Friday, April 22, 2011

Bye Sangju!

"On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene first thought she saw a gardener. Well, she did- the Gardener who cultivated Eden and who endured Gethsemane. The Gardener who gave us the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, the cedars of Lebanon, the tree of life."
~ Jeffrey R. Holland~

We will be basking in the sunshine of Hawaii this Sunday. Our 35th Aniversary is this June, so we decided to celebrate and do a pit stop on the big Island for week.
Happy Easter!

This is Amorice (her Catholic given name and much easier for me to pronounce than her real one). She is pretending to cry as I take her picture before I leave. That smile kind of makes me think she might not be THAT sad. She gave me a hug as I walked out the door and whispered "I love you." Koreans don't verbally express that sentiment very often even to their own spouses, so I took it as a great compliment. She is one of those people that opens her heart to everyone that walks in to her shop, and also goes to the hospital, donating time, money and talents to teach handicapped people how to sew. I love her too.

The girl in the front on the left is very quiet and shy. She did not want her picture taken. Meyoung is directly behind her. She has studied in London and speaks great English. She has been a good friend and I wore her out with translating :)

I'm going to miss these ladies. They have kind of been my sanity while living here. I have made more bags/purses/quilt blocks while here, than I will probably make again in the next decade. Most all speak pretty good English and hand sew everything!
I am the cheater "megoo" (Korean terminology for an American) and use a sewing machine when at all possible.

Not sure why I find didn't find a good Vietnamese restaurant until the week before we head out of here, but I will miss the one good meal I had here. It fed two of us for the equivilent of 6 bucks. And there is the joy of no tipping in Korea. Yum (with the exception of those two bowls of kimchee in the background.)
When we return, it will not be to Sangju. The company is moving us to Daejon, a much larger city by several million. Every town in Korea picks a theme for its city. Sometimes the English is a little misunderstood, and so the translation probably isn't what they think it is. For this town, well its "JUST SANGJU."
On second thought...maybe they got it exactly right!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

November Blessings.

"It was Autumn, and incessant
Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves
And, like living coals, the apples
Burned among the withering leaves."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Our farming community is in full harvest come November.

Cows would have what appears to be a crowded, crummy life in this country.
There are no ranches for them to roam. They just stand in a stable.
Their owners try to relax them by giving them some buddha chanting to listen to over loud speakers, and a daily swig of alcohol in their diet.

Some of us in the branch got together for a girls night out

Love all of these women...they are my sanity on more than one occasion.

Every year Woongjin does a service project and all employees that can walk a half of a km. up the road to this apple farmers orchard and help him harvest his apple crop.

Its have to pick them with the stems on.
Then the stems have to be trimmed just an angle.

The apple of my eye.

This is S.T. Beck. , Chairman over the plant and the guy who convinced Lyle to take this job and move here.

Harvesting was also in full swing across the street from the orchard.

Remembering October

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all."
- Stanley Horowitz

October posts turned out to be a mosaic of memories and pictures.
Here goes...

I started a yoga class. Spoken entirely in Korean, so I just focused on the moves. I learned Koreans are very flexible, and this meegook is not. The picture of the woman above is going on my fridge for inspiration.

As I walk through my neighborhood, I always wonder...instead of a car, should we have just bought Jazzy's (matching colors of course). They are so practical...good mileage, convertible, easy to park, and you can even accessorize with a basket to pack your belongings, not to mention if you get good at navigating them, you can run them on sidewalks and through Wallmart.

I bought a pair of these in a baby's hang not wear.

I have mentioned before how amazing Korean culture is at using up every square inch of space.
As well as used styrofoam and buckets. This is container gardening at its best. Not uncommon, in many small yards.

Started a few new sewing projects for some of our grandbabies.

Someone, being thoughtful, gave us some dried squid to snack on.

This is about as far as we got when it came to eating it. We were going to pay it forward, and pass Squidward along to someone who would appreciate him, but the smell became to much for us to bear.

So this became our fishy friend's new home.

They gave us the honor of becoming honorary citizens of Sangju.

Lets just say we have now had our 5 minutes of fame.

and flowers!!!

They came in very handy for a Relief Society activity a few days later.

Hwa Soon is our landlady. She speaks a little bit of English, and is so nice to take me to different places. We exchange language lessons on the drive. This was a cow festival about an hour out of town.

Every festival in Korea will have venues, serving up tea and food samples.

Along with demonstrations of cultural arts and crafts.

There was a cow auction...forget cowboy boots, this is technical stuff...requiring camera's and lab coats.

I haven't decided if the cow on the right is falling in love or sniffing out imposters.
And they say cows are dumb.

Just a sampling of beef. Koreans love marbling and fat in all their meat.
We went home with two packages costing about $90.00, weighing about one pound each. Hwa Soon had connections and got a couple of coupons, so we actually didn't have to pay for our future heart attacks.

And last but not least...there was that fabulous Halloween Party at the Peterson's.

Due to a lack of title let's just call it...September!

I went with several friends from the church to a Pottery festival, unfortunately I can't remember the name of the town it was held at.
I do remember the 2hr. bus ride it took to get there.

Checking out the Local Sites in August

For the most part we stuck pretty close to "home" in August and explored a few of the sites near by.

I never ceased to be amazed at how they can squeeze a vehicle through the tightest spots.
Never assume pedestrians have the right of way.

I was driving to pick up Lyle from work, and was dying of thirst. I pulled over to a local convenience store to buy some water and this was the store front window display

Just in case you needed a closer look...I like to think they are smiling at the camera.

We threw our bikes in the car and drove about 45 miles to the town of Andong, where they have restored a Korean village from yesteryear.

It was a very hot, very buggy (knats EVERYWHERE) kind of a day. I took this picture to have evidence of the hill we rode, walked, but mostly drug our bikes up to get to the village...that hill kept going for another 1/2 mile.

Sangju is a small farming community with a population of about 70 thousand. By Korean standards that is considered very rural, since most of their cities have several million living in them.
There is a huge equestrian park just outside of town. They have one big international college competition that is held there once a year...and then it pretty much is used by the few that can afford to own a horse in this area. The picture below is just a small portion of it.

Lyle and I pondering the meaning of life while visiting the Sangju museum...

Korea is a small country, due to lack of space they like to build up--not out, including some of their swings.

Proof men can sleep anywhere.