Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
On Tuesday we were supposed to meet a new investigator and his wife for lunch, but they ended up calling on Monday night and cancelling because he had a gotten a job interview. Wednesday we were invited over to Ji Sun's families house for lunch but she called just before we were leaving and said she had to stay at school late and so we would have to come another time. She invited us to have lunch at a park with her family. Thursday morning we went on a three hour motorbike ride trying to get to a dike that goes across the ocean to the islands near us, but we ended up getting lost too much and never making it to the islands. On Friday morning we decided to start a little earlier and make it out to the islands. We did make it to the dike but half-way acrossed it they were stopping traffic and we couldn't go all the way across to the big island. We aren't sure why, we wish we did.
These next few pictures are from Saturday. On Saturday morning we went to the marketplace and got a bunch of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. We are getting much better at speaking in Korean when making purchases. We know how to ask how much something is and what the numbers are so it is fun to see that we are making some progress on our Korean speaking. We met the Lim family at 1:00 for lunch and spent the whole afternoon with them. Ji Sun's parents don't speak English so she has to translate the whole time but she does really well. She is so smart. We all hung out on a wood platform that is about 2 feet off the ground with a covering over it. This is the type of seating they have everywhere instead of benches and tables. Sitting like that has taken some getting used to. It kills my back. Ji Sun's mom cooked up some meat on a grill she brought and we ate it wrapped in lettuce with some meat dipping bean paste and onions. It was so good as always. Sorry no pictures of the food. Liji had fun catching grasshoppers and frogs with the kids. I'm not quite sure who had more fun; him or the kids.
At the park we were at there was a dam and you could see many fish trying to swim up the current coming out from the river, flowing in to the ocean. They call it a fish run.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Last week when we got the scooter I started getting really annoyed at my hair. After riding anywhere my hair was so tangled and I was spending forever in the shower trying to get the knots out with very small success. Plus my hair had gotten so long that it always seemed to be getting in my way and making me way too hot. So last Saturday night about 10, Liji and I came home from being out exploring I told him to just chop it off. So he did. Then I styled it how I wanted. I cut my bangs and added some layers. Well, it is very nice to have so much less to manage but I do think my hair looks better long. Ever since I cut my hair all my friends tell me that I look younger. Our friend Ji Sun's mom told me yesterday that I now look like a teenager. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.
And the winner is............
Sunday, August 9, 2009
When we want to go further a-field we can take the bus, but we are limited to the bus schedule, and for both us to go anywhere in the city it cost 4,400won. (1,100 for each person, one way) To go to a different city it costs about 20,000won, and that is to the close cities. Riding the bus to Seoul and back would cost us around 35,000won. So we decided to get a used scooter, buying the scooter was an adventure and a two day process.
We started out by having a Korean friend help us at the police station to know what type of license we needed, turns out the international driver’s licenses that we got in the States will work for the size of scooter that we wanted. After that we visited some motorcycle shops to check the prices. The size of scooter that we wanted was around 500,000won, (that’s about $390) We checked three shops and had decided on a scooter that we wanted, but we thought of another shop that we wanted to check out. That is where we found our scooter.
The owner of the shop did not speak a word of English, and our Korean vocabulary doesn’t consist of much more than the numbers and important phrases for making a purchase. Through two days of lots of hand gestures, and many page turnings in the dictionary, we finally got our scooter for 550,000won. The lady that owned the shop was so helpful, she ended up taking us to the post office to mail in our insurance payment, and to city hall to register the bike, and then to a shop to get our license, in all she probably spent 5 or 6 hours helping us. The best part about that was following her to the city hall, she jumped on a little four-wheeler that they had for sale and motioned for us to get on the new scooter and follow her, we did as she zipped through traffic, and it was a great ride. We were in city hall for around and hour and she never took off her helmet. When it was all over we wished that we could tell her how much we appreciated her help, but we only knew how to say “thank you.” The scooter is a 1999, 100cc Daelim, we have only had it since Tuesday, but it is just what we wanted. According to my calculations, it gets 90 plus miles to the gallon. We spent almost the whole day Wednesday cruising around and exploring and it only cost 2,600won to fill up the tank. If we would have gone the same places using the buses, it would have cost at least 8,800won, and we would have had to wait at bus stops and be tied to the bus schedule. We are already making plans to visit other cities on the scooter, we just have to figure out which back roads we will take.
Yesterday we went to a stake volleyball tournament in Jeonju. It was a blast, our team had four members from the Air Force base on it, so I played on another team that didn’t have as many players. The Gunsan team was undefeated (due strictly to the fact that three of the base members were well over six feet tall, and the average Korean is around 5’8”) The team I played on won one game and lost the other 2. After the Gunsan team whupped everyone, they put together an all-star to take them on. I was on the all-star team; we lost, mainly because Koreans play no rotation volleyball. It is kind of hard to get used to; you just stay in the same spot all game. So the Gunsan team kept their three tall guys in the front. We kept our tall guys in the front, but I was our tallest tall guy and I could only play one front row position. It was still lots of fun, the most fun activity that we have done since we have been in Korea.
Christina played on the Gunsan team, and today at church a member told me that he thought she was one of the main reasons they won. He said that Christina always passed the ball to the setter, and because of that, they got a lot of spikes. It’s true, Christina did dig a lot of balls, a lot of my spikes went to her and she always passed them to their setter. After volleyball, we had a Korean style meal; steamed wantons (they call them dumplings) piled on big serving platters and everyone just stands around the table and digs in. When we first got here, it was really weird to eat off the same plate as everyone else, but now we are used to it, and we enjoy the feeling of fellowship that we get eating shoulder to shoulder.
Today we volunteered to be in charge of the meal that our ward heads over every second Sunday of the month. The meal is for all of the different religious denominations on the Air Base and about 60 people usually show up. Christina volunteered to plan a menu for Hawaiian Haystacks. So with help from her mom she calculated out the amounts we would need. We were pretty surprised that none of the people that came through the line to eat had ever heard of Hawaiian Haystacks and they all seemed pretty skeptical about the whole thing; getting pretty small portions to just try it out. But then they all ended up coming back for seconds getting a lot more the second time around. It did turn out really great. We decided that Hawaiian Haystacks must be a Mormon thing.
We really love that we get a chance at least once a week where we are in a place where we can actually understand the conversations that are going on around us. It’s also really nice to be able to get some American food. Not that we don’t love the Korean food.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This coming Saturday we have a stake volleyball tournament with Gunsan Ward. So this last Saturday evening we had a practice for it and then we all went and ate together. They men also played a game called Joku. We always have so much fun with the members of this ward.
As part of your meal you get a bottle of sunscreen