Monday, July 8, 2013

Bonding With Korean Teachers

Last week was exam week at my school and on Thursday afternoon (the students went home about 1pm) the vice principal decreed that there would be a group bonding session for all the teachers at school. This was the last thing I felt like getting involved in, but even though writing the English camp workbook was crushing me and the deadline to have it completed was the next day... I decided I should join in.

The Korean teacher bonding session started off with a game of Yut Nori. Yut Nori is a traditional Korean board game that has been played in Korea for the last 2000 years. My co-teachers tried their best to explain what the rules where but I still don't really understand it. Throwing the sticks on the ground is kind of like flipping a coin. The sticks have a smooth side and a rounded side. Depending on how the sticks fall determines how you move the tokens on the board. As far as the tokens go, they are meant to move around the board and then exit where they started. I still find how they move insanely confusing. 

Everyone else seemed to know what was going on and were having a great time. The head teacher was overly excited and madly running around making people that landed on certain circles drink Makgeolli (traditional Korean alcohol made from a mixture of wheat and rice). 

Then it was my turn.... My team (teachers from the 3rd grade teachers room) where doing well until they gave the sticks to me. I accidentally threw the sticks such that one rolled off the blue mats a couple of times (not a good thing). Oh well... 

The vice principal took this photo of me. He can't speak English but managed to communicate with me that he wanted to send the picture to me on Kakaotalk. Now... I think I am the only teacher at school that is friends with the vice principal on Kakaotalk. 

There was also a spread of snacks for us to enjoy. 

After the snacks and all the games of Yut Nori had finished we all headed to a restaurant a short walk from the school where I stuffed myself with as much food as I could.

I didn't touch these. They are called Beondegi. They are steamed or boiled silkworm pupae which are seasoned and eaten as a snack. It is often served by street venders or as a side dish in a restaurant. My co-teacher told me they are high in protein. Great! I'll let you enjoy them. :)

When we arrived at the restaurant we were all given a piece of paper with a number on it. It was for the raffle that would be held later during the evening. I don't think I have ever won a raffle in my life, but tonight was my lucky night. I managed to win first prize. Here is a picture of the vice principal handing me the prize. 

After the prizes... it was karaoke time! The teachers were trying to pressure me into getting up but I politely declined. 

And then... there was more food. A woman cooked Kimchi fried rice at our table. It doesn't get any fresher than that.

At the end of the evening I thanked the vice principal (since the school picked up the tab). He said some things to me I didn't understand. When he saw the confused look on my face he shook my hand and said "Kakaotalk friend". I laughed, bowed and said goodbye. As I walked up the street I could year him repeatedly saying "Kakaotalk friend" and laughing. 

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