SO much to write about. No intro here. Just getting right to the point. (Remember that the HUGE events of July were the last days of work and my Templestay experience. Those got separate posts.)
1. Makkoli Factory: Makkoli is a popular rice wine here, and it was fun to go to a factory in Cheongju (about an hour away) and see how it is made.
That's a lot of makkoli.
2. Uam Park: Historical, very beautiful park in Daejeon.
3. Geological Museum: Very cool national museum in Daejeon.
Me and Tri.
4. Changdeok Palace and Secret Garden: World Heritage Site in Seoul that was one the last palace used here in Korea, and the descendants of the last ruler lived here until quite recently. So, it has modern trappings that other Korean palaces do not. And the garden behind the palace is enormous and incredibly beautiful.
Part of the Secret Garden.
The palace had a carport added on!
5. Buddhist Arts Museum: SO awesome. Thousands of Buddhas.
6. Beach: YES! Great beach and Mud Festival on Korea's east coast. Got sunburned, but ate a corndog and rode a banana boat.
Painted in colorful mud.
7. Jincheon: This small city has a lot to offer, including some hiking that afforded this awesome view, and a neat-o Bell Museum.
Now that's a big bell.
8. Retreat with Sanaru Center: I spent 3 days and 2 nights with the kids, pastors, and teachers from Sanaru Community Center. I had been teaching at this Center on Fridays and also helping with their feeding program for home-bound people and people experiencing homelessness. We went to a very neat mountainous area near a huge National Park in Central Korea. Even though it was hard to have no-English for nearly 72 hours, sleep on a hard floor, and share a smallish room and tiny bathroom with 18 females, it was a nice experience. These retreats, staying at big group pensions, are very popular in Korea.
In historical times, a railroad ran from Busan to Seoul so that the upper class could come to take the national exam and take care of business in the capital. The rail system is defunct, but the rails themselves have been fitted with large, 4-person bikes, which we rode through the very scenic countryside.
Playing in the creek.
In front of an ancient gate that guarded this strategic mountain pass.
With the Sanaru staff in front of the pension.
9. On my last day of Taekwondo, there was level testing. This is very stressful, and I had to stand up and perform in front of the Master with kids watching. Don't worry, I passed! Check out my green belt! I have been so fortunate to have been able to learn taekwondo this year, and the Masters and kids have been enormously generous and patient with me. I appreciate them so much.
10. Hanwha Eagles Game: The Eagles are Daejeon's professional baseball team. We are currenyly ranked 7th out of 8 teams, but their games are still super fun! As my last outing with my amazing friends the Khims, we went to support the Eagles and eat some ballpark food. There WAS a game going on, you just can't tell from these pictures.
Getting me some kisses.
Auditioning to be a cheerleader. Korean baseball teams have cheerleaders.
Mmm. Silkworm Larvae. Take me out to the ballgame!
11. Gwangju: A friend from Ohio University, Kaia, is teaching in southern Korea. So, we were able to meet up in Gwangju, which is about halfway, and have a mini reunion. It was nice to see a familiar face and remember the days when I studied Africa and Swahili (aka last year).
Eating Nepalese food. Not sure what the SF stands for.
My last few weeks have been so jammed packed. In addition to these activities, I've been trying to get together (and usually eat) with a lot of friends I have made this past year. As I am leaving, I realize just how many people I know here and how much they all mean to me!