Reader Be Warned: This post covers many events and topics of discussion. So much has happened that I simply have not had time to blog. So, stick with me.
First, a few weekends ago I attended a funeral for a foreign migrant worker from Vietnam who was killed in a traffic accident here in Daejeon. He was crossing the street and was struck in the crosswalk by a vehicle. Please, remember to treasure your loved ones and appreciate them every moment. This man left behind a wife of a year and a seven month old daughter. Funerals here seem to be different than in the States, but a funeral is sad no matter where you are.
Second, also a few weekends ago, Daejeon hosted an international balloon festival for foreigners. It was an interesting event, which featured cuisine from various countries around the world, performances, and of course, balloons. Here are some photos.
Third, a while ago I attended a performance of a dance troup from Seomna House. The elementary girls had been practicing a choreographed dance which they then presented at the Reunification Festival (yes, of North and South Korea) in downtown Daejeon. They did a great job, and I am proud to report that they came home with the Audience Choice Award and the Gold Prize! Aren't they beautiful?
(I didn't take these photos, but I am not sure who did, so I can't give proper credit where due.)
Fourth, on Thursday I have been attending an arts and crafts class with migrant women. I am definitely the dunce of the class, as both a lack of language and a lack of art skill can be tough to overcome. But, all the women, and especially the teacher have been so kind and helpful. I love going and being with them. One week we made these beautiful boxes, and the next we did hair bows.
Last week we made bags out of napkins! It was so cool! Well, no, the bag itself was already made but we decorated it with napkins. It was a neat process (can't tell it was a napkin, can you?). The photo below is the bag I made! Looks professional, right?
Fifth, last weekend I went with Seomna employees and volunteers to visit migrant men (which I do every week) at their site of employment and residence. This particular weekend was the Nepalese Thanksgiving weekend, so I was honored to share a meal with men from Bolivia, Nepal, Vietnam and maybe a few other places (and Koreans) as we celebrated the good things in life that we have to be thankful for. These men were so generous and welcoming. It made up for being away from my own family during the holidays.
Sixth, this past Sunday after church, Katie, Becky and I went with the youth group to one of our student's house (her English name is Winnie). There, in the countryside, we saw the house of Mrs. Yuk Yeong-Su, the second wife of ex-President Park Chung-Hui. The house was recently restored, and we got a guided tour of the place.
Here, Becky, Winnie, and Sharon "listen" on the tour
A view of the house compound
Members of our youth group
Then, Winnie's family lives on a mini farm, and we helped to harvest the peanuts and sweet potatoes that were growing! It was a neat experience, as I had never harvested either of those plants. I want to be a peanut farmer! Some of the sweet potatoes were absolutely massive. We brought several home, and I tried to make sweet potato fries, but I don't know how to operate our gas oven. I pan fried them, but it wasn't the same. Oh well.
Some harvested potatoes
Hard at work
(Thanks to Winnie and Katie for the photos.)
Finally, last Saturday I went with Katie to see her children at a "flea market." While we weren't initially sure what to expect, it turns out that the children from her center and other centers were selling stuff. We bought some trinkets that we didn't need because the kids were too cute. And her center performed some musical numbers on the ocarina, a recorder-like instrument.
A few last tidbits:
- Many Koreans seem to think that Americans eat primarily hamburgers, so I finally got talked into eating a hamburger here. It was not bad--tasty, just different than the American version.
- I have been working to introduce Halloween to the Seomna children, though the concept is weird if you think about it! However, now the kids know they must say trick-or-treat before I will give them candy.
- Katie and I enjoyed a nice night out with friends on the Korean military base. Sometimes, it is relaxing to be around English speakers