Sitting at my desk in the cool teachers' room, listening to the sounds of my music playing and children outside rejoicing over the end of the first semester of school. Yes, we've reached that magical time known as summer vacation in Korea, and it is oh-so-sweet. Yesterday was our last official teaching day, spent playing review games, showing videos, and handing out prizes to students for their achievements. I could almost hear the collective sigh of relief as the bell rang at 4:30 dismissing students and teachers. Students lugged bags heavy with books and papers down the stairs, groaning with the effort. Scraps of the first semester's projects littered the floors of classrooms, and abandoned items lay in the hallway.
You know the scene in the movies where the last bell rings and all the papers fly into the air as students rush from the school grounds? That's what I feel like yesterday and today are like. Cacophony. Disarray. Confusion. But best of all, elation. Although for some it is mixed with sadness of not seeing teachers or friends for the break, many are happy to have this time off. This is time for us to relax, to sleep, to travel, to study (for pleasure!), to reflect, and enjoy being free of time constraints.
For me it's a chance to escape the heat of the summer for winter in Australia. If I'm lucky, perhaps I'll see some snow on the mountains. I can trade my shorts and t-shirts for long sleeves, jeans, and a jacket. My camera is itching to take photos, and my feet are antsy to travel new paths. It's also the culmination of a dream I never quite thought I would get to achieve. Once I moved to NC and settled down, I never thought I would get the chance to see the world again quite like this. But being here has afforded me so many opportunities I can't take for granted.
I will be busy sightseeing, eating, photographing, and experiencing the wonders of Australia, but I do hope to get some blogging in there somewhere to let you know how things are going. There will be Internet available at my hostel, so I hope to take advantage of that as much as possible. Of course, once I return, I inevitably will have to make a major wrap-up post of vacation, before I dive head-first into the second semester of school.
Bon voyage to all of you who are traveling these days, and enjoy!