Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I can't believe that we've already been here one month, celebrated 2 birthdays, attended 3 Korean classes and enjoyed 4 weekends and walked 10,000 miles. Ok, so the mileage is a bit of an exaggeration, but my feet feel like it has been. We are enjoying this new city life and making the necessary adjustments. We are learning to shop smaller and more frequently at the Commissary. To buy what we can carry (and call a cab when we don't). The oldest among us are pretty confidant traveling the subway. We can make necessary purchases on the economy (with occasional pointing and holding up of fingers) and feel safe wandering the town at any time of the day.

We have bought some familiar foods and unfamiliar snacks on the economy at the local markets. I am still working up to buying meats and some of the more unfamiliar vegetables and fruits. We do however enjoy the "street" food, and Mike and the kids have tried Squid on a stick, along with the "meat on a stick", and various fried offerings we've tried, dumplings, and sweets. We've learned that if it's read it's most likely to be spicy and if it's corn, Koreans will put it in/on everything, including ice cream.

Here are some highlights from the first month:
1)Attended a lantern festival in honor of Buddha's birthday
(Buddha's birthday is like Derby back home, and is celebrated by 2 weeks worth of festivals)

2)Attended another, smaller street festival on the river with lots of food vendors
and well done displays that were amazing when illuminated for the evening.

3)Took ourselves out to a ball game! What a blast! Each player has his own theme song that is played and sung by the fans when he is at bat, led by cheerleaders. Cheerleaders! at a baseball game. It kept the entire event much livelier than stateside.

4) We've seen 2 different movies and of course got snacks (regular and caramel popcorn, squid, and nachos).
Koreans manage movie attending much better than we do. Seats are assigned at the theatre, and a website tells you whether there are good seats (center-5th row back) fair seats (sides) or poor (first rows) available at the time you want to attend.

5)Subway riding, we've become pretty proficient at navigating the subway and feel between our feet and the subway we can make it anywhere we need to go.
6)Daiso! We are already missing this store when we return in two years. Think Dollar Tree, but nicer. This is a Japanese chain and everything is 5000 won or less (less than $5 US). From kitchen to gardening, hygiene to craft supplies, this store has a bit of everything and it's all CUTE.

7) Seomun Market: The oldest market (and largest) in Daegu. It is comprised of several buildings as well as all the paths and alleys around them. 2 floors of one large warehouse are dedicated to fabric. It was amazing. Along with a million sock vendors, clothing, food, and that was just the 1 section we visited. We briefly went down to the dish floor of another building and needed to leave. This will be a place we return to explore many times.

8)Memorial day cookout with new friends. A good old fashioned American potluck
to celebrate our freedom and remember those who gave it all while in Service.

9) Korean classes. We've all started taking the introductory Korean class, led by an intern. It's quite the adventure as we learn to speak and write Korean. I'm having the hardest time remembering that Ne is Yes, and have agreed to more than one thing I meant to disagree with!  We've all learned to say hello and thank you, which is a good start.

Most of these adventures are occurring on our weekends.  After our second weekend I mentioned needing some "stay home" time and Mike quickly said "No! We have less than 100 weekends left!" Well, when you put it that way....

We are beginning to establish some routine and the kids are back to their books. The move has pushed 3 of their "end of school" pictures  (and graduation) back a few months. But that's OK. It's one of the reasons we choose to homeschool. We are able to embrace this life, without sacrificing their education. The younger boys are on sports teams, I'm serving on the local PWOC board, J and Mike are going to the gym 3 nights a week faithfully, we have found our chapel home, K has joined the choir and the older 3 are all attending youth group. Which is a HUGE thing for this family, as my older two have not had the greatest experience in the past with organized church youth programs (pretty ironic-given their father was a youth pastor prior to the military).

The only thing missing is our stuff and our car to help us complete the transition of making Korea our Home, at least for the next 22 months.

I'd love to hear from you! So be sure to leave a comment :)

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