Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Highs and lows

It's about 12:25 a.m. now and the neighborhood rooster just crowed. Even if I know exactly what time it is, when I hear that sound I can't help but look at the clock. Over and over again it happens. I just have to make sure the morning hasn't crept up on me and it's somehow 4:30. 
This weekend I potentially saved someone's life. Of course, I couldn't have done it alone. Alex and I had been riding our bikes all around Andong on Sunday. We stopped to eat in a park near downtown. There's a beautiful temple right there in the middle of it. Its platform is about three or four feet up off the ground, with about three different sets of steps leading up to it. There's always people sitting up there, hanging out or eating (even drinking, sometimes). So we did the same. Eat, that is. Then we locked our bikes up and went on a walk around downtown. 

When we returned to grab our bikes, I noticed an older man lying face-down on the cement to the right side of the temple platform. There weren't any other people around him, and my first instinct was that he was just homeless and taking a nap. Or possibly drunk. It's sad that that would be my first thought. I'm from Corpus Christi where the homeless population is through the roof because of the warm climate, so it's just not uncommon to me, seeing people randomly lying around in public places. 

I decided to get closer, just to be sure he was alright. And that's when I noticed the pool of blood his face was lying in. "Gwaenchanayo?" I asked, rather unsteadily. It means, "Are you okay?" No response. But his hand started slowly moving toward his nether regions. 

I yelled to Alex and then flagged down a Korean couple. They were smiling as they came over, clearly amused that a waygook was freaking out over a passed out dude. And then she saw the blood. The smile was quickly replaced by a look of horror. And a shriek. We called 119 (911 in Korea ) and had the Korean woman get an ambulance. We tried talking to the man and slowly he turned himself over. He had completely wet himself and his nose was smashed in. His face was caked in thick blood. It was so sad. 

The ambulance came quickly and swept him away to the hospital. I'm still not sure what happened to him. It could've been a fight, though that's highly unlikely being in Korea. Judging by the way his body was positioned  on the ground, I'm pretty sure he fell off the temple platform face-first, breaking his nose. I believe it knocked him out, as well. Anyway, I'm just glad we didn't dismiss him as, "another homeless man passed out," because who knows what could've happened.

On a lighter note, I got to go on a field trip with my first and second graders to the Insect Museum and botanical gardens. Enjoy the sweet faces:

This is Bella, a first grader. She's probably the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

The second graders got to make wooden insects. I "helped" them...by making my own. (But I DID make sure they didn't get burned by the glue guns. Who gives a bunch of crazy second graders glue guns?!?)

This was a display in the museum. I thought it was really awkward, so I liked it. Hey, he's got a perfect tabletop position down in yoga.

We got to watch a really neat 3D movie. There's nothing like watching a 3D flick with a bunch of excited elementary school kids. They were squealing with joy the whole time and reaching out, trying to grab the bugs that were flying towards them. I couldn't stop smiling.

Absolutely gorgeous. Spring and summer in Korea is this.

Lunch time with cuties. 

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