Business as Usual

15 May

Well, it seems like it is back to business as usual here at Gyeonggi English Village.  Except that, for the most part… there is no business.  In the past weeks we have waded through questions of teachers going on paid or unpaid leave and the future of English Village. And now things have emerged with no major change… except that, for the most part, we don’t have students to teach.

While we whittle away our days away with no students, for the most part teachers are expected to spend their time preparing their lessons for August programs.  Additionally, there is a new emphasis on weekend programming for English Village visitors more in the vein of entertainment.  New responsibilities have a fun flavor and include things like face painting, mask making and English focused games.  Lately we find ourselves scheduled to work a few hours at our front gate welcoming visitors to English Village that are sometimes there… and sometimes not. Life is undoubtably strange… or stranger than usual as we adjust to new programming and dance an odd dance with our administration struggling to keep us busy during this mostly non-busy time.

This past week we had our first student programs in quite a while.  We hosted a group of university students visiting from Japan as well as an adult program.  While it was nice to have a little “life” here, this modest program hardly put a dent in our weekly schedule. In future weeks more students will arrive…. a group of Russian students here for 6 weeks among them.  As required by the local government, Korean students will not take student trips until after this semester ends which is in early July.  Even after that we are not quite sure if Korean students will return to their regular class trips at English Village.

Meandering in Seoul

This week during my regular week-day weekend I headed to Seoul for the day for a bit of an escape.  While I appreciate my home at English Village, the fresh air and quiet surrounding hills, it felt really great to get away.  I spent my day doing a little shopping, meandering the streets of a favorite neighborhood, and also getting a message.  At the end of the day I met up for the first time with the Seoul chapter of a spiritual group called The Art of Living.

I have been connected with the Art of Living since I took their first course in New Orleans about 8 years ago.  Led by Indian guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the group was in New Orleans to be of service to the community in the wake of the challenges from Hurricane Katrina.  As an organization they are committed to spiritual health, well-being and harmony through a unique set of practices and tools. They are also committed to being of service to humanity through good deeds and projects.  Their main teaching is something called the Sudarshan Kriya and is learned in the first course.  It is a series of hand movements and breathing techniques that support the mind and body in reducing stress, detoxing, and being more balanced. As an organization I have found them to be nothing short of lovely and inspiring and have benefitted from the continued use of their practices.

It was a real treat to connect with the group, meet some new people and take some time out for spiritual practice in community.  An Art of Living teacher was visiting Seoul this week, so she led the group in the Kriya as well as some yoga and chanting.  I came away from the evening with a renewed interest in my own practice and reminder of the simple joy that can be cultivated from the inside out.

As the sun begins to set and my weekend begins to wind down, I prepare for a new work week.  Returning to a new irregularity but still somehow business as usual here at Gyeonggi English Village.

One Response to “Business as Usual”

  1. Carole and Bill 15/05/2014 at 18:55 #

    Stay focused, felling good. Love, Dad

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