July 22, 2017
Jeff’s Korean Excursion Part 4: Elementary School in Yeosu

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I spent a week at Oeseo Elementary School in Yeosu, Korea and have many stories to tell. There are only 34 kids from kindergarten to 6th grade at the school, and my host, Mrs. Han, is the Principal. During my visit to Oeseo Elementary, I got to meet the Vice Principle’s daughter, Sangah. She is a 27 year-old traditional Korean music performer and speaks perfect English.

Sangah and I visited each of the seven grades at the school throughout my week there. I would give presentations about my school back home in Chicago along with my future plans to the students, and Sangah would translate from English to Korean. She would also teach the students how to sing traditional Korean music. They were all incredibly cute and energetic! Although part of their energy could have been due to the FunDip I kept giving out after my presentations.

I spent one of my days teaching some of the students how to golf. It worked out pretty well. I judge it as such because no one got injured by a rouge swing or ball even though 12 people were trying to golf in a small field!

Sangah and I took the kids on a field trip to Yeosu on another one of my days there. Each student brought a painting that they’d created and got to hang it in a gallery in the city, so the whole school could go and see their works. The elementary school’s orchestra also played at the art gallery. They were awesome, especially when considering their age! Something interesting about the orchestra-one of the students does not play an instrument. Instead, he draws abstract pictures while the rest of the orchestra plays. This isn’t commonplace in Korea or anything, but it was definitely interesting. He supposedly doesn’t have the patience for playing instruments but likes to draw.

On another note, I ate lunch at the elementary school every day while I was there, which meant I ate more school lunches in Korea than in my 13 years of schooling in the US! The lunches weren’t bad at all. Of course I didn’t like everything, namely the fish soup, but rice was served with each lunch so I was all set!

My week at the school has been great and I’ve been staying with Mr. Lee while in Yeosu. Mr. Lee is the Administrative Assistant of the elementary school. He gave me my own room in a beautiful apartment 30 minutes from the school and has been cooking great food during my stay. One of my favorite foods this entire trip has been a soup made by Mrs. Lee containing eggs, rice cakes, and beef. It’s called Ddukkuk in Korean.