Well, I am living abroad...yet again. After Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Korea the Netherlands (and returning to Spain for a Masters) I've unpacked my backpack a little closer to home in Mexico. I live in Culiacan where I am trying my hand at teaching English to University and high school students. Below you'll find random updates as I go to festivals, explore my city or just feel like sharing a random story.

What time is it?

Monday, June 30, 2008

GEPIK Orientation

Monday morning I took my prepacked backpack which I'd spent the last 3 nights living out of and caught the number 7 bus to Yongin. I figured the best way to catch it would be to head away from Suwon Station and Suwon station is towards Seoul (kinda) and I am away from Seoul (kinda)...nope, I caught the bus heading the wrong way. I had to get off the bus, get back on the bus heading the opposite way and sit on the bus for like 2 hours. Oh fun!

I call my friend Cheryl (she's a couchsurfer...I know I know that post is coming) to see if she's there yet, she agrees to meet me at the bus station and I run my but over there. There are two people in the street wearing yellow nametags and I smile. Thank GOD! An organized orientation who knows us Waguks (think...gringos...) will surely get lost. They point us the right way and we hop on a bus to the Hyundai Learning Center...note to self, no taxi driver will know where this place is...hmmm

We get there and get divided into rooms. They put us into rooms based on where we live so we'd get to know who was in our city, that was nice I suppose, but I felt bad for the couples that got divided. We had our first lecture which was some cultural fun stuff (music, dancing etc...I'll upload videos tonight)

There are some fun drinking stories but since mommy and daddy read this log and worry enough about me as it is, let me keep it to one. So the store in the learning center was not supposed to sell us alcohol (I guess) but I found that using my AMAZING Korean I could get myself a beer. It went like this.

"Anyo haseyo" Hello

Lady gestures that she cannot sell me beer and says something about how they won't let her.

*smiling* "Hana" One "Shhh" Put finger to your lips and make the shh sound, point to your purse and say , "kamsamneeda" Thank You.

Keep smiling, insist that you won't tell anyone "Abseyo" Literally...there is none...yeah its as close as I could get

She says they won't let her again but looks around, nods, puts a finger on her lips and sells me the beer.


Communications majors: 1
Language Barriers: 0

Then of course later, we were at a Hof (bar) and I tried to get an empty glass to share a pitcher with friends...I ened up with another pitcher...

Communications majors: 1
Language Barriers: 1


So, let it suffice to say that I am safe, alive and still doing pretty good at making friends in random countries.

The orientation was a blast I made amazing friends, picked up a few tips and tricks and feel a bit less lost and confused...or at least like there's lots of other people who are lost and confused.

Oh, this a an older video its awful, but if you listen closely you can hear some music, that was the b-boys random tournamentI walked into a while ago.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


OK so I am late I know but this weekend has been HECTIC!!!

We went rafting last weekend here's a video my friend Patrick made:

It was really fun! When they talk about the wonderful jumper, that was my friend I got to jump off the rocks with me! I was really happy. No peer pressure I just jumped first and egg beatered in the water until she jumped in and then helped her swim to shore! YAY lifeguarding (kinda) and taking water polo wayyy back when I was younger

Later that night we headed to Aaron's house. His landlord used to have a restaurant so we all sat outside in the backyard where it used to be. We got him to come out and turn the lights on. Turns out its a norebang (karaoke bar)! So a disco ball dropped down and we all started singing!

Kyoo and Craig

Patrick and Me

Craig and Me

Aaron and Me

The next day we took a short hike which was nice walked around town and headed back to our respective cities. When I arrived in Suwon I did a quick load of laundry and then went to sleep on Monday I headed to Yongin where I would have my week long orientation :-)

But more on that later, its almost midnight on Sunday andI have school tomorrow, so I hope everyone is doing well!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hiking, Festivals and More

This weekend was INTENSE!

I have about 5 minutes and then I need to leave for work so this is the cliffsnotes version.

First photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/CarissaPeck/Festival

OK, so Friday was a holiday (Memorial Day!) so Thursday night I went over to Ansan (about an hour away) to visit my friend (yep another couchsurfer, I know that post is coming too). I got a little lost, wondered around the streets for a while found a random B-Boy competition (umm...dancing) a bonfire at a school, and some other fun stuff. Finally hopped in a cab met up with her at an Indian food place (Taj Mahal...they're always called Taj mahal)

We took the subway into Seoul together stopped at a coffee bar, did silly things on the internet and then met up with my friend for the WORST Long Island Ice Tea's I've ever had! Cheryl and I walked Vincent home and then headed to OI (a really cool cave bar) while heading there Cheryl points to a guy and says, "That's my wallet" he hands it over. It had money and everything, she had NO idea she lost it, weird eh?

OK, so we stay out a bit more and finally around 5:00am we get noodles!!! Take the subway to the bus station and I get the 7:30 bus to Donghae-si (it means East Sea-City). Sleep on the bus and arrive at Patrick's(Canada) at like Noon. Have brekkie and then take a bus on an AMAZING hike! Met up with his monk friend (Buddhist monk f 15 years thinks I am charming...probably one of the best compliments I've ever had)

Head back to Patrick's where out friend Aaron meets up with us. Have noodley breakfast play cards and then sleep! The next morning Richard and Anne(England/Australia) come over and we all head to the bus station together.

This weekend there's a festival and the tourism board gave native teachers a discounted price so we went and saw fun things! (More about the history and mystical stuff when i have time). Walked to the beach later that night and then came home and slept.

Sunday we went on another GORGEOUS hike! Had great Italian pasta and I got to meet Patrick's co-teachers!! Which is honestly the BEST part! I love locals! So with them we painted masks, got my hair washed in iris water and saw some cool miming, swinging and dancing.

Then I took a night bus to Seoul arrived just as the subways were closing, but made it to my friend Vincent's house. Slept there midnight to 5 woke up and 5 and took the subway to Suwon. Took a bus to my house, washed my face, called Anessa and Brandon to wish them happy birthday, brushed my teeth and ended up at school 5 minutes early.


Monday, June 2, 2008


So I planned a weekend get-away for me and my fellow couchsurfers. For those of you who don't know I am part of a website called couchsurfing. I'll do another "what's couchsurfing?" post later.

But we went to a hostel in the country...soooo pretty, and we ended up with like 34 people showing up. We went on a hike, a nature walk, a boat ride, had a campfire, overall lots of fun :-)

That's the hostel

That's the backyard

I have more pictures posted to my facebook album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2131026&l=a33f3&id=24606699