Sunday, May 30, 2010


Here are the 6 places on the web where we are focusing our energy:

1.) Web site:

2.) English blog:

3.) Korean blog:

4.) Facebook: Become a fan of "The Jeju Big Swim" page

5.) Twitter: "The Jeju Big Swim"

6.) Cyworld:

We are still in the infancy of our work, so improvements will be constantly made throughout the project.


Sea swim training

With 62 days remaining until The Jeju Big Swim starts, Sherrin and I completed our third sea training swim Saturday (see below), a total of 3.5 kilometers heading east from Samyang Beach passing the power plant. Check out our other sea swims and corresponding Google maps in the Training link. Also in this link, Sherrin will provide her daily training regimen as the time crunch now approaches.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First promotional media video ...

Here is our first video for The Jeju Big Swim, courtesy of KBS2 documentary producer Kim Hong-sik. Don't be afraid to turn it up loud and proud as Aerosmith's "Amazing" reminds you of better days.


Why do my students litter?

As part of my speaking portion of one lesson plan, I asked about 300 of the 600 Sehwa High School students I teach, boys and girls, ages 16 and 17, this question: Do you ever throw rubbish or litter on the streets? They responded: I (throw / do not throw) rubbish or litter on the streets because ...

It's disheartening to see such a naturally beautiful island being literally trashed by the next generation. Before hiking Hallasan, in the past I got picked up around 6 a.m., at City Hall on Sunday mornings. Witness the previous night's cesspool of candy wrappers, discarded drink cans, cigarette butts, broken soju bottles, et cetera. Luckily, the government has incredibly efficient street cleaners to eliminate – like mothers – their babies' mess before the day breaks.

People litter – to some degree – all over the world, but why here in a place of such pride and potential? That's not logical.

Go to any Jejudo beach in the summer and view the garbage left by those who have just enjoyed a serene "picnic." At Samyang Beach, it happens constantly. With Jejudo's strong winds, the garbage goes everywhere and eventually cycles in the sea, to be washed up again.

My students responded they throw trash on the streets because there is no trash can around, and if I mention "How about your pocket until you find a garbage can?" I get treated more foreign than I already am. Only a handful responded they do not litter because someone taught them about the environment and it is disrespectful to do so. A few people litter because they know a government worker has been hired to clean up the waste.

Social problems can never be fixed if they are not addressed properly. In Korea, especially Jejudo, sweeping things under the rug doesn't work. The wind is too strong to not disrupt the rug's intentions.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What is the purpose?

I just finished reading The Man Who Swam the Amazon 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River by Matthew Mohlke and Martin Strel. Click This is reason enough to participate in The Jeju Big Swim. People do things that are difficult for solutions that may be out of one's control. But no need to worry about what the future holds regarding personal control before the fact. Just do.

There are environmental problems that are concrete and need addressing. Before they can be addressed, awareness has to be raised. Two problems that might be the most overlooked and serious heading into the next 50 years are overfishing and plastic waste in all waterways, which start in the rivers of the world eventually dumping into the oceans and collecting in vast garbage patches thousands of miles in area. The food chain suffers, and ultimately, we suffer. Do the research yourself.

1.) For overfishing, watch "The End of the Line" Take a look at the claims made by the film and personally decide if this is a problem.

2.) Plastic garbage may be the most hidden and troublesome environmental problem ever to occur. And from the problem has evolved a new science: flotsametrics. Check out

Less talk, more action people.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

69 days before The Jeju Big Swim starts

From humble beginnings come great things. So it is with the infancy of this blog. Thanks to Justin Nalepa for setting this up and all the quality pictures. A Korean blog will be up and running shortly as will many other sidebars and links for this immense undertaking.

The Jeju Big Swim is first and foremost about the environment and its critical state of ailment. However, there are many other subtle factors at play, including completing one's dreams, inspiring and opening the minds of Koreans, getting the natives to think differently about their actions, altruism, utilizing the media in an effective, efficient, and positive way, and leaving a place in a better condition than one found it. Life is too short to not do what needs to be done or to be controlled by other people and/or ideas.

Actions create change, not empty words.

Last night (Saturday) was The Jeju Big Swim's first dip into the national Korean media spotlight as Sherrin was prominently displayed in a weekly KBS2 documentary that airs at 10:15 p.m. Look in the media section to view this and other coverage throughout this lengthy project.

This blog will be updated daily.