[The Insta Life] Winter in Korea

Life is pretty calm recently given the end the school year! I do have to say, it's as cold as it would be in Maryland or Pennsylvania, but at least Namwon gets a really pretty snowfall out of the deal. There's something really fun about being with elementary kids when it's snowing out. Kids have so much energy, and they're easily excited, especially when it involves letting them play a little. It reminds me of how much fun snow can be. Instead of hiding inside, I conceded to my kids a few times to let them play outside (given that we go through some book work or English first!). I still hate the cold, but I do love snow. There's still something a little magical about it, even if I'm cursing the icy roads and freezing winds! At one of my schools we even slid down a little incline in the back of the school using old pieces of cardboard. I can't remember the last time I did anything like that!

  • Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? You better believe Frozen was huge here. This was from the first time I let the kids go outside to play (it was during an after school class). They had a ball, and it was so funny watching them trying to make snowmen! The snow had started melting a bit by the time the afternoon had come, so it was a struggle getting the snow to roll. These three girls in particular crack me up. They're such little sass pots. 
  • Fat Cat Cafe- I bought these prints at one of the local restaurants that I've developed quite a fondness for. It's called Pat (팟), but I was introduced to it as Fat Cat because of the fat cat pictures. It's a Thai food place, and it's the perfect place to go to in the winter. 
  • Honey Bread at the Buddha Cafe- I still don't actually know the name for this place as I've only been once. It has the best city view of Namwon, and of course it has honey bread, which is delicious and addicting. I think this was the weekend I shared three honey breads in a matter of 24 hours.
  • Winter Views- How stunning is that view? That's from another day I let my kids out to play in the snow (I think it was the day after their exam, keep in mind I have 4 schools!). I'm constantly surrounded by mountains, and nothing is quite prettier than a mountain covered in fresh snow.
  • Silk Screen Printing- My one co-teacher invited me along to a cafe to do silk screen printing, and I chose to do my photo of Segovia at sunset because it's still one of my favorites. The cafe itself is so lovely, and I like getting to hang out with my co-teachers outside of school.
  • Meeting Simon & Martina- So, I was already planning on going to Seoul when they announced they'd have an EYK Pop Up Event, and I was super excited to finally meet them! I've been following their vlogs since probably 2010/2011, and I've been a fan. I really like the way they look at Korean culture and the whole K-pop scene, though unfortunately I think they're getting a lot of random hate tweets at the moment. You can tell how much they've grown, and how much time they put into creating videos. While I'm sure I initially found them through the Music Mondays segment, I really appreciate their TL;DR videos. Anyhow, it was so cool meeting them, their studio is lovely, and Spudgy is the cutest.
  • New Year's Eve- So last minuted I decided to tag along with two friends (also teachers in Namwon) to go to Gwangju to ring in 2015. We went to a Mexican restaurant with full intentions of feasting, and then we went to Speakeasy, an Irish bar, and Bubble Bar. It's interesting because it didn't feel like a New Years celebration, rather just a night out. I think it has something to do with the fact that while the New Year is exciting, Koreans celebrate the Lunar New Year more (we have three days off for that, just one for this). Also, if you're in the mood to enter a sausage fest, Bubble Bar is the place to go... 
  • Winter Camps- How cute are these two? This week and last I had winter camp at the bigger elementary school I teach at, and it's been fun getting to know my students here a lot better. The camp is much smaller, with only a handful choosing to attend, so I'm getting to know names and personalities more than before. I made snow clay for them to play with because my 3/4 graders were learning about winter activities, and these two girls decided to make ddeok out of it! They also made marshmallows and pretended to roast them in the sun. Ah, and after they insisted on wanting to try it, I gave them a small piece, and they were not thrilled. It's water, corn starch, and baking soda!
  • Restaurant Game- For my 5/6 graders, we've been trying to learn everyday English. I told them to bring in snacks for this day so they could use the snacks to pretend they were in a restaurant. If you're interested, the whole restaurant activity (including their alphabet warm-up) takes about an hour and a half. I had them fill out a worksheet with restaurant vocabulary (explaining the difference between chef and cook, and what fancy is was fun), and then while we had our restaurant "meal," I played some of their favorite songs. Has anyone noticed that the girls have favorite boy groups, but the boys are more interested in their cellphone games or gag shows/Smosh? 
The one month countdown to warm weather in Thailand and Cambodia starts today!

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