Sunday, September 8, 2013

Daechon Beach Staff Retreat

After about a three hour bus ride, we arrived at Daechon Beach for our staff retreat last weekend.. (Not to be confused with Daejon, which is probably only about a two hour ride.) After figuring out where we were sleeping, everyone quickly headed down to the water.

Last year, our family stayed in one room with about five bunk beds in it. Not a great use of space, since we only needed four beds, but we really enjoyed it. We had plenty of space and there were three rooms in our little cabin, so we stayed with two other families. The only downside was that it was a bit of a hike up to our cabin from the main areas where everyone else was congregated. It was pretty inconvenient if we forgot something.

Only families with young kids get to stay together in one room, so singles and families with older children get split up by gender and stay in smaller rooms, with more beds, in an area that is much closer to the "common" area.

This year, as a family with older children, we were split up. The boys stayed up in the same cabin that we stayed in last year in a room with another dad and his boys. Kennedy and I stayed down in the common area in a room with two other moms and their daughters.

The upside was that Kennedy and I didn't have to hike up and down the hill or deal with the massive amount of mosquitos up in the woods. The downside was that we had to deal with public showers, which is especially tough when on a retreat with your teenage students. Thankfully, I was able to find a time each evening when the showers were empty, so I just locked the door and didn't have to worry about my students seeing anything that they wouldn't be able to burn from their memories! (Next year, I'll have to remember to bring a bathing suit.)

The weather is starting to indicate that fall will arrive this year. The first day that we were there, the wind was perfect for those of us who weren't soaking wet. Cade was a bit chilly after his swim in the Yellow Sea, though. The weather cooled off in the evenings, and we were even able to wear sweatshirts!

It is thrilling to see sunsets out there, as well. I know that they can be seen here in the city, but certainly not from where we live! Many of us lined the railing each evening watching the sunset through the trees.

We stayed with two girls that started Kindergarten this year and a two year old (and their moms, of course). Kennedy had a good time playing with all of the kids, but she and Haven always have a lot of fun when it's just the two of them.

Cade really enjoyed the chance to play with the boys he roomed with. One of the boys is a year older and the other is a year younger, so he was always able to find one to run around with. Sometimes it amazes me how well they get along with other kids!

On our second day, we climbed over the hill to the other beach in the afternoon. The kids dug holes in the sand while the parents talked or played volleyball. It was so nice to just get a chance to relax (even if I did bring work to grade).

In the evenings, we took walks along the beach, with or without the kids, and I took pictures of the sunset to my heart's content while the kids were off running around with their friends.

Later, the common room was full of people playing games until late into the night. Kennedy and I tried to get to bed by about 10:00 each evening, but I'm confident that the boys were up much later. Eric can't just walk out on a game of Risk.

Needless to say, sleep was one of those things that we were catching up on this week! We seem to have a new round of colds coming on at this point. There's been a lot of sneezing and sore throats around here. I suppose it's no surprise judging by how busy we've been.

My first soccer jamboree was yesterday and today, Eric is off playing baseball. The kids and I finally managed to get to EMart to get some things we'd been needing for awhile. We were extremely grateful that our HR director, who planned the retreat this year, listened to the feedback given and got us home in the early afternoon on Monday. We were able to get to Costco and back in less than three hours on Monday afternoon, so we finally have food again, too!

With any luck, we might actually be fully functioning this week!

Now, we face the second five day week of the school year. The laundry is done, the house is cleaner than it's been in weeks, and the fridge is stocked, so if we can stay healthy, then all should be well. 

And next week, we only have two days of school, as Korea celebrates Chuseok.

Now I'm off to bed, so that I can feel better in the morning!

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