Friday, August 29, 2014

Goodbye Korea....Hello America!

Well my year in Korea is over. I still can't believe that I'm home.

My co-teacher surprised me by throwing me a surprise going away party.






I also had a going away party with my friends. I felt very loved. We went to Johnny's Pub for dinner.


Afterwards, six of us went to a norebang since I LOVE norebangs. We had a blast.






Michael is REALLY good at playing the tambourine!



The next two days I hung out with my closest friend, Katie, and we did all of our favorites: shopping in Eunhaengdong, playing Nertz at a coffee shop, eating Italian at RoboCook, having Oreo bingsu for desert at Carabao, and singing at our favorite little norebang. She spent the night that night, and we went to church the next day and then another one of our favorite restaurants.

Man, I already miss her. Terribly.


Who knows what this song is?



 Love this norebang!

FYI....I am experiencing reverse culture shock. It's not easy. At all.

This article says it the best.

My favorite lines from the article: http://thoughtcatalog.com/kellie-donnelly/2014/07/the-hardest-part-about-traveling-no-one-talks-about/

It’s like learning a foreign language that no one around you speaks so there is no way to communicate to them how you really feel. This is why once you’ve traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug, but really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn, then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown then you did in the most foreign place you visited.

Farewell my friends. I have enjoyed writing this blog and letting you in on my world in Korea. Now that I'm back in America I don't plan on continuing the blog. 

If you are at all considering teaching abroad, I've got two words for you.

DO IT.

Take a leap of faith and just do it. You will NOT regret it. 

It was one amazing experience of a lifetime, and I am so grateful that I did it. 

If you ever have any questions about teaching abroad, email me at texasgal95@gmail.com - I'll be glad to answer any questions you have!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Visiting the DMZ

The weekend before I left for Bali I organized for 3 friends and I to go to the DMZ. I knew I would regret it if I didn't go while I was here in Korea. I'm glad I went.

The DMZ, Korean Demilitarized Zone, is the buffer zone between North and South Korea. You can visit there, but the visits are strictly monitored. You have to sign in with your passport and everything.


Looking out to North Korea. You couldn't take a picture past the yellow line. Like I said....strictly monitored.






We got to visit the 3rd tunnel, which was discovered in 1978. It was built by the North Koreans as a surprise attack on South Korea. They believe that there are still tunnels out there to be found.

The DMZ was a halt for South Korea and North Korea to stop fighting. I was amazed, however, to learn that North Korea continued to try and surprise attack South Korea, building tunnels and stuff. So they lied.

It was a long tunnel. Wet, dark, and claustrophobic. We had to wear hard hats. Coming back up was not fun. Not fun at all.


Then we visited Dorasan Station, which is the last subway station in South Korea. It is the train that you would take if you were going to North Korea. They hope that people can actually take this train to North Korea right now.








 Now in South Korea...


Now heading to North Korea...






Now at the JSA or Joint Security Area. We are in the conference room, where South Korea meets North Korea for talks and conferences.


These microphones separate South Korea and North Korea. They are always on.


This guy had sweat going down his face, and he couldn't even wipe it off.


The guards outside. Staring at the wall can't be all that fun.


He's in North Korea...as I was too when I took this picture.


You couldn't get too close to the guards.





Our guide was stationed there at the DMZ. He was quite attractive.


The white posts signify North Korea.




This tower messes up all the TV and radio broadcasts from South Korea so that North Koreans have absolutely no idea what is going on in the rest of the world.


Propaganda Village - It's in North Korea and was built to be pure propaganda. No one lives there. It looks nice and beautiful, but it's all fake. Propaganda is played through the massive loudspeakers directed towards the south.

Our tour guide with our army DMZ guide.





It was a good and interesting tour, and I'm glad I went.

Be on the lookout for some Bali pictures!