Warm weather and sweet songs

As February draws to a close we have been blessed with some wonderfully warm weather.  We are starting to notice a change in the city already.  More people outside, tables being setup outside, and an overall happier mood are some things we have noticed.  We’ve been able to hang out outside with the kids at lunch break, and of course, Lane took the frisbee out.  We also got to choose and teach a song to one team this week.  Lane and I both chose Beatles songs (surprised?)  Then we taught them everyday for 45min.  Today was the performance/graduation and their parents came to watch.  It was a lot of pressure, but also a nice change from the usual.  Enjoy the photos and videos! 🙂

come on Lane...your like 3 times his size you big bully!

Come on Lane...you're like 3 times his size you big bully!

They want that Frisbee soooo bad!

Rock Paper scissors solves everything...even who gets the frisbee.



This past weekend Lane and I went to a concert called Kimchibilly.  Kimchi being the most eaten food in Korea, and billy referring to Rockabilly music.    Some of us ladies decided to dress up for the occasion with Rockabilly style hair, makeup and clothes.  We went with Victoria, Bridgett, Caroline, Jenna, and Casey, and our friend Scott was up from Busan for training and was able to join us.  Great group of folks and great music.

We got to see some awesome Korean and Japanese bands.  The concert started at 5:30 and didn’t finish until after 11pm.  There was a lot of dancing and some great hair.  We heard every thing from the Korean Beatles/Monkeys (my favorite), to Ska (sung in Korean with a Jamaican accent), to metal (which some of us chose to opt out of).  There was also some great Rockabilly, of course.

The concert was in Hongdae which, we found out, is quite the spot for night life.  It’s the area with a lot of dance clubs, live music, and art.  So naturally, it’s where all the young Koreans hang out on a Saturday night.  We learned this when trying to get on the subway at 11 (everyone trying to get home before the subways shut down at 11:30/12).  The mass of people moving slowly down the stairs was quite an experience and worthy of a photo.

all dressed up

the korean beatles. my favorite!

ska band...crazy!

The Soul of Liberty. A fun Japanese band. This woman rocked that bass.


more dancing


The headliners "The Rock Tigers" wow, they were great. Unfortunately I was pretty tired by this point and I just stared in awe.

crowded subway entrance

Luner New Year

Here in Korea, and many Asian countries, the Lunar calendar was the traditional one followed by the people.  Now most people follow the solar calendar that the western countries use and celebrate New Years on Jan. 1.  However, their calendars also show the lunar date and Lunar New Year is a big celebration for the nation.  Traditionally people travel back to their hometowns and visit family.  Some where the Hanbok and perform ceremonial rites paying respect to their ancestors.  They usually make special food and play games and talk with their family throughout the holiday.  They also give gifts.  A fairly recent tradition is the giving of  gift sets to employees (and friends and family).  These gift sets come in all shapes and sizes and we see them everywhere.  SEV employees received a hair- loss prevention shampoo gift set.   But, they didn’t have enough of those , so 4 volunteers received a SPAM gift set.  Apparently the spam gift set is normal and a good gift here.  We actually eat spam alot here, mostly in the cafeteria.  It’s actually pretty good.  We’ve heard that the spam here is made of better meat than what we use to make spam in the U.S.  But, I dunno.  There is also a lot going on at the palaces, gates and folk villages for lunar New Year.  Lane and I went with some friends to the Namsan Hanok Folk village on New Years day and had a great time…even though it was freezing.  Here are some photos.

Kara, with her lovely SPAM gift pack...so much spam, so little time.

Lane, Randy, and August on the subway on the way there.

On a side note, Randy is a Kaufman and his mother attended Goshen College.  He works with us at SEV.  Random!

the gate on the way into the village. Lots of people.

Oh the joy!

So did he...

That's me...I had to.

The parade enters right as we do...LUCKY!

These guys beet their drums and used their heads to expertly wave ribbons in the air at the same time.

They performed for a long time. It must have been tiring!

fun jumping teeter totter

We got to watch this woman make Makoli (It's a kind of rice wine) we've had it in restaurants, but this tasted very different. Then, because we are foreign, we got on the news drinking and talking about the makoli.

too tall

kimchi pots. Kimchi is fermented spicey cabbage. Similar to saukraute, but spicey...people have refrigerators here for the sole purpose of storing kimchi. Korea's national food.

wishes for the new year.

yep, we did. and that's the kite I made in that bag. 🙂 and yes, I own large earmuffs.

Lane, Randy, and August walking around the large time capsule at the village.