Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pictures Upsoyo still, sorry!

I'm not sure if you've heard, but it's all over the news here. Former president Kim Dae-jung passed away. I'd never heard of him before and felt really bad about not knowing him. My mom and dad have been glued to the TV for the past couple of days. Well, I finally got around to finding out who he is and it's kind of amazing. Here is a really good article about Kim Dae-jung titled, "Democracy is Not Free."

I've been taking it pretty easy at the old homestay. On Wednesday, Oh-Chahn ran into my room about 6:45 ish (I was kind of hoping he'd annouce that dinner was ready...) and said, "Sister, you go jogging now!" Yeah, it wasn't a question. And I'm always game for a run, so I suited up. Oh-nee (my mom) said, "Swimming" and "Membership," so I assumed we were going to a gym where Oh-nee and Oh-chahn would swim and I could run. Oh no. That was not it.

Instead, we drove to a huge indoor swimming pool. Oh-nee pointed to a sidewalk and said, "You go. Meet here [in Korea] 8:10 p.m." (about an hour from then) So, I headed toward the path and found myself running along a paved, lit and flat path along a river. I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful it was. I wish I had had my camera. The sun was setting when I began. The path was flanked on both sides by rice fields. Everywhere I looked was pink sky and mountains. Stunning. Probably the most beautiful run I've ever experienced.

I've ran on that path two more times since then and still haven't found the end (which is awesome! I think it's at least 6 miles long, probably more!). I also found an Olympic-sized public track and soccer field. It is beautiful. And all of this is a 3 minute jog (or six minute walk) from the apartment. Awesome!

The night got better. Oh-nee cooked me a beautiful egg, cheese and jam toast sandwich, which may sound weird but, after six weeks of no cheese, was probably the most beautiful thing in the world next to my U.S. family and the Gurye trail.

My dad and Oh-nee are not working tomorrow, and I think we're going on a road trip. Not sure, but I will keep you posted. I know for sure Oh-nee is taking me shopping for school supplies. It's weird to be on the teacher side of school supply shopping... :)

After posting, I decided that I needed pictures, so I took a walk and these are the highlights:

My Apartment Building - I live on the sixth floor

The Swimming Complex

Ever seen a rice field? This is what they look like. This was taken from the bike path

Taken from the same place but the other direction. Rice fields to the left, river to the right.

I just thought this one was funny.


My Room. Taken from the same position as Oh-chahn's picture but turned around.


  1. Beautiful pictures! Looks so peaceful.

    The history for struggles for democracy in Korea is a pretty long one going back to the struggles against Japanese occupation. Kim DaeJung is sort of Korea's Nelson Mandela. He is from the southwest region where you are now, I believe, and I would expect the interest and mourning for his passing to be more intense there. His presidency however had its own scandals, if I remember correctly. It seems appropriate that he is remembered for the long struggle for democray he championed most of his life, though.

    By the way, Kim YoungSam who is pictured with him in the article was an elder in our church. My mom knew him. I think she and other ladies (deacons) from the church actually went on the road campaigning for him too. This was after I came to the states. I don't remember much about his presidency - I didn't follow the political news back home, but I do remember my mom and others from the church expressing disappointments. That's politics, I suppose.

    I am glad that you have a great to trail to run on. I am also happy to see Korea through your eyes. It's been so long and the changes have been so drastic since I left, I would be a tourist even in Seoul where I grew up if I go back now. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. You are very good to update your blog! Wow..

    I'd recommend to check two main cities in Jeonra-do; Kwangju- si(광주시) and Jeonju-si(전주시) while you live there. You can get to know some sad but dramatic modern political history in Korea. There were main politcal coups in Kwangju-si to draw back Korean democracy in 1980's.. Jeonju-si is known for the famous Korean dish "bibimbap" 비빔밥(mix steamed vegies, meat and egg etc). You can taste real deal there. Ah. I am hungry now!

    Thanks for sharing real nice pictures and stories!

  3. Wow, totally different than what I envisioned. The apartment looks nice, and the running path looks great. Guess we know where you will be when not working.

    Enjoy your last few days of freedom, we are all anxious to hear how the school and the kids are.

    Tell the boy's, if you can figure out how, that the Cubs are in their September slide early this year. Looking more and more like they are done. You will have to teach me how to say "Wait until next year" in Korean.

    Love you,
    Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jeff

  4. I am so jealous of you, having the chance to taste authentic Bibimbap and Kim Chee! Hope you get to have Pool Gogi as well (spelling's probably wrong, but this is another famous Korean dish commonly found in Korean restaurants in the U.S.). The American versions are delicious, so I'm sure the real thing is heavenly.

    Do be sure to save all these blog posts and comments, Amy - they are an irreplacable rememberance of your year in Korea for you, and eventually your children, to treasure.

    Mary and I and our French exchange student, Anna, are meeting your mother and Kristin for dinner shortly - your dad and the rest of the fishing crew are expecting to be back about 3AM Sunday Chicago time. The only glitch in the trip that I know of is that Peter's cell phone fell out of the van when they stopped for gas just before crossing the border, so it is now sitting in a general store in Ft. Francis, Ontario, while he and the others are heading home through Minnesota. Oh, well.

    Love and all best wishes with starting teaching,