Weekend Summer Camp

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Weekend Summer Camp
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GYL Summer Camp, Okgye, 2011, a set on Flickr.

So to save money toward my next adventures in traveling I’ve taken on any extra work I can lay my hands on over these last few months. The biggest cash cow has been a Global Youth Leaders programme I work at 2 Saturdays every month which pays really well and is pretty easy money too as the Middle School students who take part in it are all exceptional at English. This weekend was the overnight camp for this programme and we stayed at a swanky Women’s Centre situated right on the beach with a lush panoramic view of the tree covered mountains.

There were plenty of photo opps and I snapped away with my iPod on the first day. As you can tell I’m pretty hooked on the Instagram app on my iPod! I love the range of effects you can choose from and the way some of them can pop the colors in an average looking photo and transform it into something that looks pretty gorgeous. I’m quite addicted to this neat little memory maker  ^^

Anyway, back to the camp. The kids had a bunch of team projects to do, they put on a talent show and we hired a dance teacher to teach the students and camp leaders a K-Pop dance routine which I may or may not have royally f*cked up in the teachers final dance performance at the end! Ah, nothing tops of a day better than making an ass of yourself in front of a bunch of teenagers!

This was how it should have been done

I spent a good dose of my time dedicated to one of my favorite hobbies- people watching. Or student watching as this was. There was the loner girl who sat all day solving, undoing and re-solving a Rubiks cube. There was the chubby flamboyant boy who performed the entire Miss A dance routine during his team’s talent performance, taking it all way too seriously. And there was the angel faced pre-pubescent girl wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’. Ah, sweet oblivion. I couldn’t help but chuckle and remember the time on the beach when my boyfriend spotted an ajumma pooting around wearing a t-shirt with the slogan ‘Vote Mike Hunt for President’…x

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Coffee Date

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I spent  a lovely evening out last week at my new favorite local cafe (every time I discover a new one a better one is usually  around the corner), ‘Andromeda’. I was out with my co-teacher Chang Mee and her friend Ji-Yun for some  girly time, Korean-style. Surprisingly I’ve not done too much of this in my time here so far, it involves a lot of linking arms and giggling. I chose the intriguingly titled ‘cookie nut tea’ from the menu, which revealed itself to be a cinnamon-y tasting herbal tea and nothing like it’s name suggested, but tasty nonetheless.

  After many many sessions of creepy people watching in Korean cafes I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot truly immerse yourself in the modern Korean  coffee shop culture unless you~

a. sit silently opposite your date/friend/whatever and fiddle around with i phone/i pod/i pad for the duration of your coffee.

b. take a million pictures of yourself and your friends making victory signs.

Happily we opted for good old fashioned eye contact and girl talk interspersed with a healthy dollop of option b~~

Happy middle of the week everyone!

Not as easy as buying noodles

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So finally, after 2 whole years of procrastination I did it. I took the plunge and sacrificed my hair, my crowning glory, to the mercy of the Korean hairdresser to give me blonde highlights. Acquiring a decent head of highlights in this particular spot on the earth is no easy feat and understandably so, the stylists here are just not used to dealing with light colored hair. Korean message boards are riddled with horror stories cautioning fellow blondies against the dreaded ‘orange job’. So fearful was I of a brassy do that I twice gave in to the lure of the do-it-yourself bottle die which, to be honest, left my hair a hue not that far from the color I had been dreading and so was, in the end, completely counter-productive. Last week I decided enough was enough and decided to get a little of my Nancy Drew on. After a lot of research (read this as googling and blog reading) I decided on Lucy Hair  in Sinchon, Seoul. Lucy and her stylists all speak excellent English and they trained as hair stylists overseas so they are fully capable with dealing with all hair types. Dennis, my stylist, was amazing and gave me exactly what I asked for in terms of hair color and the style. I am now one very happy blonde bunny!

Here’s a before and after of my hair color:

And finally, my banana feet. I’m not entirely convinced whether I’m wearing this color or it’s the other way round. The juries still out…

28 before 29

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A list of  things I want to accomplish in the 294 days until my next birthday. I think it will be fun to look back over this list just before I turn 29 and remember the things I wanted when I was a year younger and hopefully be able to cross a few off. And maybe I’ll have completely changed my mind about a lot of things too!

1. Finish small collection of short stories

2. Visit friends in San Fransisco

3. Go back to India

4. Do a refresher yoga course

5. Get  tattooed again

6. Print all toy camera photos and scrapbook them

7. Apply for an online Nutrition course

8. Finish itunes playlists

9. Keep going with my blogs

10. Purchase a better blog theme

11. Go to a drive-in

12. Try a  root beer float

13. laugh, smile, snort

14. Successfuly grow something I can eat

15. Discover some great new music

16. Reconnect with family

17. Learn to cook a kick ass coconut curry

18. Practice using  an SLR camera

19. Christmas at my parents new home in Ireland

20. See at least one band I adore live

21. Be thrifty with my money

22. Buy a record player =)

23. Stay in love

24. Get my ass in shape

25. Maintain positivity

26. Mend a broken friendship

27. Read 2 new books a month

28. Keep growing my hair

Hello July

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Buying new stationary makes me ever so happy. Especially Asian stationary, it’s the cutest. I splurged in Art Box in Gangnam yesterday and now my fingers are itching to pick up a pen and cover these pretty papers with letters home. Which I think I’ll do with my free time today. Three cheers for exam week!

This weekend was a good one. Visiting great friends, a baseball game, gratuitous shopping and my favourite bit…kissing under the umbrella in the rain ☂ x

Also, really loving this Photobooth App on my iPod.

Take time to stop and smell the roses

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I don’t know where my current obsession with flowers has surfaced from but never in my life have I been more in tune with the seasonal output of nature. So far this year I’ve logged with enthusiasm the gradual change in colour outside from bare winter brown to the explosion of cherry blossom pink and now the vivid fuschia of the roses. Maybe this is because for the first time I am living alone somewhere that is not a huge metropolitan city and I have more of a chance to observe and appreciate my natural surroundings. My second (and final) summer in Gangneung is about to begin and as I look around me I think I’m appreciating for the the first time how beautifully well kept this city is. I’m so glad to have lived in a place that has taught me to  take stock of my environment and instead of cruising blindly by, to stop for moment and smell the roses.