Upon seeing my friend Jua eat this unsightly snack, I nearly lost my stomach, and politely asked what in the world she was eating. It's an insect, that's pretty apparent, and it is in a certain cycle of it's life(that you learn about in elementary school: big hint).
We went to Asan this last weekend to one of the bays of the Yellow Sea. It was a fun and interesting experience. The food was not my favorite part, but I survived.
"Whatever souls are made of his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte
Grant and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary this last weekend! We had a blast dressing-up and going out on the town for our first big anniversary. I know a lot of older married couples are probably laughing at us celebrating such a small time of being married, but we think it's important to celebrate the blissful time that God has blessed us with thus far. Life is short, we don't know how much time God will bless us with...
It was wonderful reminiscing over when we first met, when Grant was at Heartlight, funny quarky things we both do, how much God has blessed us, our engagement, and just having a few laughs with each other!
We went to a delightful little Italian restaurant that just opened in downtown Pyeongtaek. We both shared some Gorgonzola Pasta, that makes your mouth water because it's so good, and a plate of fruit and cheese. It was so good to have some tasty cheese. We have been without cheese for almost two months now. Then our waiter brought out a decadently decorated dish of Tiramasu and raspberry ice. It was as delicious as it looks.
Then we went and watched our first movie in a Korean movie theater. We saw the movie "Eagle Eye," it was pretty good. It was a lot better than I expected. I would recommend it, it is very fast-paced and entertaining!
We also got haircuts the day before. I love the way they cut Grant's hair! We both paid about $10 for our haircuts each. That is incredible, especially for my hair! You couldn't get a deal like that in the US! Also, their hairstylists here are more like artists. They are very talented! When we arrived, they offered us some kettle corn and a beverage of our choice. Grant even got a massage with his haircut, I was not as fortunate!
I've been majorly slacking on writing in the blog. The last two weeks have zoomed by. We got our first paycheck, spent a wonderful weekend in Seoul with our friends Chris and Jua, learned some cultural differences, went to E-mart(similar to a Wal-Mart and a JcPenneys put together), celebrated our 6-month anniversary, and have continued to try and find new ways to teach our little students.
Going to Seoul was quite an experience in itself to write about. It is the most populated city I have ever been in. It is a city booming with industry, business, trade, and ironically encompassing the vigorous city is a spread of quaint but beautiful mountains. Which we hope to explore a little bit while we are here. The city has over 10 million people as its inhabitants. It is the largest city in South Korea and the fourth largest city in Asia. It is also the fifth most expensive city in the world next to Oslo, London, Tokyo, and Moscow (I'm really glad our school is not in Seoul). Surprisingly, cities like Paris, Rome, Milan, big tourist attractions were not in the top 10. The Hans River flows rapidly through the bustling city and floods major highways consistently every year, you would think that they would try to fix this hazard(we have been told that not much has been done to change this problem). The North Korean border lies about 100 miles north of Seoul. We plan on making a trip to the DMZ to check out the border one of these days.
While in Seoul, we went to the popular, coveted tourist destination: The Seoul Tower. It was quite a sight! It kind of blows your mind to see a visual of how many people live in Seoul. Unlike Reunion Tower, in Dallas, where you can see where the city ends; in Seoul, you cannot see the end of the city. It looks like it just keeps going infinitely. In the picture to the top right is a flying man that was right next to the Tower. I think it is a beautiful structure.
The weekend we went to Seoul was an extremely busy weekend for Koreans. It was the celebration of their independence and their formation as a country. Therefore, when we finally reached Seoul Tower, we waited at least an hour and a half(maybe more) just to get on the elevator. I think it was well worth the wait with the sights that we got to see! Chris and Jua were amazing at showing us around the big city. We all stayed in the Red Dragon Hotel on the military base in Seoul, thanks to Chris being in the military. It was a pretty extravagant hotel, and we only paid $40 per night because of Chris's military discount. We shopped a little. I bought a light jacket, which I was in dire need of because I only brought heavy coats, and some fun sunglasses. The prices by the base were very good! We also ate out at an Outback Steakhouse, which Grant loved of course! I had a very large, yet delicious Apple Chicken Salad(it had an apple dressing, hence the name).
While in Seoul, we went to the 2nd largest church in Seoul. The worship was INCREDIBLE! The spirit of God was definitely moving! They sang my favorite worship song: "Blessed Be Your Name" which is by far my most favorite song! It reminds me that no matter what happens, God has something extravagantly better planned, that He alone can see the BIG painting of life, that sometimes He shows us some of the beautiful strokes but sometimes we are blinded or jaded to it and how that is okay because He has our VERY best in mind(I know that is probably one of the longest run-ons ever, oh well)! The message was about Daniel and how, through his struggles, God formed and molded his character. The youth pastor who was speaking said "Life is the crucible of spiritual and character formation" and that "Character formation happens through struggles." We also talked about how struggles are God's favor, and that God uses them to strengthen and grow our walk with Him. I completely agree with what the youth pastor said, she hit the nail on the head, I have grown the most in my walk through struggles. Even while being in South Korea, I have grown more because of the struggles and new things we have faced being in a different country. The message was very powerful, to say the least.
While at church, we also got the chance to help Chris make some connections. He is a talented Christian rapper who has a real heart for the youth. It will be exciting to see what happens next for his ministry! His wife Jua is wonderful! She has been a huge blessing as well. They are both a blast to be around and have helped us become more acclimated to the Korean way!
Here are some pictures of the hotel we stayed at. They had a beautiful garden, including a pagoda, in the back of the hotel. Chris is very artsy is volunteered to take some pictures of Grant and I! I think some of them turned out well.
Here is one of the pagoda's at the Seoul Tower. In front of the pagoda. In the gardens at the hotel.