March 2010


This is what I woke up to on March 10:

Everyone says that Daegu really never gets snow (although we had 3 storms this winter) and NEVER gets it so late in the winter. This was a big surprise! It only lasted a day and these early morning photos show it at its best.  I walk under these trees every morning on the way to the bus, but on this morning I actually looked and noticed the trees since the snow made them into a sort of canopy.

Several months ago I was taken for a little field trip to a digital printing company here in Daegu. I went with 2 other professor to visit the facilities and in true form was not given any warning. . . just one Friday at lunch I was asked “are you free this afternoon?” When I said, “yes” I was escorted to a car and we drove off. I asked where we were going and was told, “digital printing center”. I didn’t know if I was just tagging along on an errand or what we were doing, but when we got there I realized quickly that this visit was for me. The first thing we did was sit down and watch a DVD about this company. . . and thankfully it was in English!! It was really kind of the other professors to take me to visit this company, but these types of situations (all too common here) always throw me off.

huge digital fabric printer- one of the largest in the world- this is only 1/2 of it.

fabric feed

a group of “smaller” printers

sample fabrics

This is a special room/special machine just for heat transfer to polyester!

At SCAD one of my responsibilities was to maintain the fabric printer for the Fibers department and so to see this place and all the equipment they have was SO impressive. I am teaching a fabric printing class this semester and our last project will be digital. I’m hoping to work with this company to get my students’ fabric printed. . . and maybe some of my own!

by the numbers:

1- day of yellow dust last week (pretty scary for me- toxic sand/air from China)

2- days next month I will be going on a “freshman orientation retreat”- should be interesting!

5- hours of Korean language class every week

7- months living in Korea

50- students I have this semester (in 3 classes)

Things to note in this photo:

1. it’s sunny outside which means that I must have taken it during my vacation. Since I’m back to school I don’t often get to see the sun coming through the windows.

2. my slippers outside on the porch. the porch is totally grimy with a black film on the tile. I could mop it, I guess, but for now it’s just easier to keep shoes out there.

3. the laundry. I have a washing machine but not a dryer and so I must hang everything. When it was warmer I hung things to dry out on the porch, but in the winter I had to move things inside (to avoid the “shirt-cicles” I was getting when my laundry froze before it could dry).

4. fabric from the fabric market. I love living in a city with a fabric market.

5. the roof of the building across the way. It gives a good sense of how high my apartment is.

What did I do with my last week of vacation? I went to Jeju-do with a group of kids from my church for a discipleship camp!

Jeju-do, an island located south of the Korean peninsula is considered one of the most picturesque areas of Korea. . . sort of the Korean “Hawaii”, with many vacationers, honeymooners and school kids. It was beautiful and warm enough to be a LOVELY break from the cold of Daegu.

waiting in the Daegu airport for our flight

I had 11 kids in my group (7 boys and 4 girls) and they were SUPER fun! We were the “A” team and the first thing I taught them was the expression “A-okay”.

our first morning was beautiful so we had one of our classes outside. here are some of the kids in my group doing their Bible lesson.

check out the beautiful water!

in Jeju there are women who dive for shellfish without the use of any oxygen. many of them are elderly and can hold their breath underwater for several minutes. this is the closest I got to one of these divers 🙂

view from the mountain.

One of the kids commented, “it looks just like a map”. So true!

my group- A team-  aren’t they cute??

picking tangerines! they were SO delicious. (don’t be mislead by the expressionless faces- these 2 boys are silly, funny and full of life! they just don’t smile for pictures, as is the Korean way.)

Jae-young– another one of the trip leaders, our trusty photographer and a sweet new friend.

Christina and I

Sung-ah, always wanting to be in EVERY photo!

Mark (the other native English speaker) another trip leader and some of the kids at the botanic gardens.

Pastor Daniel, our wonderful leader, with a bunch of kids! All smiles, all the time!

The trip was really exhausting, but really fun! As we studied some of the Old Testament stories together, stories of Moses and Jacob, I was impressed by how much the Lord takes care of his people. It makes no difference if those people are the Israelites in the OT, Americans, or Koreans of today, we can ALL be God’s people. As I am continuing to adjust to living life cross-culturally it was a sweet lesson for me.

When we weren’t learning about God or traveling around the island on a big bus, we were eating (oh my gosh, did we eat!) or playing or practicing our dramas (we learned lines, made costumes and performed!).

That, friends, is how I spent my last week of vacation!

It is late and I should be in bed as I have early class in the A.M. But here I am, not really feeling sleepy. I am rationalizing writing on the blog as something that does not qualify as “time wasting” and therefore worthy of my attention when I should be sleeping.

I have always loved getting mail. I’m talking about the real stuff, the stuff that comes to a mailbox, the stuff that i can pull out and open. And now that I’m here in Korea it has taken on an even bigger significance. A package or a letter or a card is an object that someone else touched  and then when it arrives here in Korea I can sense a bit of the person who sent it. The distance of travel just increases the significance.

these were cookies!!!! amazing!! thanks, Bets!

Earrings!!!

I have taken photos of everything that has come and this is not a complete showing. There has been much love sent my direction! Thank you to all who have sent me packages and cards and things in the mail. I am so encouraged every time I have a new arrival in my mailbox!

And in other news, now that there is daylight savings time in the US, I am only 13 hours ahead of EST and 15 hours ahead of MST.

And now, I guess it must be off to bed for me. Good night from Daegu!

김닭 is one of my favorite foods in Korea!

Not only is this a photo of one of my favorite foods, but this also documents the first food delivery to my apartment. Anything and everything can be delivered here in Korea, it’s just a matter of knowing how to ask. My friend, Sarah, wrote for me what to say on the phone. I practiced and then made the call. Then half an hour later this pot of deliciousness came to my apartment.

This dish is made of chicken, onions, glass noodles, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, rice cakes and peppers all stewed together in a sweet and spicy brown sauce. I like to eat it with a little rice to give my mouth a break from the spiciness every few bites.

In the beginning of February I went to Changsha, China to visit my cousins!! It was a great trip!!

Drew and Rachel, with their son, Titus, have lived in Changsha for the last year and they were AMAZING hosts.

bubble tea!

There was a slide down the mountain! It was so fun we did it twice.

This is at a small park where Mao briefly lived when he was young.

Delicious food!

I visited the embroidery center of the Hunan Province.

Yup, that is an entire pig!

Titus and I

I was in Changsha the week before the Chinese (lunar) New Year and the city was full of red lanterns like these. The weather was really cold and damp, but something about the lanterns made everything feel a little better.

I said before I left that what I really wanted to do was not see all of China (not EVEN possible in a week) or even all of Changsha, but to just learn a little about the country/city through the eyes of my cousins. Some days we didn’t do more than just a trip to the market, but other days were busier, as evidenced in the photos. It was great and good way for me to see a new place!!

Korea vs. China– from my observations, some of the differences

  • small (K) vs. big (C)
  • ethnically homogeneous vs. ethnically diverse (there are MANY people and language groups in China)
  • some western foods available vs. many western foods available (this was a surprise to me)
  • in-floor heating vs. no indoor heat (thankfully the apartments where Drew and Rachel live DO have heat)
  • lots of coffee vs. no coffee
  • food is mostly steamed or stewed vs. food is mostly cooked in oil
  • many English translations vs. no much translation
  • public transportation is clean vs. public transportation is dirty
  • Americans can visit any time vs. Americans must pay big $ for a visa to enter

Korea and China– some of the similarities

  • washing machines without center posts + hang dry
  • squatty toilets + don’t flush the toilet paper
  • I am a minority/foreigner
  • public transportation is good and reliable + taxis are cheap
  • McDonalds and KFC

Don’t you want to go too? If you have the chance I highly recommend it!

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