Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Buddhist Temple" & "Do I Speak Korean?" (Double Post)

Well, it has been just over a week now since my last post. So first of all, I would like to apologize to those of you who have expressed their desire to hear more from me. I really do appreciate the interest. I have just been very busy here, both with work and some new experiences here. Actually, now that I think of it, every day at work I am experiencing incredible new things. For example, this week myself and the other foreign teachers had to begin the process of calling all of our homeroom students. It's pretty crazy though because we have to call their houses and explain to whoever answers the phone that we are from the English academy and that we would like to speak with the child. Now we I say "explain" you realize that means that I must speak Korean to whoever answers the phone so they understand why there is a person speaking a foreign language on the other line. Sometimes you get lucky though, and the student answers the phone. It's a big job though, because I have over 90 students to call they give us a couple weeks to do it. By the way, I just got Rosetta Stone from a coworker of mine...THANK GOD!

Another thing that I would like to share is that I went to a really really cool place this past weekend. The place was called Bulguksa and I think it was in the city of Gyeongju. It is an incredible city. I spent the day at a Buddhist temple that was originally built in like 751AD I think. But it had been destroyed by the Japanese later, so it was restored and rebuilt and it is absolutely beautiful. Words cannot do an experience like this justice, but I will say that it is probably one of the most peaceful places on Earth. One thing that I learned from this also, which you can see in my pictures on facebook and some on the blog, is that the swastika was not originally a symbol of hate and intolerance. Very long before Hitler adopted the symbol for the Nazi's and their atrocities the swastika was an ancient Buddhist and Hindu symbol that represented different meanings, such as "eternity" and "evolution", throughout different parts of the East at different times. So it was definitely a little weird being surrounded by swastikas at this place, but it is also probably one of the most interesting things I have ever learned. They were selling swastika necklaces and charms in the gift shop.

Here are a few pictures:

The below picture is of hundreds, if not thousands, of piles of rocks balanced on top of each other by the people who visit the temple. You pick up a loose rock from the ground and try to balance it on top of another on. The result is thousands of piles of rocks some with as many as 10 random rocks balanced on top of each other. If the rock you place stays, and does not fall, then it is supposed to be a sign of good luck. I definitely participated in this!

Here are some more pics of the scenery at this amazing place:

I hope you all enjoyed this post. And I just want to let you know that I will be keeping up with the blog at least once a week, but maybe more often, I don't know. But I still don't have an actual internet connection at my place yet, so it is still a little tough. 

Anyway, I miss you all.
Happy New Year Also!


  1. Great photos, Jason. I hope we go there when we visit you.

    Good luck with the rest of your phone calls. You're definitely going to learn Korean during this experience, one way or the other.

    Love, Dad

  2. Jason, Don't you worry about keeping us entertained. We will just compulsively keep checking in on your blog waiting patiently for your next story. he! he! I am really thankful you have a blog period.

    Love the pics. Wow, what an opportunity to visit and learn about places like this. The history lesson is nice too.

    I am wondering if you could manipulate your students with a bribe of extra points for answering the phone when you call. ha! ha!

    Miss your smile and hollers out the window.

    p.s. Last week your mom killed it in the gym again. Beat other WOD's times by at least 4 minutes.

  3. Great post, love the pics. Do you think you will learn how to write in Korean? Or just speak? Do they have crazy keyboards there? Emma says hi.

  4. Hope Rosetta Stone is working!!Lots of phone calls to make! Love, Aunt Wendy