4.27.2007

Korean Fruits

Another installment of Korean eats....

We have been able to try alot of new foods here in Korea and for the most part they are things you just never knew existed before. Even with my mom always bringing home the lastests, strangest fruit just to try we ran into a couple new fruits that they eat here in Korea.

This is a Korean melon and they sell them by the bucket from the backs of trucks all over the city. We bought one to try and it is quite bland compared to a canteloupe or honeydew. Not really sure what the appeal is but they alot of it. Must be healthy or something....

These are kumquats and they are kind of like a mini orange. They are about the size of a cherry tomato and you eat it whole; rind and all. It's tangy and eating the rind gives it more flavor. Quite good actually. I think they are actually a Japanese fruit but they eat them here too. It's fun to be able to try all these new things!

As for updates on the future.... I have been offered a position with one school in Ethiopia and have an interview with another one. Nolana has been in contact with a number of people and NGO's in Ethiopia in regards to nursing positions and there has been some response with possible opportunities, things we need to look more into before we can know for sure. But we are definitely focusing our energies on getting positions there for the next year. Hopefully the right doors will be opened and we both find something that fits us and that will be a great experience.

4.18.2007

Red Light, Green Light


Life is full of transitions. There are many doors to be opened and for every door opened there is another closed. I firmly believe that there is always an open door to be explored, it's just a matter of finding it.
For me, the door marked "Master's degree" has been temporarily closed. Meh, it only led to an ivory tower anyways. So that means Nolana and I are exploring a different door for the time being - Africa!
We are looking into the possibility of moving to Africa for a year. I have already sent my resume to a couple of schools in Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) and I am looking further into opportunities to teach English in East/Central Africa. Nolana is looking for opportunities to nurse, either with an aid organization, mission, or hospital. Hopefully we can find something that matches up. So if you know of any opportunities for either of us, let us know! We want to make the most of the time we have and have both wanted to go to Africa for some time. So why not now?
It's exciting to think we might be off on another adventure to experience all that another culture has to offer. People in Victoria - don't worry, we're coming home in between! Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we try and nail some things down in the next month or so.

4.14.2007

What you Do....

This weekend was jam packed and today (Sunday) we are just relaxing, talking to family back home, blogging and recuperating.
Friday night was a big birthday party for a couple of our friends and it was nice to go out and just chill with friends. Sometimes we get so little interaction with other people that it's weird to just go hang out with a big group of people.

Saturday we got up bright and early to go to Busan for the day. A bunch of us were going with our church group to go visit an orphanage there. It was really neat actually. It was a totally nice place and the kids were so happy and friendly. It was like a big family it seemed, all the kids calling the lady who ran it "Mom". We played basketball and soccer with the boys while the girls just hung out and played games.There were about 94 kids or so there but we only hung out with some of them, most of them age 6-13 or so. They loved hanging out with us and just loved the attention.I really wasn't sure what to expect but it was nothing like "Annie"! We're planning on going back once in May and once in June, I think with a bit more of a structured program.

After that we went back into downtown Busan and did some shopping in the big market there and had dinner with a few of us. The market really gets hopping after dark and I love the energy of wall to wall people, lights, vendors selling anything under the sun, the smells of food, and just hanging out with friends. Something so foreign to a place like Victoria... and even more so Regina!

Some great deals there and we'll likely make a trip back next Sat. evening just to get a few things and enjoy the crowd again.

On a side note, one of the things they sell are glasses and I decided to be so vain as to purchase a pair of non-prescriptive glasses. Just mixing it up a bit....

Only downfall was that Nolana got all nauseated on the way home and isn't feeling good (didn't that happen last time we went out?). But we're relaxing and getting ready for only 12 more weeks!

4.11.2007

Korean Pizza

In another installment of things you only see in Korea... pizza.
So you can get pizza anywhere in the world. But in Korea pizza is not really what we're used to back home. Exhibit 1.

Yes, those are potato wedges on the pizza. Here potato is a great topping. I have learned to at least accept it though the large wedges still throw me off.

Exhibit 2.

Sweet potato pizza is quite the delicacy. I still quite detest it on my pizza. All mushy and sweet... not what pizza is meant to be. Other toppings that are quite common here are canned corn, whole shrimp and crazy sauces. Even places like Pizza Hut here serve these.

We've found a place that does a decent pineapple/ham pizza and a bulgogi (beef) pizza with no corn or sweet potato to speak of. Except that Nolana says she kinda likes corn on her pizza now....

4.06.2007

Blissfully Ignorant

Koreans really do love the English language. They pay lots of money to educate all their children in English (hence why we have jobs) and more than that, English is the 'cool' language in Korea. Kids love to repeat the few lines they know and everyone buys shirts with English sayings on them.

And yet, they can't quite seem to get a real good grasp of the language. Living here in Korea we have gotten so used to the misspelled words and misuses of English. It's commonplace. Everyone who has lived in Korea has a bunch of stories of seeing shirts that were 100% innapropriate... and usually worn by 12 year olds. I would tell some of mine but my mother reads this blog.


Signs everywhere feature English that would shame the least educated of us. Here are a few to make you chuckle.


For those of you with large children....




In case you need to tell someone....

This is an ad from an English school...


... and another school...


Or you could send your kids here...Say what?

I think this means something else...

And finally, to make you just a little hungry...


We have seen so many that gave us a laugh and it's really too bad we don't have pictures of them. Most of the time we don't even laugh any more though, just chuckle and think, "Oh, those Koreans..."

4.02.2007

Cherry Blossoms

This weekend we decided to join the hoards of Koreans and go see the cherry blossoms in Jinhae. While it maybe wasn't what we expected it was pretty amazing to see.


We tried to go out Saturday to see them but ended up missing the only bus of the day by 15 min. and then getting caught in a massive thunder/rain storm. Biggest drops you've seen soaked us in seconds. We've actually had a couple thunder/lightning storms this past week and I really like them when you're inside and can jsut watch. Probably one of the few things I missed living in Victoria compared to the prairies. Anyways, Sunday morning we made it out to see the flowers.


Jinhae was a madhouse when we arrived. So many people all there to see the blossoms. The whole town was swathed in blossoms which was really neat. You can see the blossoms as well as the lines of people and traffic in these pictures.

We chose to wait in line for some time to go out to the naval academy. Seemed everyone was trying to get there so we figured there must be something really neat to see. Turned out we waited in line for pretty much nothing. Some parading motorbikes and this ship was pretty much all that was out there.It's one of Korea's famous turtle ships but nothing to warrant the mass crowds and waits. It's funny what Koreans flock to sometimes.

Then we headed back and wandered around town, walking streets lined with blossoms.

We just wandered for a while and took pictures and enjoyed all the people around. We had hoped maybe to get out of town into the forest or something like that to see the blossoms but we had wasted so much time at the naval academy that we had to stay in town. But we had alot of fun.We stopped back in Masan on the way back and since we were there we figured we might as well eat at this great Mexican restaurant we know there. We got back late and were so tired. It was really nice to get out and do some travelling again. Although, right now is yellow dust season (some crazy dust that floats over from China) and it's quite smoggy/dusty and because of that Nolana came down with some crazy hacking cough which is not much fun.

We're looking foward to using the nice weather to get out a bit more again and see some places before we take off home.