A weekend at the beach (or as all the kids are saying these days: #YOLO)

Feet (almost) in the Sea of Japan

This weekend, I spent my days at Donghae Beach with 79 other Fulbrighters. We stayed at a local beach resort, slept in Korean-style rooms (no beds, pallets on floor), and ate a Western-style breakfast with eggs, french toast, regular toast, and orange juice. We also went to a Korean museum which was essentially a flea market behind glass. My favorite was the Christianity section. There was a section dedicated to Jesus, and then another section dedicated to Catholicism with a replica of St. Peter’s Basilica inside. It was wonderfully gaudy.

This weekend, the beach was open, but the water was dangerously rough. Too rough to swim in. In fact, shortly after taking the above picture, I had a whistle directed towards me, informing me to get out of the water. It was about 8:45 a.m., and honestly, I was afraid of going down to the beach alone. I’m in a foreign country, and honestly, non-Koreans are sometimes are subjected to stares (as Korea is a country with little to no minorities). However, I went down to the beach and everything was great. I’m slowly branching out. I enjoyed the peacefulness and watching the cargo ships go back and forth across the ocean. Perhaps if the world came to an end right then, being on the shore of the Sea of Japan would not be a bad thing.

Later in the day, a friend and myself went back down to the beach just to sit. Eventually, we decided that we wanted to take a speedboat ride. It was 40,000 won for the both of us, but we did it anyway. Against all common sense, we got into a tiny speed boat with a driver and sat terrified as the driver overcame waves that were cresting way before hitting the shore. We got wet, we were both terrified. The tiny boat jumped up and down, skipped over waves, and tilted many times. It was the most dangerous 20,000 won I’ve ever spent. Of course, you only live once.

YOLO, guys, YOLO.

In other news:

Camp Fulbright starts tomorrow and I teach my first lesson to a group of students. Since it’s “Mystery” day tomorrow, I’m doing a Carmen Sandiego theme and teaching the use of articles such as “a” and “the.” Please pray that it will go well.

I’ve turned in my preference form for my school placement. Departure day is exactly a month away, and I’m very excited. I would really love to teach at an all-girls’ school, as I’m interested in the similarities between Korean and American teenage girls. However, I’ll graciously accept wherever I am placed.

Tomorrow (7/23), I’ll be attending a seminar for Christian living in South Korea. I’m very glad that Fulbright has provided a panel to those of us in the Christian faith. It comforts me to know that Fulbright is looking out for our spiritual well-being, too.

Is it just me or is the song “This is Love” by Will.i.am super catchy? How did I just discover it? I’m also jamming to Avalon’s “Testify to Love” right now. That song is so 1990s contemporary Christian, but I love it.

Goodnight and geon bae from a different kind of south,

Sarah

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