2014 is here! It’s hard to believe that a new year is here and that we are already about a week into it! This new year holiday was an odd one. The first reason being that we are in Korea, and even though they follow the same calendar, not many people celebrated the new year. In Korea, the big new year to celebrate is Seollal, the Lunar New Year. The next reason that this new year was odd was because we celebrated it almost 14 hours faster than everyone in the USA, so even though 2014 came for us in Korea, my Facebook didn’t blow up about it until much later.
With that being said, at work we have now started Winter Intensives. In Korea, kids end their school year in the winter. Much like summer break for us in America, they have a long winter break and then level up to the next grade once they go back to school. For us as teachers, this means that we work in the morning hours instead of the night. Our first day of intensives started on New Year’s Day. It got us going quickly for this new year. I am excited about my levels this semester! I am teaching 3-4th grade and 6th grade. I love 6th grade, since I have been teaching them during my almost 6 months here, but I also love the adorableness of the younger kids! They are so cute!
Last week was a busy one with both the New Year and Intensives starting. Because of that, John and I decided to just relax and try to see something new this weekend. We had heard of a prison that was really interesting to visit. A friend of ours had gone and taken some awesome pictures, so we decided to go on a day trip and tour it. The prison is called Seodaemun Prison. When you walk up to the prison grounds, you almost feel like you are walking into something out of a movie. The prison is in Seoul but has an eerie feeling, knowing that it used to be a place to punish people. According to the Seodaemun Prison History Museum, the prison “was built near the end of the Joseon Dynasty (1908), and was where Japanese soldiers tortured and then later executed Korean followers of the Independence Movement.” There you’ll find seven jail cells, a historical exhibition hall, an execution room, watchtowers and a basement jail cell. It’s definitely a site worth checking out!
So far 2014 has had a good start. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year will bring!
Happy Belated New Year! Enjoy the pictures from the prison below!