Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Biking to Hakdong Beach

We have a buddy who bikes around here. It looked convenient, so we begun to investigate our options. A church friend offered to keep an eye out in the Samsung classifieds. We missed a few options and finally landed a 125cc Daleium Magma. It wasn't the scooter we imagined, but I think that we were actually blessed to get the bigger bike. Cruising around our island became a whole lot easier.Chels and I love being able to take our time now. We had been using the bus system which worked for the most part. It was rather difficult to figure out the bus schedule though. We can now stop and enjoy the scenery or explore some of the more remote twists and turns that the buses don't visit.
One of our favorite rides is to Hakdong beach. We are now teaching morning summer classes alongside our regular afternoon classes, so we have a nice long lunch break in which we make a break for the beach. The scenery along the way is complemented with rice paddies, small rural villages, and beautiful coastal overlooks.
A woman working in the rice paddies.

Cool island wood carving.

And the pebbles of Hakdong Beach. The beach is famous for its black pearl pebbles which make a delightful crackle as they tumble with the receding waves.

There was a lady working on her anchovies. She had all of the little fish laid out on a black cloth and was neatly drying them in the sun and warm breeze.
Chelsie and I strolled down the beach front, passing the fish shops and restaurants along the way.
We eventually made our way down to the beach and found a spot to eat our lunch. The pebbles when wet sport their many colors.
A shot of the beach from a rocky ledge on the end.
Here is a short video attempting to share the wonderful crackle of the pebbles being polished and rounded. Real life is always better. Come and see for yourself!

We are leaving on vacation to Bali, Indonesia for nine days. We are excited to see some tropical beaches, and go jungle hiking. Stay posted and keep us in your prayers as we travel.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fishing for Tasty Sea Creatures

It has been a few really rainy weeks since our last post. A huge motivation for our postings is being able to post some good pictures. Here is what a number of my latest pictures looked like.
Yep, the same shot on a not rainy day. Many friends and church family kept mentioning that Korea has a "rainy season". They weren't joking around. We we had straight rain and gusty wind for two weeks. We were pretty happy when it all let up.
Some church friends invited us to go fishing out in the ocean off the island. We made a quick stop at Shabbu Shabbu and then were on our way.

Shabbu Shabbu is one of our favorite restaurants in town. We posted a blog on it once before on June 26th. Chelsie is finishing up the tasty meal by stiring in the rice with the remainder of the soup broth.Mr.Yoo, the man in the purple, has some friends who are fishing guides. They were headed out to go spear fishing and had agreed to take us along.
There were many things through out the day that we never understood. The English translation was a bit weak, but it was still an adventure and a fun outing.
We left from this small village on the island. There is a large amount of small fishing vessels and fisherman who have nets or dive for shells for their livelihood.
Mr. Yoo hands off the harpoon like spear and the divers went overboard in search of fish.
While the divers were below we fished from the boat. It was rather entertaining. A couple times we snagged some old nets which were in the water, but we failed to snag any fish.
The divers caught a bunch of random shellfish, starfish, weird looking fish, and some sea cucumbers.
As soon as they had all the gear in the boat. One of the men grabbed a sea cucumber and his knife,...
and chopped up the strange sea creature on his flipper/cutting board. He threw the guts overboard, rinsed the pieces with some bottled water and dug in.
Mr. Yoo says, "MMM, Mashie soy yo." I did try one of the hunks of sea cucumber, which were supposedly good for your health, Chelsie passed. I didn't go back for seconds.
Back on land and a few nights later we hosted a Fiesta. Chelsie found some Ancho peppers in the market and so we threw a chili relleno party.
My job was to get the chilis roasted. Pliers, a camping grill, and the gas stove proved to be sufficient.
Chelsie learned to make rellenos from her Grandmother, Lucy. They are one of our favorite Mexican dishes. The evening was complete with good friends and good food.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Night Lights and More

Time does fly when you are having fun. It flys when you are not expecting it as well. Life has been pretty normal around here lately. We honestly are not too, busy but seem to find lots of things to do. We try not to get "busy" at least while we have the chance.

As the weather has improved we have made additional trips to the beach. It makes for such a relaxing weekend.

The city scape in the evenings can be quite eye catching. This shot is from our front porch.
Our small city buzzes busily until about 1:00am and then it is sleepy until 6:00.

The neon signs still strike us as fun and interesting. We can now read them phonetically but more often than not we still have no clue what they mean.
Gohyeon Harbor
One of the shipyards is right around the bend. At night the lights are beautiful. The combination of colors and the reflection create a painting. (Right to Left: golf driving range, Gohyeon Dinner Cruise, bridge, restaurants, apartments)
Our west facing porch gives us the opportunity to watch the moon settle into the mountains above the city scape.
Although this is not the church we attend, it is a common site around town and a cool reminder that we are surrounded by believers even in another part of the world.
This is our Sunday afternoon church service. We feel really blessed to have connected with a church in the area which has a small English service. The congregation is a unique blend of individuals from many countries and many walks of life. Chelsie and I have become involved in the praise and worship portion of the service. I sing (ha ha), and she plays the piano.
Since the church is very large and has multiple services they offer lunch to all those who are hungry. Our service begins at 1:00 and so we grab a bite to eat at the church cafeteria every Sunday. It gives us a chance to meet other church members as well as try out some staple foods. For cafeteria cooking we are impressed.
The church is very warm and welcoming. They hold a number of activities and events which we do our best to attend. Many of the Korean members have made themselves available when we needed help or a translator.
God has really blessed us being here. It is our prayer that we are able to bless others by being here as well.
Chelsie has been busy in the kitchen as usual. She made a mean broccoli salad this week. We have really been enjoying the fresh tomatoes which appeared at the market a few weeks ago. Chels gets such a kick out of trying new and interesting recipes. I get a kick out of trying them as well. We have had some good "experiments" lately.I had some delicious tuna wraps.
I finished my last big bamboo project this week. It was a end table for our couch.

The most difficult part is getting all the joints to fit together.I designed it so it dissembles so I may be able to take it home when we leave. Well see!??
A coconut with seashells and the tea light candle holder add a nice touch.
Here is another humorous, at least we thought, video from ECC. The kiddos are pretty funny on a regular basis. I wish I could catch it on film more often.