Kim Jong-il, island escapes, and surprise breaks from work


Please don’t worry about us because we are all right! I’m sure North Korea and their official crazyman Kim Jong-il has made it into your living room this week, but as for now, things are quiet and calm.

I realized it was time to ask my co-teachers again today for the second time in two years if we should be worried about sitting on the southern end of a nuclear arsenal with a crazy man at its helm. No we should not be too worried, they said. It’s more of the same. They are much more upset about the former president who committed suicide than their neighbors with nuclear arms and even went so far as to say that the current Korean administration is giving it so much play in the news because the current president doesn’t like the former one who just jumped off a cliff. Geeeeeeeeze. See what I’m dealing with here?

Whit says I’m a product of Fox-News-like fear mongering. I’ve been giving him hypothetical situations all day. What if …. What if….. I think he might be ready to point a missile at me. But no, jokes aside, we are fine. And we are alerted and instructed by the U.S. embassy every time something happens.

Now to happier updates…….

We went on a camping trip with friends last weekend to another island south of Gwangju. It turns out our province is home hundreds of unspoilt islands. Because Koreans don’t really like being out in the sun, it makes beach camping the most wonderfully delightful and peaceful experience in Korea. We had an amazing beach all to ourselves..the biggest beach I’ve seen yet in Korea.

We have such a fun group of friends here and we are planning about 2 camping trips a month for our last months here. I’m so glad we brought our camping gear back! It makes for such a great cheap weekend!

In more news, our students have found out that we will not be returning to Songwon after summer vacation. No tears have been shed yet, but a lot of begging and “whhhhyyyyyyyyy, teacher?!?!?”

“But teacher, if your family wants to see you, you can go back and bring them back here. And you can keep studying with us,” they said.

“Will you ever come back?”

Who knows. Who knows. We say. We hope so!

But speaking of school, we found out this afternoon that we don’t have school tomorrow because all the kids are going to an amusement park for the day for an art contest. Woooooohooooo! Hallelujuh!


  1. Aki says:

    Hi ma’am. ^^
    I’ve just read through your article here:

    and thought I’d drop by to thank you for giving me some insight on what it’s like to work in Korea.:)

    I’m planning to work there once I graduate, but I’m worried about North Korea. 😦 I know most South Koreans are saying that it’s nothing to worry about, but I read that North Korea has ended its truce with the South, and I’m frantic about the possibility of another Korean War.

    I hope you guys will be okay, and the issue will be resolved peacefully.


  2. Dane says:

    Wow. Every time I come to your site I am so amazed at how much it has evolved! I am constantly impressed and inspired by it!


  3. Aki, I'm another teacher / blogger in South Korea, and it's fairly easy to say that if the Koreans aren't overly concerned about NK, then we have little reason to be… Sure, the government gets concerned as well they should, but talk to the man on the street (if he / she could speak English-ee well enough) and there's little concern about it… It's out of their hands… Anyhoo, NK and SK never had a 'truce' to begin with, and have technically been at war since the end of the Korean war. If there is another Korean war, SK and the USA will have quite a few things to say and blow up – problem solved.

    To the wonderful couple that runs K&C – hi. I'm Chris in South Korea – great blog. Adding it to my Google reader… now 🙂


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