Week 3 (6/10-6/15): Work and the Beach
Early in the week (Tuesday) we tagged the trees in the forests in an effort to make it easier for navigation and also to add more trees to the map that we follow when searching, allowing us to mark the frogs' location with more accuracy when we find one. To do this we gave each tree a number, a reflector, and a ribbon that we tied around the trees (the ribbon was connected from tree to tree making it easy to follow at night). Later that day I started listening to the sound recordings that we take in order to try and see what the frogs do during the day/night when not in the rice paddies. There are four recorders that we set out. Two of them are in the forests, one is behind a farmers house (because he told us that he hears them during the day), and another by the rice paddies.
Wednesday and Thursday were similar to the previous week. We continued searching the rice paddies and forests at night, starting at 8 pm. Overall, I think that this part of the job is fun because it is almost like a game trying to find these frogs and catching them before they escape. However, I prefer working in the rice paddies because it is easier to see and there are a lot less bugs... Im not a fan of spiders and there are lots in the forest.
Over the weekend we took a bus to the east coast of Korea to redeem our efforts in locating a beach (last weekend was a fail). The bus took us to the city of Gangneung where we took a taxi to a main beach on the coast. One thing that I noticed almost immediately was that the people on the beach wore shirts... This was not typical for me to see when going to the beach. However, I later learned that I probably should have kept my shirt on because I got sunburned pretty bad. Also, it seemed that Kyle, Fritz, and I were the only ones that went swimming... People went in the water, but only a few feet. We ended up staying by the beach for the whole day and quickly learned that people love coming out on the beach after the sun has set to hangout and set off fireworks. As for the sleeping part... well we didn't get much of that. We didn't book a hotel or anything and had previously decided that we wanted to spend the night on the beach (I was skeptical at first, but thought that it would be an interesting experience). The problem was that they literally do not sleep here. People were out all night making noise and doing stuff. We all slept (tried to sleep) on a towel with a sweatshirt and sweatpants. This was not enough clothing... the cold breeze from the ocean made it difficult to stay warm. The only thing keeping me positive was the fact that I would be awake to see the sunset on the ocean. Coming out of this experience I can now cross "sleeping on the beach" off of my bucket list. Below are some pics of the day/night on the beach.
A quick comment on the food so far... They like their seafood and spicy food here which makes it perfect for me because those are my favorite types of food. The only thing I haven't tried yet were the little baby octopi that they seem to like to put in a lot of their foods (I've tried the tentacles but when the octopus still has its head I'm a little turned off by the site). Also, when going out to eat I prefer sitting in a chair, but a couple of the times when we've gone out with the other students we've eaten while sitting on the ground. I always thought that I could sit cross legged for awhile; however, I learned that I can only last for about 5 minutes before losing blood circulation. I guess I'm going to have to get used to it if a lot of the small restaurants don't believe in chairs. Another large difference is that Koreans typically share the food that they buy. In america we order our own food so it has been kind of a hard change because I don't ever want to take the last piece. Also, the restaurants place side dishes out before every meal. It's typically the same thing every time. I don't have a picture of the food...(If you want to see the food go to Kyle's page on this blog site)