Flower festival


About a week ago we had a faculty outing; we went to a temple nearby which was hosting a flower festival.

20121029-095030.jpg It was a very nice trail nearby this temple which we walk along for a little while. The whole area was very peaceful and very beautiful.

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20121029-095313.jpg At the temple they were serving tea made from the flowers. They were also selling several other products that were produced nearby.

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20121029-095737.jpg These are the festival flowers. The hillside was covered with them!

Ginkgo trees in the fall


It’s fall in Korea and all of the leaves are dropping. The ginkgo trees usually have very green leaves, but in the fall they turn into a golden yellow.

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20121027-233158.jpg When the leaves fall, it looks like the ground is covered with potato chips.

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20121027-233544.jpg The last two pictures of the stream just north of where I live. Either side is lined with ginkgo trees as you can see. It makes for a very nice fall picture.

Five months


I have now been in Korea for five months; soon I will have been in Korea longer than I was in China. This last month’s been pretty busy; School is in the middle of the semester, and I have lots of other things going on.

Good news, though! I finally got my rice maker, and it is a really nice one. It is a pressure cooker rice machine; the rice turns out really nice and not burnt.

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On a different note, I used to get lots of headaches when I was in University and high school. I was recently told to try using eucalyptus oil on the back of my neck and on my temples when I get a headache. I was a little bit skeptical at first, but I was happily surprised to find that my headaches were almost entirely gone within a few minutes after applying the oil.

It has been a great first five months in Korea, and I have seven more months until my contract expires. Most people know that I have no desire to leave Korea, and that I fully intend to re-sign for another year. Korea is full of wonderful places to visit, excellent food, and it is the home of some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Rice Harvesting Festival


I have been so busy lately between work and studying Korean that I haven’t had time to make regular posts! School has been busy since we are in the middle of the semester now, and my Korean studies have been accelerated because I want to take the beginner TOPIK test early next year.  I have been taking plenty of pictures though, so I have lots to share.

Today was the day that my school harvested the rice they planted a couple months ago! It was very interesting to watch the process of harvesting and processing the rice, and the students were having lots of fun too!

Lined up and waiting semi-patiently
Two of the processing machines.

On the left you see a de-husking machine, this removes the outer shell of the rice and reveals the white rice that we are used to seeing. On the right is a machine that is used to separate the husked rice from the rice plant itself.

Koreans usually eat medium grain rice.

Here is the rice that was grown by my students. This is medium grain rice I believe; the length of the rice is shorter than long grain rice.

Cutting the rice plant.

Here you see the rice plant being cut with a traditional style tool.  This is like a mini scythe and it is very sharp!

A closer view of this machine.

Students were given the chance to feel how heavy the rice plant is when it is being harvested.
Preparing rice for a soft rice cake.
The rice is pounded with a wet wooden hammer until it becomes very soft.

One of my favorite students!

It was interesting to see how rice is harvested and processed.  It was also great to see my students so happy!