Sights of Korea Feed

"wow"

6961451811_23f29f7962_bIt is hard to believe that my family and I are wrapping up our sixth year of living in South Korea.  Some of the things that I thought were going to be "impossible" here in Korea have become very normal parts of every day life.  Reading the Korean language is "almost" automatic (though most of the time I don't know what I am reading), I prefer eating with chopsticks (over a fork and a spoon), and the language, . . . well, I now have a rich Korean vocabulary of "taxi phrases" and "food" words.  It seems that some of the "impossiblities" of change have now become rather mundane aspects of life.

I find this to be the case with my surroundings as well.  Is it possible to take the towering skyscrapers, confusing subways, endless traffic and massive crowds of Seoul (15 million people) for granted?  Yep.  Nowadays I make trips to Seoul where I don't take a single photograph and I don't pause and utter a single "wow."

Below is a video I came across that reminded me of the "wows" all around me here in this country of South Korea.  As you watch it I hope you will remember that the inevitable changes in life are not impossible to navigate and we need to be careful to never take for granted the amazing people and places all around us.



A Favorite

Sorry that the blog is so sparse, but right now my final DMin paper is trumping nearly everything.  I am hoping to have the bulk of my rough draft done soon.  Mabe then I can resume my ramblings. 

For now, I want to share with you one of my favorites.  You know how you listen to a favorite song over and over again?  Well, I like to look at this picture over and over again.  One of the people in the picture is my daughter Sarah--that makes it very special to me.  But, there is more to it.  I think this picture speaks volumes.

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Snow Equals Fun

3187467840_53180f4f67_b It finally snowed here in South Korea.  The other day we woke up to a light blanket of snow on the ground.  Snow in the city is interesting.  It turns an otherwise grimy city into a crisp, clean looking place.  It makes an otherwise noisy city into a quiet place.  It slows everything down.  The taxis move at a safe pace for a change.  The other cars tentatively inch along the roadways and the delivery people on motorcycles slow to a crawl.

Kids love snow--even here in the city.  I heard some shouts and laughter and came around a street corner to find two boys "sledding" down the hill near our house.  They were using pieces of cardboard as sleds and they were sliding down the middle of the street.3187467928_bac0cb773f_b

There is something special about snow.  No matter where you find it--in the mountains of Idaho or the streets of Daejeon, South Korea--snow equals fun.


Amazing

Moon over tcis Many of my miscellaneous pictures from the week revolve around the season of Fall and harvest time.  After a late evening at school I found myself pausing to enjoy the amazing harvest moon on my walk home.  As it hung over the top of the TCIS dormitory I had to try and capture its glow with my camera.  It followed me all the way home and I enjoyed its light. Leaves

Giant red, yellow and brown leaves blanket the streets, gutters and sidewalks of the city.  They crunch under our feet and serve to hide the litter and grime that is so prevalent on the Korean roadways.  It is very common to see elderly men and women up early, sweeping clean the area in front of their local shops and apartments.  The Truck of cabbage leaves of the city are everyone's responsibility.  I don't miss raking and bagging leaves in Idaho.

 Throughout the city there are signs of harvest and preparation for winter.  It seems like on nearly every corner one can find a truck loaded down with cabbages, beets and other produce.  Every load of cabbage is destined to become pots and pots of kimchi.  The beets will be pickledKimchi and transformed into various types of side dishes.  The bags of dried red peppers will be ground into power and rubbed into the cabbage leaves as a part of their transformation into kimchi.  The leaves of various plants will be dried and ground up and will serve as a base for various soups.

Truck of lettuce In the midst of all this--the city, the leaves, the cabbage and the red pepper--are the amazing people of South Korea--doing life.  All of my observations, that are so unique to me, are the things that make up the ordinary, every day aspects of life  for the Korean people.  The patience and persistence of the little elderly Korean ladies (azumas) as they sit/squat for hours pruning and preparing produce for market and domestic use is nothing short of amazing--more amazing than a glowing harvest moon.


Thankful for Work

DSCF5918This is the view from the front door of our house in South Korea.  As the morning sun peeks over the hill it is eclipsed by the figure of a Korean Azuma pulling her recycling cart.  She is looking for cardboard, plastic bottles and cans that she can turn in for money.  For many of the elderly people in this country, collecting and redeeming recyclable materials is a way of lifeā€¦and survival.

As the sun rises and the land of the morning calm transforms into a day of activity, challenge, responsibility and struggle, I walk to work.  And I am thankful.