Monday, February 13, 2012

Flipping, Jogging, and Flying

Over the past few weekends, I have been pretty active with the volunteer group that I am participating in here in Seoul, MANNAM International. Here's a quick recap of the activities that I have been involved in...

Running Club-
So as I posted a couple of weeks ago, I have joined a running club. Last weekend (Feb 4th) we ended running a 10K!! The most amazing part about it was that when we got back to our starting point, I felt like I could have gone for another 2-3 km! It's pretty amazing how quickly I've taken to this whole running/exercising thing. Watch out world! I'm coming to get you!

This past weekend, we got our official team shirts to wear for promotional events and races. Here we all are showing off our team colors!

Carnavale -
Last Sunday (Feb. 5th), my friends Emma, Rachel, and I all volunteered at the first true cultural event that MANNAM had ever put on. One of the members of the group is from Italy, so he decided that he wanted to host a event that simulated the traditions of Carnavale, a huge festival that is held in Italy every year. It's extremely famous in Venice, but celebrations take place all over the country.

One of the big things about Carnavale are the masks. I remember when I was went to Venice, there were hundreds of shops and street stalls selling these really ornate and beautiful masks.

At the event, there was face painting, food, mask decorating, and multiple performances from various members and different groups within the MANNAM family. It was an overall success and a lot of fun to re-experience the joys of Carnavale again.

Probably the most exciting and fun thing that I have done these past couple of weeks is take place in a Judo class. My friends Emma, Andy, and I have been attending a Saturday night class for about two hours that is led by current and former Judo champions around this area. One of our teachers just recently completed in the last Summer Olympics!

Over the past few weeks, we have learned how to properly fall forward, backwards, and on our sides without hurting ourselves. My favorite fall is definitely the side fall. Still freaked out about falling on my face, even though you don't actually do that (proper technique means you turn your face to the side when you fall).  I'm definitely not the only one that still is hesitant!

We have also learned how to properly flip an opponent and trip them to make them fall over backwards. This is definitely something that I didn't think I would ever be able to do in my life! It's amazing how invigorating it is to flip someone over your back! Especially someone who's a little bit taller and bigger than I am!

I'm pretty bummed that I'm going to miss the next two weeks, because I want to keep learning more techniques. But I've got a pretty good excuse for missing out on the next couple of weeks...

Thursday I am taking off for Thailand for 2 weeks!!!! This trip has been booked since October and is finally here! I am heading down with my friends Megan, Travis, and Mitch and we are meeting up with our friends Jay and Steve for about a week of the trip before they head back to Seoul. It's going to be SOOOOOO nice to get out of the city and spend some time on the beach soaking up some sun. We don't really have a set agenda, but some of the things we are wanting to do include:

-Completing a 7-tier waterfall hike
-Snorkel/Scuba Dive
-Eat breakfast with orangutans, zip line through a jungle, and feed other various animals
-Take a ride on an elephant
-Hike in the jungle
-Relax on the beach
-Get a Thai message (or 10!)

So I will be MIA for the next two weeks. This means no phone, no Facebook, no updates, no technology! I will be sure to post about my trip when I get back. Will probably do it in a series of post so as not to overwhelm everyone!

Paradise - Here I Come!