Cool Change

2 Sep

It’s a cool Monday morning here at English Village.  A little unexpected, I find myself relaxed and free in the mid-afternoon on a Monday. Why is that you say?  Is English Village closed today?  Have the hundreds of adolescent Korean students lost their way to English Village and we have the day off?  The answer to both of those questions is no.  The reason is quite simple.  Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, I will wear a new “hat” at English Village.  My new responsibilities come with a new schedule.  I will work from Tuesday to Saturday.  So today as I transition to the new schedule I have an extra day of respite.  Hooray!

What sort of hat will I be wearing you ask?  Well, beginning tomorrow I will be one of two teachers at English Village who will teach a regular afternoon book club/ school for young Korean students.  The teacher who had taught the program for the past year is moving on and as she prepares to leave I am stepping into her spot.  The job it seems is pretty simple and autonomous.  I will have mornings to prepare and afternoons of five 50 minutes classes with small collections of students mostly age 5 and 6.  We will read books, practice basic English and what else I suppose… remains to be seen.

I was asked just a few days ago if I would like to take the position.  In truth the offer came at a pretty good time.  Although there are many things that I like about the teaching I was doing – my co-teachers, some of the lessons, the joy of a good class, and the variety of students taught – in truth my mind, body and being were needing a break of some sort.  It was stressful for me and sometimes felt like a crazy ride that just wasn’t that fun anymore.  And so, while in truth there are things I was hesitant to leave… I am grateful for the opportunity for a change.

And so is my body.  By the end of last week my back and my neck… just didn’t work so well anymore.  When I went to my regular chiropractor appointment on Saturday, where he regularly works on my injured ankle, I sheepishly admitted that I could barely move my back and my neck.  As I laid there, I felt like a wounded soldier.  He flipped me over, took a look at my back and said in true form to his joking demeanor, “You need to find a rich husband.”  Translation, my back had been over stressed and I really needed to take it easy.  His suggestion for the week, wear a back support brace.  The rest, we will revisit on the next appointment.

Since then I have been doing plenty of yoga, Reiki and swimming and my back and neck are softening up a bit.  But still ultimately, my body is in need of some continued tender-loving-care.

I had a great time this weekend with a relaxing day in Seoul on Saturday.  I spent the night in Seoul at the home of friends from my Buddhist group.  Then Sunday morning we went together to our monthly world peace meeting.  This meeting is a gathering of members throughout our English-speaking chapter in Korea.  It was great to see some familiar faces that I haven’t seen in a while.  Afterwards a small group of us went to grab some wonderful tacos at my favorite local taco joint.  Yes I know when you think Seoul – you don’t think tacos… but there are some great tacos to be found. We went to Gusto Taco‘s newly opened second restaurant.  Great homemade tacos and burritos made with fresh ingredients and personal service.  We all ate to our hearts content and then continued on with our Sunday.

The weather in Korea it seems has made the tilt away from Summer and is now heading towards Fall.  It is unmistakable in the air and we are all enjoying the freshness of the changing of seasons.

Today I made a quick, okay not so quick, sojourn to the local Pharmacy to buy a back support for my poor aching back.  This was my first time going to the pharmacy and finding it wasn’t quite as direct as it looked on the map.  The journey there required a lot of asking directions on my part and the humbling experience of trying to express my needs when I cannot speak the local language.  With some good fortune and basic hand pointing I was successful on my journey.  On my way home I passed these lovely gardens.  Here are a few photos to share.

So for now I will continue my bonus Monday as I indulge in the cool change in the weather and the gentle shift in my work responsibilities. Ah, a good day to relax my body and mind and prepare for my first day of new work tomorrow.

How are things in your world?  It’s always good to hear from you!

Photo on top, a quick snapshot of pretty little flowers in a garden I discovered just around the corner from English Village in Paju South Korea.

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