Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Unexpected Adventure!

Today began as any normal day.  We skipped running because of our Monday morning meeting, but Julia's son called 15 minutes before it was to begin and told us that she is ill.  So, we watched a movie instead.

One of my Basic 3 classes remembered that yesterday was my birthday.  We had gone over birthdays in class because we were studying ordinal numbers.  Some of the students gave me little gifts and the wrote on the board before I came in:

My gifts. Two pens and a dragon-y origami. :)

The kids wrote on the board for me.  I left it up the whole class.

Earlier today I had my Basic 2 class working on faces and body parts.  Then we created this:


After work Chun Wha (or Mrs. Lee, formerly known as Kim) invited Ian and I to go with her, her husband and one of the other teachers to the Traditional Health Expo that's going on right now.  It happens once a year for a week.  Of course, we went!  We didn't learn much because it was all in Korean, but we had a lot of fun and took some photos.

Us at the entrance of the garden that led into the Expo.

These two figures are unique to the city, but I don't remember their names.

Heart shaped foliage!

Our teacher friend... yeah, I'll eventually get their names down, I promise!

Chun wha and her husband (we heard his name for the first time tonight...ugh, we ARE trying).


Dragon foliage!

A replica of a traditional Korean pharmacy/ healer's office.

Let's dress up the foreigners!  We drew a bit of a crowd.

Korean style.

We stopped at a craft booth where children cover pens in clay (yes, we're apparently their surrogate children while their son is in Seoul for college).  Ian amused everyone while he played with some paper eyes.

This man is making traditional Royal candies out of honey, corn flour and mashed almonds.  We turns a hardened piece of honey (it looks like a stone) and a pile of corn flour into threads which he fills with the almond mix.  Look closely and what he's holding.  He made those strands from scratch while we watched him.  The finished product tastes a lot like Bit-o-Honey.

Naturally, we came home with some juck food.  Those white candies are the ones you see being made above. Then there is some yogurt in the middle, boiled hazelnuts in the yellow (taste like turkey, it's really gross) and some crispy fried sweet potatoes in the cup.  The light colored candies on the right that are fading into the blanket are tradition rice and pumpkin candies called "yut."  Oh, and we had a full meal and some makoli (the rice wine that we had last time with them), too.  In the middle their are the little craft pens we made.

Before we even went out, Chun wha gave me some Belgian chocolates from Singapore.  They were delicious.  And they were wrapped in Winnie the Pooh.

Anyway, it seems as though we might have real friends in these folks.  They sort of offered to have us over for Chuseok (they pretty much offered, but the language barrier made our attempt at a polite reply of "If you truly want us to come, we will" quite difficult).  We will most certainly take them up on their offer, but we don't want them to feel obligated.

It's very late, so I'll talk to you all on the morrow!


  1. Rice and pumpkin? Are they any good?
    That picture of Ian with the paper eyes is quite freaky deaky.

  2. Sounds like a good evening was had by all. You should take them up on their invitation to Chuseok, I think you said that is like our Thanksgiving, it will be a great experience.
    The almond candy looks very good, and even somewhat healthy.

  3. The rice and pumpkin candies are good, but the Koreans think they're "very sweet" which they are not. They're pretty mellow. :)

    I think we will take them up on their offer. The almond candy is really tasty, but I don't think it's particularly healthy. :)

  4. Oh, heck...you're starving new teachers. Eat what you like, healthy or not. :) Sounds like a fun evening. I like the pens you both made.

    I'll look forward to hear about your Chuseok dinner, and I'm glad you're making friends.

    Love that the kids gave you birthday gifts. How sweet!