Monday night was super fun. I went to my first club (동아리) practice (seeing as how I missed the first two due to mandatory lectures and other orientations) and had a lot of fun. I am a part of the TTE or 떼 동아리. We get to play traditional Korean drum intruments and learn Korean folk songs/dances. There are different clubs that do similar things but those usually incorporate more than just drums and we also do dancing and singing.
In Korean, it is called pungmul(풍물) and we have 5 main instruments that we use. There is the gwengwari (꽹과리), janggu(장구), buk (북), jing (징), and sogo (소고). The 꽹과리 is the lead instrument and eveyrone follows what they do. The 장구 and 북 make up most of the sound while the 징 accents the music. Lastly the 소고 is played by the dancers and has a very quiet sound.
I got to play a little on the 장구 and refreshing some of the things I learned while in Jeonju was a lot of fun. However, the 장구 does have the hardest rhythms to learn so I’m not sure if I will continue to learn it or if I want to learn the 북 or 소고.
This week, I met a lot of people that I had been talking to on Kakao (KakaoTalk – the main social media app used in Korea and what has taken over texting). Tuesday was super fun, I finally got to meet up with someone who I met through a friend at Mudd as well as Rebecca, who I haven’t seen since I met her in the U.A.E. back during senior year of high school. Wednesday, I met my Language Exchange partner for the first time at a cafe. Somethink I noticed here, is how much Korean people love cafes. I see them on every corner, different chains are a couple of stores apart, or even stores from the same chain on the same street. It’s actually really cool and gives a cafes a different vibe. Even Starbucks here have a second floor where you can just sit and enjoy your drink or do your work.
Thursday, I went to my volunteering activity for the first time. I volunteer at a child care center with a group of people who are a part of the CIEE program. Every volunteer gets their own little mentee and mine is an adorable little 7 year old. We just get to spend time with them and while the instructions aren’t clear, I think a lot of us are going to try to help them improve their English.
Classwise, it’s been really nice getting in the groove. Things are falling into place and I’m starting to build up a more definied schedule and pace. I also got to eat dinner with friends at a Studio Ghibli themed cafe and wandered the streets of Edae (이대). This coming weekend we get to visit the DMZ!