Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This picture has nothing to do with what I am blogging about here but I thought it was an interesting shot taken of some Daejeon buildings at night ... very nice indeed.

There is something rather interesting I've noticed during my time over here in Korea about the matter of waste and the disposal thereof.  Now ... Korea in general is a rather small peninsula there is only so much room on this bit of land for everything under the sun that we humans require to live and function in a somewhat proper manner.  And one of those issues is that of what we do with our waste.  When you touch down in the ROK (that's Republic of Korea, duh) you quickly become aware that they seem to recycle and reuse everything.  If you eat at a restaurant or some kind of quick meal establishment, you will see how there are at least 3 or 4 bins to place various objects in.  Once you figure out what is required of each bin you see that everything has it's place.  The paper goes here, the plastic lids there, the food waste over there, the paper cups go in there, and the liquid waste you dump into this little container.  I truly am impressed by this and was personally glad to see they do this in a way of saying that everyone can take a moment to separate your trash for means to recycle.  After all we only have so much land on this little bit of Earth.  

Then the baffling part begins ... often you'll see litter everywhere, in the streets, in your face, everywhere.  At night it has become common to see young men "passing" out flyers for local bars or clubs in the area.  But I'm liberal with the term "passing" here.  In truth they are taking a handful of flyers and dumping them on the streets and on cars parked near-by.  Picture a young guy just aimlessly walking and dumping flyers on the streets as he's walking along.  It's quite a sight to behold really.  I was quite shocked the first time I saw this but have since learned this is rather common.  The contrast is really striking and leaves one with the (?) hanging over your head.  

I have no clear and pointed thing to say at this point.  Simply my pondering of the strange ways that people live ... in one hand there is a great system in place for recycling and reusing and on the other hand just outside in the street there are young people just carelessly "passing" out flyers to anyone who would love to pick up some trash on the street and read about a random place of business.  Strange huh? 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

breaking through

This is a recent picture of me breaking two wooden boards during a Taekwondo test ... but don't look at my face it's quite scary to behold.  Plus I'm closing my eyes for some reason.  At this point I am a brown belt which is just one color away from black belt.  I've actually been learning some cool things but apparently you don't learn the really cool stuff until you get into the black belt phase of the training:  things like street fighting and knife fighting and other pummeling acts of violence.  I have to laugh at myself sometimes because I love it but I hate violence just for violence.  This becomes far more apparent when we spar with each other.  We gear up in pads and whatnot to protect our vitals and go at it.  Each time I've engaged in this type of training I always end up laughing or lightly hitting my opponent.  Perhaps it's the light atmosphere of the training or the equal mirth expressed by my opponent ... or maybe I just don't take it serious enough to want to genuinely hurt someone.  Either way it's still a lot of fun ... I supposed I've learned of myself through this that I really do abhor violence that is needless and would rather laugh than to inflict hurt on another.  Man I sound really soft right now ... I would like to say that in the given situation I could hold my own by way of fisticuffs but I have really never had to so something like that so how could I truly know at this point.  May I never have to use what I've learned ... this is what I want to get at.  But I do feel I would like to use my skills on my brother-in-law Chris Rattigan just because I feel it would be fun and give me some laughs.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I didn't forget about the Blog ...

no ... I didn't forget about my blogging and truly a lack their of.  I'm not trying to save any face here either, I've just been lazy about it.  I'm getting old ... all of 27 now.  This is a current picture of me and my friend Jin Soo on a hike with some friends from church.

Let's see what news ... what news ... so I'm staying for another year.  The powers that be determined I'm a valuable enough asset to keep and to give some nice stipulations on my contract as well.  I'll be back in the States for just under two weeks ... a very, very short time indeed considering I've missed so much with weddings and new additions to my family.  

It's spring time here in Korea and it is just fantastic.  The weather is great and with the occasional shower here and there the temperature and breeze is just right.  The cherry blossoms where beautiful during the early stages of the season.  I never realized how much I love the color of trees and flowers until all is stripped away during the winter months.  It's almost like I completely forgot what plant life looked like.  I think living in Florida really spoils it all considering it's always green there year-round.  

Within the last month or so I've gotten plugged into a young adults group at a large Presbyterian church across the street.  They do have an English ministry there but I wanted to check out the full scope of things and be submerged, at least somewhat, in a Korean cultural experience.  With the exception of the language and various expressions of their faith, much is the same as in the West.  Although here, church seems to be an all day event, you wake up in the morning, attend service, then at a later service serve in someway, then go to a small group, then after the small group have dinner with your small group ... and that's a pretty standard Sunday in many Korean Christian lives.  Me ... I want to get in and get out to some degree haha!  That just shows my seemingly Western standard of things as far as church goes.  But the people I've met there are fantastic individuals and the ones who speak English do what they can to help me muddle through the translation.  With all that being said I've met some really great friends there who don't seem to be just interested in speaking English or talking to a Western guy but who are genuinely interested in me as a person, which is of course great. 

Ok!  Hopefully I can write more soon!  I realize the last time I wrote was almost two months ago!  I'm a terrible blogger.  Peace to you!