Yesterday, our school took a group of students (and five teachers) on a bus about an hour and some change away from here to volunteer on a farm that needed some help with the harvest. It was a BEAUTIFUL sunny day, the first one in a while. We showed up on a farm of someone (not sure how the school knew them) and helped with their corn and soybean harvest.
In the morning, I helped with the soybeans, taking turns cutting the plants at the root with a sickle and stacking the small piles into larger piles for collecting. We broke for an extra yummy lunch at the farmhouse of rice and sidedishes (kimchi, tofu soup, cucumbers to dip in hot pepper paste). They had one side dish that was almost just like saurkraut with clear noodles in it. It was really good. Another American teacher and I sat next to the owner of the farm's brother at lunch (the owner of the farm is the little guy in shucking corn in one of the pictures). The other teacher speaks Chinese and I speak some Korean, so he took turns speaking in both languages (he's a Korean Chinese man.) I still find it amazing that normal farmers can speak two languages so well. We mentioned that to him and he brushed it off saying that one is the language of the country, so of course he speaks it, and one is just a small dialect language that he speaks with his family.
In the afternoon, some people went back to finish the soybean field, but I joined the team to shuck corn, then I went with a group up the hill to another field to cut down corn stalks with a sickle. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but soon I had a system down and was doing it pretty quickly. It gave me a lot of time to think. (I'm sure I thought some really profound thoughts, but right now I can't think of any to share with you.) We left late in the afternoon with sunkissed faces and tired bodies. It was a wonderful way to start off our three day break (for national day) and enjoy one of the last warm days of fall. Today, the cold winds of (what feel like) winter have been blowing all day and at 5:30 it's already pitch dark outside!
(I don't know why my pictures won't cooperate and go where I want them to, so you have to endure a post with a layout of pictures that's not so pleasing to the eye...sorry.)