns some more Korean :)
After our walk, we headed to Outback Steakhouse because we were told by a friend that we could use the Hyundai department store gift certificates I got from teacher's day there. Although it didn't seem logical, we decided to give it a try. When we got there, we were told that we couldn't use them, probably since they are two totally unrelated places, lol (thanks Patrick!). Regardless, we sat down to have dinner and our waitress came back with some bread and some sort of pink butter. I asked what it was and she replied " rasberry butter" to which I said, "do you have any regular butter?". She looked a little confused and said " butter, chocolate" and then I looked at her in confusion and just smiled and nodded. Brandon had been in the bathroom while all of this was happening, and when he came back I told him that I was pretty sure our waitress was bringing us some sort of chocolate butter. He told me I clearly misunderstood her, and I agreed with him- until of course, she walked over, handed me "mango butter, and chocolate sauce". I tried the mango butter, which made me gag, and I then proceeded to dip the bread in the chocolate...which was actualy pretty good. After a little too much bread and chocolate, we had some delicious steaks with coconut onion rings, which were also really yummy! Anyways, that was our day- hope we didn't bore you with too many details. We miss you and love you all.

P.S. Add us on skype if you have it, you can find us under

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 20:
Another busy week here in Korea! Yesterday was Teacher's Day which means that our kid's parents had the chance to bribe us with gifts, lol. Canada should really adopt this idea because we ended up with some awesome stuff. Since I (Shayna) teach the pre-kinder kids, I got pretty lucky because I guess the parents know what a handful they can be. From a class of 11 kids, I got over $200 dollars in gift certificates to a really nice department store called Hyundai, and from all my other students I got : Bath & Body works and Body Shop lotions, a personalized mug that says I love you teacher written on it from my student named June, a scarf, a Lacoste t-shirt, a few roses and lots of candy! Brandon got awesome stuff to. He got Clinique Happy for men cologne, a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, a bottle of wine, shaving supplies, and some really good cookies :)
Along with the awesome gifts, some of the kids gave us cards which are priceless! One card I got from a grade 3 boy said " You teach us very good. Please teach us many things. Let's be intimate. Thank you." Brandon got one that said, " Thank you for teaching me, you are handsome and kind. I love you." All of the hand written cards are so sweet! Days like that make it all worthwhile :) We'll have to take some shots of the kids soon to show you just how cute they really are. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 15:
Yesterday we spent the day at the Ichon Ceramic Festival. It was held at a beautiful, large park in the countryside, which was two hours by bus from Bucheon. The picture above is the view from the entrance of the park. There were gorgeous flowers, awesome modern art statues and tons of families taking in the sights. First we went to the actual pottery making exhibit, where Brandon made us a vase. You can see his natural talent for ceramics showcased below :) ......

We then hiked up a mountain trail in the park, which had a beautiful and colorful view of Ichon.

There were also many interesting art sculptures all around the park in including this tree made of bells that you would normally find at temples all over South Korea.
We then went to a very interesting authentic tea ceremony held by the woman below. What was really cool, is that we were with our Korean friend who was able to translate what the woman was telling us and we were able to ask her questions to better appreciate the experience.
After the tea ceremony, we came across a traditional Korean drumming show which was very fun to watch and was filled with highly energetic performers. Shayna was in the front row taking photos, and the guy in the second photo got her to spin his top and throw it back to him in front of the entire audience.
We wound down the day by heading to a beautiful, Korean pond which had amazing flowers ...

and a Korean style terrace looking over the water....we then headed back home after a very long and eventful day.
Hope you all had a great weekend, we miss you and we hope your enjoying following along in our adventures :)

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 13:
Today we ventured into Seoul all by ourselves! We really stuck out with our camera and our "Top 100 Seoul Destinations" tourist book, lol. The subway wasn't too bad, and we made it to Sinchon station without any problems- but once we got off the subway, we made a few wrong turns. Sinchon is close to alot of universities in Seoul and is a very young and trendy area .We expected to find the shopping market right when we got off of the subway, but instead we ended up in a dirty, traditional food market...
Once we found our way out of there, we roamed a few back alleys and colorful neighbourhoods before somehow stumbling into the right area.

The streets were packed with young people shopping at all of the small and trendy boutiques and street vendors.
As we walked around, we found lots of cute little restaurants, random street art and a tons of shoe stores! The entire area was awesome, and we wandered the streets for hours. We had lunch at a Korean style burger shop that was very funky, with big red velvet chairs and artwork all over the walls. The students definetly have a major influence on the area, and give it a great artsy vibe.

As we were heading back to the subway at the end of the afternoon, some students stopped us to see if we wanted to participate in a story telling project they were doing for school. Brandon hopes he'll make the final cut for the project...

Tomorrow we are headed to a smaller town for a ceramic festival, which should give us a good chance to see a different part of the country. More photos to come, but for now we're off to bed.

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 9:
Today was Children's Day in Korea and we had the day off work :) The weather was gorgeous and we spent practically the entire day outside in the park. They closed down several of the streets behind Bucheon City Hall and had activities for all of the kids.

There was a crazy amount of kids and parents everywhere! They were riding their bikes, driving go-carts and flying kites in the park and on the street. The whole area was buzzing with activity.

It was an awesome day to do some great people watching and take tons of photos. These are just a few of the shots from the day. The kids are all so cute and don't mind strangers taking their photo.

We also ran into some of our students and were able to meet some of their parents too. We made kites with one of our students named Jayden which Brandon had a great time flying in the park. It's too bad every day isn't Children's Day!

With love from South Korea,
Brandon & Shayna