With Goodbyes Come Hellos

21 09 2008

With less than 10 days left in Korea it time to start saying goodbye. This weekend I had a wonderful evening with my four Korean friends from U of I. I met these amazing girls a year ago May when we (along with 7 other students) went on a 12 day volunteer road trip to the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, California. When I mentioned that at one point I was considering teaching English in Asia, it was them that put the idea of Korea in my head. (In the photo: Madonna, Hyejin, Goya, and Kristen)

While I’ve been here I haven’t had the chance to see them as much as I’d of liked to. Partly because they were all busy college students, partly because for the most part they lived on the other side of a mega city, and partly because my job was stressful and time consuming. But the times that we have had together were always really great.

We had plans to meet as a group one last time. Little did I know they wanted to treat me to dinner, buy me an icecream cake, and give me a gift! Thank you girls, you are too kind!

It feels strange to start saying goodbye. I still feel like my departure is far off and that there is so much to do between now and then. But I am ready, I have been getting progressively more excited about traveling and returning to the US. And I can’t wait to see all of my friends back home.


Nami Island

7 09 2008

Minkyung and I took a day trip yesterday. We traveled by bus and train and bus and ferry to get to a little island in the middle of the Han river a 3 hour journey away from Seoul.

It was a very picturesque island with tall ginkgo and birch trees lining the pathways. It was about 3 miles in circumference and had little tandems and segways and strange transportation that people could rent to explore the island. It also had lots of sculpture art and little restaurants and a couple of band shells with live music.

It was a nice relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Walking, and eating yummy food, and taking pictures, and enjoying the company. But the best part of all was when we saw the wild ostrich family strutting around the island. OSTRICH ALLERT!

Oh, and note the hints of fall in the back ground. Yay!

Here is a link to the rest of my album.

Seoul Walking Tour

1 09 2008

My friend Robyn found some really great walking tours on the National Geographic website of Seoul. So this weekend we decided to check out the ‘Old Seoul’ tour and had a lot of fun. I had been to a lot of neighborhoods that the tour took us through, but it pointed out interesting sights that had gone unnoticed or took me a little further beyond, around corners that I’d not turned before.

We started off at Gyeongbok Palace, the main palace in Seoul, then visited Beomyeonsa temple, after that we walked along a street of art galleries and eventually wandered to the President’s house. Then along a boutique and cafe lined road to a couple of museums. Finally we wandered along Seoul’s only district of traditional homes, with the new city in the distance. It was a spectacularly unique sight even after living here for a year.

For the details of the tour click on the national geographic link above, and for a few more photos click for my album here.