"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived....what God has prepared for those who love Him."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A "Typical" Day....

So today was just like most others. Got up, ate breakfast and went to massage class. And then....I got my special "nerve touch" with herbal treatment massage certification. Next I decided I might try and have a little fun around Chiang Mai.

So I signed up for a 50 meter bungee jump...who knows how to fly?

I DO!!! Woo and did I ever! What a thrill! The feeling was exhilerating, AWESOME and must do again!




Next time it's you and me my friends...who'd like to join me?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Grammy Chase...


This is a recent picture of my Grammy and Grampy Chase. They're both amazing people that I respect and value. Just recently my gram got diagnosed with Leukemia. She took a chance and had intensive Chemo. Two days ago, I found out some fabulous news, her Leukemia is in remission and is gone. Praise God are the only words I can say to express my thanks and gratitude for this wonderful miracle. For now she's in the hospital recovering her white blood cells. Please keep her in your prayers. Thanks.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Comfy Chiang Mai...

So now we're in Chiang Mai for a massage course and more relaxation. This place is so easy, as English is everywhere and we get all the comforts from home at a cheap price. Yesterday, I spurged and bought lots of cool clothes from the night market and finally got my dreads! I love them! Here are some pics....

The Gibbon Experience...

Our main purpose for travelling to Laos was for the Gibbon Experience. Which is simply a conservation project to preserve the Laos forests. It was AMAZING to say the least. To find out more info go to this website, http://www.gibbonx.org
So basically a group of twelve people went to the Bokeo forest and spent two nights and three days living in tree houses. Nathaniel and I were fortunate and had a tree house all to ourselves! It was great! There was fresh running water from a local spring, so we could drink and take showers and we even had our own toilet(however there was a wasp nest right below it, taking away the apeal of using the toilet...fortunately they sleep at night). We had a bed, a box full of fruit, nuts and other snacks and a kettle for tea and coffee. It was quite nice. People from the local villages would bring our breakfast, lunch and dinner...sometimes good, sometimes not so good but all in the same an experience.... But the best part was...we had to zipline 40 to 150 meters off the ground! WOW! It was AWESOME, BREATHTAKING and BEAUTIFUL! Of course it was a little intimidating at first to say the least. It was a great way to get over fear though. Here are a few pics we took of our experience...

Nathaniel holding a baby bear that the project is helping to save from poachers and send back to where it belongs.
One of the ziplines we got to cross.
One of the treehouses our group stayed in.
Me! Getting ready for a zip.
Tracy, one of the girls from the experience, on a "high"!

Laos...Ahhh...R'N'R...

After China we crossed the border into Laos. Laos was so relaxed and like going back into the past when everything was a little difficult but simple and relaxed. What a place to spend my birthday! Just relaxation and eating good food! It was very beautiful with lots of forests and nature all around(including lizards crawling on the ceilings of our guest house and the restaurants we ate at)! Wooden houses on stilts everywhere, winding, bumpy, dirt roads that left you wondering if you would ever make it to where you're headed in one piece, electricity outages for a day, rickshaws, banana trees, motor scooters and much more. Here are some pics of our experience there...

A typical wooden house.
A rickshaw, the local taxi. We had to barter for all our cab fares.
Some children from a village close to where we stayed.
Banana trees
A young teenage girl helping her family.
We were only in Laos for six days but this place is AWESOME! It's a definite must see!

Quirky China...

So China left me with so many impressions and memories of quirky, funny little things that as a fellow travellor said"only in China" Here are a few pics of "only in China" life.



This is the "shared toilet" we had in the first motel we stayed in. The shower is on the level down below. It's quite smelly and holding my breath was all I could do before I lost my dinner;)

This little guy/gal was our pet for a couple of nights at a youth hostel in Xi'an. We also ate at the same place...hmm...wonder if it has any brothers or sisters??





We'd often see a diversity of people in the parks doing tai chi, singing, dancing, smoking a pipe, playing a traditional instrument, playing chess or other games, etc. All very interesting and fun.



These guys are pumped or in shape! They would bicycle us around in a little carriage for a small amount of money. I heard they are from the countryside, needing work in the city(the gov't doesn't give benefits to the people in the country as they don't contribute to the system as much as the people in the cities do.


The food was very spicy, oily and delicious. In some restaurants they would place numerous dishes on a small glass turn table on the center of the table, giving us opportunity to try all the dishes. In some places you can find some interesting dishes, as the Chinese will eat anything, as most travellors will say. I've seen baby crocs, turtles, frogs, scorpians on a stick and so forth.

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So these are just a few of my experiences and observations of China. There's definitely so much more to experience and see as China is a place of much history. The places we saw captured this in such a way we will forever remember our time in this cool cultural land.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Journeys in China...

So I've been in China for over two weeks now. In the beginning, it was a little difficult with the language barrier and cultural difference. China is like a new person you meet and don't know whether to embrace them or just give some time to but not enough to become intimate friends. Over time despite all it's quirks, I've grown to apreciate it. And thus look past things such as the smelly squat toilets, the men(and women) who leave their hawk(gobs of spit) everywhere, peeing old men, oily but great food and other "endearing" things...

Nathaniel and I have been able to see and do some cool things over these last couple of weeks. We got to explore Beijing with our fellow brother and sister, Trent and Em. It was really great developing our freiendship and enjoying good food and excellent sites. We saw the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, The Summer Palace, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, etc. Definitely a recommended place for history buffs.

Next we headed for Tianjin by bus. We arrived to a weather disaster, first rain and then snow. It seemed like we were meant to lay low for a while. Fortunately we saw the sun and got to see what we had gone there to do, see European buildings in China. It sounds bizarre but we it was a part of our historic journey of China's past.

Next we took a lovely squishy, hard seated, smokey train for a thirteen hour night journey. It was an experience but never again! (since we've stuck to the hard sleeper train...much better)
This journey took us to Taiyuan. A small city where we basically caught up with our e-mail and headed for our next destination, Xi'an.

Xi'an is a great place. Around every bend there is something to see, whether it be a old market, a park filled with elderly and young playing a traditional instrument, singing, practicing Tai chi, telling fortunes, etc. And of course it has the Terracotta Warriers, an achaelogical wonder. We even had a little chicken outside our hostel. So much character!!

Now presently we are in Chengdu, a place known for it's Pandas and food. We've met some good people from all over the world at our youth hostel and have had some good times laughing and chatting. We've tried Hot Pot, hot flavoured oil with vegetables and meat cooked in the center of the table. And then people use their chopsticks to pick it out. It was very good. We also went to see some pandas and a big buddha outside the city. A very interesting place. This is our last place to see in China.

On Saturday, we will head for Kumming for a day and then head straight down to Laos for our trek.
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I have one prayer request, my grammy was diagnosed with acute Leukemia and is in the process of intense Chemotherapy. Please pray that she will respond well to these treatments.

my blog is having difficulty uploading photos from here so for pics go to this site; photos.yahoo.ca/sachajoy.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Chingu

So a week has gone by since I left Korea. Even though I've gone the memories..the people...the experiences that have consumed my life for the last two and a half years linger in my heart and mind. What a time I'll never forget.

These are my family that have been so near and dear to me over this past experience in Korea.










And many more.......

Love you my friends. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and keep in touch!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love=Thought=Action

So today is Valentine's day. Ahh...what a day...for some romance, for others, depression. But this concept of love our society has fed us seems to have poisoned our minds with expectations of expressions of love. Maybe I'm being a tad bit cynical but I really think there's more to love than romance.

I really think that true love compells us to do more than just exist and live with the eager expectation of meeting prince charming or some other "fortunate event" I think love leads us to empowerment, equality and acceptance. Not acceptance of injustice but acceptance of the beauty that surrounds us. This beauty invades our senses of it's intoxication and wonder. What is this beauty? People. What a mystery to try and understand their depths and stories to only share to those who will listen.

Misunderstanding. So many of people have lived their lives only to be misunderstood and displaced. throughout history women have surged forward to bring wealth to our existence. It has been a struggle at times, but over time we are becoming more united to voice that which has been smothered for so long. We need to continue to come together to bring forth justice. I have found a movement through my journeys in university and life in Korea with a woman's group i am a part of. This movement is called V-day and it's to stop violence against women and girls. This movement provides empowerment through sharing individual stories. If you are interested in learning more just click here to see the site. It's a very powerful and important movement.

This Valentine's day I've challenged myself to care more about what's going on around me and work for things i believe in. Want to join me? Let's join our ideas together.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

travelling and lovin' it!

So it's amazing how time creeps up on you and ta da...what do ya know...things areen't at all what you expected. Well at least that has been the last month for me. We finally decided what we will do for our next step...and I am ever so EXCITED! I've always had serveral goals and aspirations and one of these goals has been to travel around the world by the time I reach the age of thirty. I didn't really think I could come so close to acheiving this goal but I these days I feel like I am(at least more than I expected).

Nathaniel and I have decided to travel from the end of February to the first of June and then we shall head home to Canada for the Summer. So we are first off to Bejing with our cool friends Em and Trent for a week of site seeing, including the great wall. Next, we will take the train down through China and into Laos. After Laos, we will head to Cambodia and then Thailand. Next we will be headed for India. then it's off the continent of Asia and into Europe where we will go from Turkey to Greece to Italy. Then we will meet up with Nathaniel's parents to sitesee Switzerland and Austria and then on towards Holland. In holland we will get to meet Nathaniel's relatives and explore significant sites to his parents and Oma and Opa. After they depart for Canada we may stay a little longer to explore parts of France. So we're in the process of finalizing our plans. If anyone has any reccomendations or thoughts, I'd absolutely love to hear them!!

In due time, I will post more specifics. In the meantime here I am teaching my last week in Korea. ode to my beautiful and rambunctious teenagers! gotta love them! and gotta miss them.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Shattered

Have you ever just stopped and thought about all the things that are going around you as you just did something simple like type on the computer or just take the subway. What if while your life is standing still, someone else's life is changing in a way that they couldn't even fathom. Should your life be used in response to this change...this sorrow...or should you sit doing as you always have and will?

Maybe we've all heard words such as these and have let them slip calling in the wind. I know I have.

These last couple of weeks have been precious to me, as I've held a lense up close to my heart and seen pieces of me that could only be poured out by the stimulation of another soul pouring it out of me. My friends you know who you are.

There are days...weeks...years...when I live just barely thinking or letting myself think of all the life mysteries. Why do we think everything in life is so black and white? Is it really that absolute? How could we be so arrogant to think that we know all the answers if any answers at all? is it we or just me?

I've been taking pottery classes these last couple of weeks. I really like to pride myself on being creative and a bit artistic. But I'm slowly realizing I reflect these things in the way I've been taught to be. Just as I say the things that need to be said. Do the things that need to be done. And be the Christian that I ought to be.

I'm ready.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Stronghold of Peace


I love climbing. There's nothing like trying to be apart of the mountain as you feel for the crevices and slabs of rock to continually maintain balance and agility. But the higher I climb the more I have to be focused on that which is ahead. Just one glance below and it's back to the hanging low for me. These days I've been doing a lot of looking up. Sometimes it's been so cloudy and slippery i thought I might fall into an abyss of confusion. Everyone and nobody has answers on how to know God's will and least of all me. It seems like the call of freedom has been the voice I've heard as I shimmy up a the rock face. It calls me to decide to follow my heart.

All throughout University and into my career I've had the desire to share and learn in Africa. But each time I try to reach in and take hold of this, it hasn't been the right time. I thought this is the time. I have six months of freedom to grasp hold of whatever I desire as long as it glorifies God. God told me I could choose anything. But yet, in spite of this, the place I feel the most freedom in going to is Thailand. Thailand? huh? I don't know what Thailand holds except i hope I can give to it as much if not more than it gives to me. My desire is to know Christ and have true intimacy. Thailand...Korea....Canada....all surpassing presence pull me to forth so that I might live.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The days pass On...

The last month has been one of incredible memories for me. I could share pictures and I will but for now i will reminice of all that has happened. The month started with a week-end in Seoul with a beautiful friend of mine, Emily. She has definitely made my life here in Korea full of much laughter and adventure. These days we're quite excited about the time to come in Canada, where we hope to buy or rent a house together with our husbands. And just as we commenced the month together, we ended the month together to bring in the New Year with lots of fun and adventure. We chose to enjoy our time by carving some snow with our snowboards. Learning the full technique of snowboarding in Korea always elicits a chuckle, as snow is practically non-existant. Ahh...all the more reason to appreciate and fly with the fake (but more real than I can imagine) snow. Sweet Canada...i can just feel the bittersweet Winter now. Between learning to ski, playing games and watching Em cut all her hair off...the week-end was a nice appetizer of what is yet to come.

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In between all this is my time in Busan. ahh...good memories. Laughter and crying has been a big part of my time these days. Crying only cause I know it'll soon come to an end. laughter because well who wouldn't laugh or cry when your friend gets a dead fish head as present? Or when you wake up christmas morning to a an endearing santa claus with stockings and a big breakfast that resonates for most of the day. Or eating Indian food for your turkey dinner...walking on the beach sharing stories late into the night of Christmas Eve...or is it Christmas morning?? listening to your friend snore so loud you need to stuff his face with a pillow..ahh...countless memories from Christmas...

Then having those last moments with the students I've grown so attached to..even loved over the last year and a half. Our language is so different but language reaches far beyond what words can ever express. My students were those which inspired me the most so ultimately i do believe they were actually my teachers.

What a month...I do believe it was one of closure but one with great hope for what is to come. God always gives us what we truly need.. I suppose with this I will finish with a story. My co-hort, another Korean teacher helped me with a computer problem I was having. just recently he explained why he was helping me. He told me that "God kept telling me to help you" I think it was these words spoken into the hearts of many that has kept me going all these years especially these last two and a half years in Korea.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Five Untold Truths...

So my gal~ Em tagged me a long time ago with this mission. the mission to tell five untold truths about myself. Pretty tricky...hmm.

5~ I'll start with a funny one. One of my most embarrassing moments. I was working at an adult school teaching English my first year in Korea. I was walking up the stairs with books in hand and two Korean guys sitting on the stairs. I just happened to be wearing a wrap around skirt that day and what do you know~being a little clumsy, I step on my skirt and the side string comes undone and next thing I know one of my female students comes up from behind me and quickly rescues me from running around half naked...wow...what a red like lipstick day that was.

4~ I dream of singing and playing guitar in a bar to raise money for charity and share my faith through the lyrics in my music.

3~ The thing I miss the most about married life is the "first date". They're so interesting. Maybe that's why I thrive on meeting new people~they're so facinating and have a wealth of new stories to share!

2~ I hate saying three words, "I don't know" to questions I should know. It makes me feel stupid.

1~ I'm afraid of being judged by other people.

Whew...now I know why I avoided this challenge for so long. It was very difficult. I'm glad i did it because of that Em~thanks.

I initiate more people to take up this challenge...
1) Nathaniel~ my cool hubby.
2) Tanya~ my sweet sister
3) Aubrey~ that gal with spunk!
4) Jen~ the blonde surfing chick.
5) Ang~ haven't seen you in a while but you're not forgotten.
6) anyone else who wants to take the challenge. if you don't do blog...e-mail me your thoughts
(Sarah, Jen, Sabrina, Nat and everyone else who I'd love to get a blog)
7) James~ the pastor dude.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Question of the week...

Well the question of the day just was not working so here's my question of the week...

What's the funniest thing that has happened to you?

I need a good laugh....

Tired Ramblings....

I'm so tired right now but I just want to write. My life is in a bit of limbo right now and it's hard to hear what my heart is saying except that that the only thing I want to do with my life is make a difference. I've lived in korea for two years and a bit and I still get irritated with my boss. Why is it so hard to stay positive here? I'm living out my dream of travelling but there are still parts of me that can't accept it characteristics of the people and the culture. Like the hierachical system and the way people change things last minute and expect me to change everything including that which I've worked so hard on. It seems like fighting is just an uphill battle... I guess I need to just take my pill and swallow it and change my attitude, to be more "flexible" whatever they call it.

Sometimes my theories of community and absolute acceptance of all diversity gets thrown back into my face on days like today. Well like a good band once said, "let's drink a glass of milk to the end of another day." In my case baileys and milk.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Once upon a time...

so i have this great high level ESL class. they are in their first year of high school and have a bright future ahead of them. Why? because they are creative and think wonderfully.

This semester, we are reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. i gave them a creative writing assignment. The purpose: use all their vocabulary words in a creative story. So as their off her rocker teacher..I was quite pleased...

"Once upon a time, Jennyfer, Noah and Elaine decided to go on a trip to find medicine for their teacher who had gone off her rocker. She was very wretched.

So they fed a caterpillar with strange food and the caterpillar changed into a colossal caterpillar. Noah said to the girls to use it like a yacht. The caterpillar was revolting, but there was no other way. SO they leaped on the caterpillar. The girls were unutterably feeling disgusting but Noah, the only man was in a whirl of excitement. Jennyfer took one stick from somewhere and used it for an oar. The caterpillar was in a fury because heavy Elaine leaped on him. And he shrieked loudly. He wriggled his body with all his power. And everyone fell into the cacao river. Mission impossible."

Prophets...

Question for today....Who are the prophets of today? Does anyone listen to them?

I think we can all be prophets when we look around and discover the truth around us. For example, scientists are prophets in the way they predict the destruction of earth with the changing signs of the environment, if we don't make a change in our habits. Or musicians and poets can be prophets in that they see life and what people are actually going through.

Prophets are people who wake up and see life and hear what God desires to speak to people's hearts.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Difference...

My question today is; How can people make a difference? What can people do/be to create positive change in the world?

So I've been thinking about this question for ages, so obviously I haven't found any concrete answers. But I do have a few thoughts on the topic. I think that it starts with community and the things that take away and give community are the essence of how to encourage or give people meaning and purpose. If we separate ourselves from other people with hatred or dissension, I think this hurts ourselves and others in the process, thus breaking community/fellowship with our brothers. if we love and encourage people, it encourages them to become a better person, closer to the person they were created to be and do that which they were meant to be. Thus the vision of peace and living in a world where people have the freedom to express themselves springs from my heart.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Question of the day...



I always have questions running around like mad people in my head. So I've decided to write a question of the day. If I have a chance to find some sort of truth within this process, then I will become all the more enlightened and guided in this unutterable thing we call life.

So here's my first question....who defines beauty? Is it ourselves or others around us?

At the end of the day...week...month...I shall write the truth I've found on this question..although it might not be the answer.

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In the midst of my search for truth, i've decided to pose a question everyday for anyone to share their thoughts including myself(at the end of the day). So please don't be shy express yourself. post pictures, poetry, songs, articles, websites that help express your heart.

I chose beauty as the first in the stream of thoughts to express because these days I realize my soul is searching for beauty in life. I'm very tired of this endless consumerism that has threatened to buy my soul and take away the very essence of what I've always considered beauty to be. As i've come closer to that image without a mirror, I'm sometimes frightened at what the core may hold especially when i'm far away from the source of beauty itself.

I heard the most interesting perception about God and the depth of His love in restoration. God isn't there to find the sin or the ugly but to bring out the beauty. It makes sense when one's thoughts return to the original form of creation. Why not have an artist as a opposed to a critc for a Saviour?

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Is this what you mean by the ideal image of beauty Aubrey?

Or maybe this image?


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Green People...

So it's Wednesday already and here I am just writing about my week-end's escapades down so I can continually read and be refreshed at the good times spent in Korea. It was one of those week-ends with moments to remember.

So as I listen to my 80's tunes.... I shall share with you my fun adventures.
Saturday, Nathaniel and I had a special day free to do whatever we pleased. With the desire to cherish it, we rounded up a great group of peops from our small group at church and others for a game of paintball or "survival game" they it call here. So four gals and the several guys took on the challenge to destroy and create a myriad of colour. Of which I have a few war wounds to show off. So I could only get one pic on my blog but more can be found at http://photos.yahoo.ca/sachajoy .

Sunday, was just as fun we met up with the same group from church(I haven't had a community like this since we came to Korea our first year). We hung out ate pizza and great goodies. Then spent the afternoon with the wind against my face and enjoying the views of Busan on a motorbike ride. What a great way to spend the day!

I thought these last few months would be just me, myself and I. but somehow God has this way bringing people into my life unexpectantly and giving me such joys and memories. It's really true that one can see God in a community and the way the people love. I feel myself being so challenged these days to just live and love so much more freely. Such a freedom that's changing my heart.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hide and Seek...

When i was younger one of my favorite stories was about this giant mud puddle chasing after a little girl. she tried everything to hide from it but it always caught up to her. Well I too, have something lurking outside my window, in my classroom, in my office trying to find me. It's that miniscule, barely visible but one tough cookie~ the common cold. I have been eating oranges and vitamin C like candy(or chocolate in my case) but it chased hard and I just couldn't fight it any longer. And wow, did it ever hit me! But not for long~I've got Vita Power and a sweet pillow! Dundadadaaaa~CHARGE!

For those of you suffering from seasonal transitional disease...my thoughts are with you. KEEP FIGHTING! Don't let go...don't let go...

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Will To Live.


So it's Friday night and here I am alone...but so free. After one of the roughest weeks all I can think about is dancing. i'm so tired of living a passionless life of the day to day. It seems like nothing has meaning anymore. but tonight I am reminded of love...passion...as i dance in my room full of sounds that move my body in the graceful movement it was meant to do from the time I was born.

When will I be able to live this passion inside? So tired of smothering the flame that only I can let burn. Where to start...I must find the path..the way..to live...not merely survive.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Pause in the Chaos...



This past week-end was a very memorable experience for me. A long time ago...I was on a plane heading for my university in Calgary on a five hour flight. that flight was spent singing, laughing sharing life stories with a stranger but now sweet and endearing friend, Emily. We were single at the time, a little confued about the relationships we were pursuing and uncertain about our future but excited. Well the certainty of the future is still obscure but the certainty of excitement and thrill of life is still present as we met with our ever so cool and God-given husbands~Nathaniel and Trenton(Em). We spent much of our time together in the same state as our plane ride, laughing and exploring thoughts.

Although we've never lived close together in the past and only connected through internet. Today, in Korea, we live a 2 and a half hour train ride away. It's really interesting where God takes you. We hope to live even closer together in the future.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The DMZ

Maybe one of the most interesting things I have done since i got here was have a DMZ tour(it did feel wierd taking the role as a tourist~oh well). It was very meaningful to me because I have a few students in my high school class who are from North Korea. sometimes they share parts of their life with me, in the little English they can speak. The connection grew stronger throughout the day.

What is the demilitarization zone you may ask...basically it's the division between North and South Korea. If you need more info after reading this blog, please see the website below. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Demilitarized_Zone

The tour took us on a gradual progression. It first provided information on the Korean war and how Korea was divided and families were divided. Below is a picture of the bridge of no return, of which some of the korean people had to make a choice of which side they desire, never to see their family members again.

Over time there have been a couple of villages maintained within border lines, Propaganda village. This was made by the North where a huge flag about 328 feet and weights aprrox. 500 pounds. It was said that it took 50 men to take it down when it rains (presently it's mechanically run). It's called propaganda village because North Korean propaganda could be heard coming from speakers for several hours of the day. it was put to an end in 2004. The other village was called Peace village. This village is run by the South korean government. The people who live here have to have ancestral roots from that area. they are very rich, as there is an abundance of farm land and no land taxes placed on them and very few competitors. It seemed their only restriction was a 11pm curfew.

We also got to go into one of the four tunnels made by the North going towards Seoul after the treaty was signed at the end of the Korean war. Busan was looking pretty lucrative in terms of safety, it was the only place not fully invaded in the war.

The last part of our tour headed for the Joint Security area, the place where North and South connect. We were able to go into a conference room where South Korea and the United Nations meet with North Koreans. We could see a few small look-out buildings with North Korean solidiers, of whom we only saw a couple. It's interesting, the north gives tours as well. I hear they have a completely different spin on history and the way things are. predoninantly anti-American and how people want to go to the North side of the border as opposed to the other way around.

That was the end of our Chusuok trip. an interesting thing happened afterwards, I had invited a student to join us on the way back to Busan, as we had a free seat ticket. this student was a past resident of North Korea. he was so open to questions. he shared how his father was the guard for Kim Il sun's son. He had escaped when my student was 12 years old, leaving my student homeless. My student lived in a gang for five years eating whatever he and his friends could find and begging and performing for money. One time in class he told me he had eaten a cat....and other interesting things. Anyway, his father somehow set him up with a fake passport by paying a large sum of money. He shared how difficult it was getting into Korea, having been beaten up a few times but paraise God he's here! he is one of my best students. Diligent in all he does and kind and thoughtful and he loves Jesus very much(his father brought him to the faith) I've seen his English ability improve so much over the past year and a bit I've had him. Please my people be praying for the people in North korea. They are in severe circumstances with all the sanctions being placed on the country....they need help.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Visit To Sokcho...

Sokcho is my now one of my favorite places in Korea. It's a smaller city than Busan with about 90,000 people, so it's atmosphere was less hectic and noisy. (Of course, Seoul is bigger than Busan and less noisy than Busan~the city of noise pollution). Anyway, it had the beach and a gorgeous mountain called Seoraksan(san is mountain in Korean).

Sokcho is known for it's infamous soon du bu(tofu soup) so this is what we tried our first night there. this is my favorite Korean dish, so i was especially excited to try it. It was definitely different than I expected.

The next day, we occupied our time by spending a day hiking. at the foot of the mountain was a huge buddhist statue. and because we were climbing around the holiday there were several people paying their respects to Buddha by lighting insence, bowing and other rituals. Along the hiking trail, it was very beautiful, as the leaves were turning colour. We spent six hours doing 10km. in total. Unfortunately, due to the weather we didn't quite make it to the top.

The evening was a blast. We relaxed by the beach and shared stories. The sound of the waves lapping holding our thoughts forever.

Playing poker for our favorite candy and hitting a few balls in a batting cage ended our night of fun.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Seoul Nightlife...

A view of a sky scraper in Seoul; the capital city of Corea. We stayed here for part of our vacation. Our first day was spent shopping in the more foreigner friendly part of the city. I was able to buy food for my vegetarian and sweet tooth cravings.





The three travellers I went to Seoul with. Mike, Jay and Nathaniel~ my sweet husband. We spent our first two and last nights in a jijimbang(sauna/spa). It had five floors. One floor with different public baths and showers. The second floor with a restaurant, gym and lounging. The third floor had a restaurant, singing room, pc room, etc. The fourth was for hot rooms(sauna) and lounging. The fifth had a library and two rooms with hostel like bunk beds. It wasn't private and I did get woken up in the night a few times but it was awesome. I loved having a hot bath at night and in the morning.

A night stroll beside a stream that had just been dug up by the city to promote environmental support(meanwhile they're drilling holes through mountains for the train).














We ate at a wonderful traditional Korean vegetarian restaurant hosted by a retired Buddhist monk . Throughout the meal we were entertained with a traditional Korean stringed instrument. while a man meticulously, yet freely designed Chinese characters with black ink. Later we were given a piece of his artwork. A very interesting evening.



The eve of Chuseok. Chuseok falls on the full moon of the lunar calendar cycle. It's called the new moon festival but it's all about Thanksgiving where Koreans will bow to their ancestors to thank them for their harvest. My students were sharing abit about their ceremony. The women get up fairly early and cook a huge meal with side dishes and rice cakes. These side dishes take a long time to prepare. After, they set a large floor table in front of a folding divider with pictures of their ancestors and Chinese characters(maybe representing the background of their family name?). Their grandfather will place the chopsticks on each dish in a circular motion, while their ancestor's spirits eat. After they bow and this custom is complete. they eat this huge feast. Usually school children bow to their elders and receive money in return. Not everyone practices these traditions. Christians oppose them and will only practice in eating a good meal and have a Christian worship service.



There is much to see in any place on the top of a roof with a bottle of wine. We found a special place to sight see(betcha captain underpants didn't expect to see us there). Good times.
Singing up a storm in a noribang(korean karaoke). A small room where only one's closest friends may join him in belting out those songs reminiscent of adolescence.