Friday, May 2, 2014

End of the Road in Tofino: Celebrating Clayoquot Sound Victory (in progress)

Our earth week vacation destination was the site of celebration: a successful negotiation to stop the logging of ancient forest in Clayoquot Sound took place twenty years ago. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, it's supposed to be protected, but we found that activism is necessary again today.

Check out Clayoquot Sound and subsequent links.

Although we had visited Tofino a few years ago during the fall for much needed rest and relaxation, we'd been inspired to find out more about the activism there after the moving installation, Clayoquot Protest 1993 by Ian Wallace at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2012-2013 (scroll down)

Nanaimo: Mon Petit Choux Cafe & Bakery --great French pastries including North American sized croissants (larger) and some interesting specialites. We were there Easter Monday, and there were coconut bird nest macaroons with tiny pale blue green marzipan eggs. Very arty.

Never tire of the Pacific Ocean and its seas.

Travel to Gwangju 2012

our opening
new friends

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Farewell to Seoul: fireworks and fast food

On our last day in Seoul, we visited the National Museum to view the greatest treasures of Korea. The museum is massive, accommodating thousands of visitors and featuring multiple buildings, each with different cultural collections. Here is the entrance with a glass atrium for welcoming and orienting visitors to other parts of the complex.
This large pagoda was disassembled and restored within the multistoried historical hall. Visitors can view it from different floors and see details that were not originally accessible in situ.
This musuem is beautiful with plenty of resting places so people are really encouraged to contemplate the art and the history. Here is another view of the galleries in the historical building. There are sculptures, architectural details and paintings, some intimate portraits and other massive temple works
There are many amazing works of Silla and other ancient societies not in Gyeongju, along with more modern works which we didn't even see. This pillar is representative of many temple monumemts, featuring the turtle pedestal and a dragon capital. These were freestanding, left in memory of important community individuals.
As we left, we heard loud booming and found a fireworks display taking place over the Han River. What a finish to our trip! These were beautiful and some skyrockets were unlike any I had ever seen.

We arrived at Incheon International Airport early and found our plane home was late. Exploring the airport, we found a food court with Korean favorites and this seeming satirical poster advising travelers about American food. We stuck with bibimbap.
Also in the airport shopping mall, there was a procession of actors in Chosun dynasty costumes to represent the crown prince, his consort and entourage. Like Disneyland or Universal Studios, the actors posed so visitors could take their pictures. Looks like our favorite dramas, eh?

  Here in Incheon airport is a bookstore, craft making space and shop. While waiting for your air transportation connection, you can learn about Korean craft approaches by doing. We were impressed by the practical knowledge people had of art and art tradtions world wide and especially about Korean traditions before departure home.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Seoul Rocks

As I post, a giant free concert is taking place in Seoul Plaza, 27 floors below our room overlooking the construction of the new city hall. Our hotel is now part of the light show for the concert. The new city hall here is under construction, and we have heard construction everywhere we've traveled here. Even the hotel is remodeling. We had a very special day here, full of accomplishment with relative ease. A visit to the national Tourist Office helped us locate some priorities, including a place to buy maps, information about Han river cruises, where palaces are and how to get to the subway. The young man who assisted us spoke English very well, both understanding and accent, and was extremely helpful, even offering his subway pass. I acquired some topographic maps, at Kyopo Bookstore in the subway level (like a large University Bookstore), including one of Daegu area and another of the south coast, including Tongyong and Namhae. In addition, I got a couple of maps of mountains, one of Jirisan (Mt. Jiri) and another Tyvek map of several mountains including Seoraksan. I hope I can work on them in ways that do justice to the geology of Korea. It's very odd to me that there is endless granite for building, in the palaces and temples, in the great etched markers that appear everywhere, but there is no apparent volcanism, except on Jeju Island, no earthquakes. There is definitely sedimentary rock here, as evident from the dinosaur footprint fossils we saw in Goseng, but we understand so little about geology that we can't grasp the presence of granite, an igneous rock.
Second, we ate a lunch of temple food. This was a hope, but I wasn't following it actively today. After the bookstore, we obtained subway passes and put extra money on them (pretty much the same process as in any city with mass transit and computerized ticketing, except the passes are purchased in convenience stores, another way Korea is like Italy). We went to Insa-dong and while looking for a tofu reataurant recommended by the tourist information staffer, we found a sign, "Sanchon, Temple Cooking." I had read about and seen on KBS this cuisine, based on wild and simply cultivated foods, vegetarian, and hoped to try it. This is a famous temple food restaurant, one which was reviewed even by the New York Times. For 22K won (about $22) each, we dined well, and the food was beautifully presented. Check out Sanchon on line: there is some sense of its aesthetic and the devotion which goes into all they do. It was cool in the restaurant; so we took our time in the heat of the day.
Strolling past the shops, we headed toward Changdeokgung (palace), site of many dramas we watch. Jim found this image of Brahms at a pub along the way. The palace is beautiful and quite impressive: easy to imagine the scholars of (probably) the Sarim faction lining up before the towering throne hall [image at top] to protest some government action. We lingered near the Crown Prince's study, a building up on columns, similar to the Confusian academy study hall we had seen near Daegu. There was an apricot tree and we rested in its shade.
Returning to Insadong, I purchased a box of brushes for a certain young scholar we know, and, at Myung Sin Dang, had a seal made while we waited, in the cool shop. A number of famous visitors have found their way here, and the artist is a very skilled designer: she wrote my name in Korean (as my teacher had) and designed and carved the seal which has a rabbit carved on top. I gave her my card and she seemed pleased. I like it very much, and hope it will grace the new map pieces I make. I saw apricots in the street for sale, and taking it positively since its tree had provided shade, purchased them from a woman more intent on the video drama on her phone than on fruit sales. She didn't tell me the name but showed me the heroine. I smiled and indicated I like dramas too.
It is very hot here. We really ducked the heat in the south coast, with temperatures overnight hovering around 20C, and with the rain and breezes. When we returned to Daegu Thursday, it was 31C and it's not quite that hot in Seoul, but it is exhausting because it is dryer, actually, than that wet weather can be. This morning, I finally had enough coffee at breakfast and was able to dry my hair sufficiently to have the first not bad hair day since I arrived. We greatly enjoyed the KTX between Daegu and Seoul, and hope the President can get us started on high speed rail asap, for it is very convenient to have it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tongyong and Goseong: Admiral Yi and Mountains in the Sea

This post will be edited later and pictures will be added.
Oh Jeong Sook who studied in Indiana at South Bend Museum of art school and the University of South Bend is our host for four nights, beginning June 26 evening. She has a small American style house she had built adjacent to her home and above her ceramics studio (gas and electric kilns!) overlooking a small harbor in the south sea. Despite the left over winds and drizzle of Maeuri which has caused so much flooding in China, it is peaceful and quiet here. We sleep in a room on the main floor with beautiful wood cases to display her work, compact fluorescent lighting, and I’m writing from the loft which is a handsome tea room and display area for her ceramics. We arrived and she served us tea; then we went to the grocery store in Goseong and got a quick tour of the local scene: spa and good dining are in the area. Like everywhere else, there are vegetable gardens, but apparently in nearby Geoje there are some stunning Mediterranean inspired landscapes including some fantastic topiary work. Even if the storm prevents us getting on a boat, we should be able to enjoy the rocky island coast environment for there are numerous bridges to everywhere.

We went to the grocery store, Top Mart, which is a smallish supermarket, and I learned the long eel like fish in the markets are from Jeju. Here is the way the meat counter was arranged. We bought fruit and vegetables, organic eggs and makkoli, the rice brewed drink popular here. The three of us shared the makkoli, some tomatoes and almonds as an evening snack, and we slept very well.

Bulguksa, the big temple complex of ancient Shilla near Gyeongju was very impressive. Only a small portion remains of its one multi-acred grounds and buildings. We didn’t make it to Seokguram, and I’m sorry for it is the main attraction. However, the rain and Jim’s infirmity on Saturday made hiking there (3 km) impossible with our schedule. It will have to wait another time. The guardians at Bulguksa are also impressive and the spacious couryards indicate a grace not found at the other temples we’ve encountered. Hardly anyone was there the (Sun)day we went, probably because of the rain. We were drenched, and left to go to Tongyeong after a Chinese lunch near where we snacked with our art friends earlier in the week.

Tongyeong is a moderately sized city with the distinction of large fishing industry and its historical link to Yi Soonshin, the brilliant naval commander of the Imjin War in the late 16th century. We had seen a lengthy drama, but had previously learned about him in reading Korean history. In the past 150 or so years, he has symbolized national enthusiasm for defense: now many sculptures dot the south coast where he was most active. For years Japanese adventurers had raided the south coast, especially for food (the area is a cornucopia of rice and vegetables as well as fish) and ceramics, not taking only the products, but the makers of the craft as well in order to establish their own workshops. Art historians have told me that what makes Japanese ceramics special is the technology and traditions of Korea which they inherited. So here in Yi Soonshin Park, with its beautifully terraced gardens is a massive sculpture of the Admiral overlooking the harbor in Tongyeong. (Hint: it’s three times the size of Leif Ericson in Ballard)

Also in downtown Tongyeong are two recently build replicas of the kind of ships Admiral Yi built and used in the Imjin war. One is the kind of Korean warship, equipped with large cannon and numerous oars for manueverability. The other is the famous “Turtle Ship” or Geobuksan, which is a heavily modified warship for offensive strategies. Its top deck is not actually a deck, but a metal shield with spikes to repel both fire and boarding attacks. The massive dragon like head is meant to intimidate and originally cannon shot came from it, greatly intimidating the enemy. Below decks were oars and stern specially designed for great manuevers, and each size had state of the art cannon, much larger than enemy cannon. We could tour the turtle ship and there were child sized uniforms for kids to try on, replicas of the officers’ clothing as well as interpretive signs. We searched for lunch among the numerous kim bap and doughnut shops, finally settling on a side street and seafood soup which was packed with clams and mussels, delicious. then we drove out to Geoje in search of gardens and the Haegeumgang, a beautiful scenic drive.

Exhausted from all these activities, we spent Tuesday recuperating, Alice sleeoing most of the day, painting, going to the bath house with Jung Sook and enjoying a fine supper at an unnamed restaurant which Jung Sook had recommended. It was very relaxing and restorative; again we slept well. Today we explored Goseng with Jung Sook, taking in the dinosaur expo where real Seismosaurus tracks, along with other fossilized impressions were excavated and removed during road construction. There was a frightening (to Alice) film in 3-D with sensuround, including puffs of air and a very serious young interpreter of both dinosaur information and Yi Shinsoon, who also commemorated here for another important battle. There is a shrine with his portrait, this massive helmut, another Geobuksan. Jung Sook’s friend, the director of the center, very courteously arranged the tour and guide for us. Then we drove around Namhae and to German town. Namhae is very beautiful and the islands that dot the bays and inlets are like mountains in the sea. This is a beautiful and charming area.

We ended the day with a fabulous dinner prepared by Jung Sook’s friend, an artist currently working in interior design living with her husband, who is self-taught in English (impressively so) and her young son. They gathered a group of friends who were also working on their English; so we chatted aimably as we dined on the Jeju fish (tail fish it is called, and it is excellent, prepared with mild red pepper sauce and potatoes), two jun: mushroom and shrimp with squid, rice with beans, pork, kimchee (also very delicious). It was also not too salty, for which I was thankful. We sipped some fruit liquor from North Korea and another brew (very expensive, said our host) probably 80 proof with ginseng, also tasty with dinner, then enjoyed almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and dried persimmon with Chinese tea after dinner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Daegu Art Museum, farewell, automobile excursion

Daegu Art Museum is newly opened on May 26 of this year: many of our hosts had not visited it yet, but Kim Yeonguk had attended the opening. We learned she had studied with Park Sa__ in Seoul. I love his work that was in the museum, and, interestingly, one of his Ecriture series is in the Hyundai hotel in which we are staying (below). This opening exhibition featured mostly Korean minimalist artists. There is a special gallery for work involving the natural world and one wall is really a massive window to the landscape. Richard Long's work, employing stones collected in Korea was exhibited in this gallery during our visit. On the edge of town, near the sports stadium, it sits in foothills, surprising since building and farming seem to take place in the river plains, and the mountains are full of trees. Madeleine had remarked on this phenomena and it's difficult to overlook. The art museum is a beautiful building with polished granite ( the dominant stone in Korea) and glass and metal reflecting some traditional Korean building iconography.
Farewell to Ryu Seesook and Kim Yeonguk. Dynamos of organization and gracious hospitality, they drove us everywhere or arranged for drivers. Seesook helped me de-install Una Kim's work, and served us a wonderful last lunch with the artists from Russia. Kim Yeonguk arranged for us to stay in the Hyundai Hotel (luxury resort) at Bomun Lake at a wonderful price with all comforts. I am writing from the 10th floor in a spacious room with decent wifi and large bath, overlooking a glass pyramid.
Seesook has arranged a stay for us near Tongyeong along the south coast.

Jim and I got up early, took a taxi to Dongdaegu train station (the KTX high speed train runs through this station) to get a rented car. Instead of directing us to Avis or Hertz, Korail now has its own car rental and at a rate ($65/day for midsize with navigation and insurance) much more favorable than what we saw in guidebooks (of course gasoline is more expensive here, but we don't have as far to drive to see things). Our plan is to drive to Gyeongju and Tongyeong and any place we want along the south coast, in search of Admiral Yi Soonshin. We are driving a Hyundai Avante, sporty with ok mileage and navigation in Korean only. I'm looking at maps in English and Korean (most tourist maps are printed in at least those two languages) to determine the Hangul version of where we want to go: then we can read the signs: I found Kyungbook University on the nav system this way. The nav systems here are characteristic of much 21st Century Korean design: beautiful and easy to understand visually, using pastels and white instead of bright colors and black as we do in the US. Some in taxis have three dimensions, making me feel I'm in Grand Theft Auto or Godzilla Attacks Seattle. The one in our car is elegant and a dotted blue line always directs the destination as the crow flies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Great evening in Gwangju

Our visit to Gwangju began with a 3 + hour bus ride through the mountains. There were a number of (highway? or high speed train) construction zones which restricted lane access: Madeline had deplored the raucus tendency of the drivers to weave and pass in two lane areas, but I think I would have passed trucks in the same areas and being in the bus exaggerated the drama of what was rather ordinary mountain driving to me. While there is building going on everywhere, it is interesting that so much precious farming land is being sacrificed to massive road projects. Jim and I had hoped to find out about some of the progressive tendencies in Gwangju, but we were in for pleasant surprises.
The exhibition was hosted at the Gwangju Branch of the Korean Fine Arts Association Gallery. This organization recently elected the first woman to be its president or chairman, Jung Soon Yi. We met her and her daughter, Kay An, a ceramacist who’d studied in London and whose work was represented in the exhibition by some very fine porcelain. She spoke with us at length and translated for us. Jung Soon Yi welcomed us formally in the exhibition and said she was going to do her utmost to promote women artists in Gwangju. We were the recipients of her hospitality at the hotel for both room and breakfast. There was also Lee Jung Yong, Dean of Fine Arts at Honam University in Gwangju. He spoke about the importance of women artists in creating resolution to the conflicted poltical situation and finding a path to peace. There is a delicious consciousness of the context in which artists work here in Gwangju.
Artists were friendly and serious artworkers. I spoke with a couple of artists, including Byung Kyung Sup, whose work includes “dots” referring to stitchery. I like this work and I appreciate her seriousness. Also we spoke with Kee Young Sook, whose son, Han translated for the speakers and helped us understand as we walked through town. Young Sook was very helpful and her work is very flat and poster-like: I like it. Han had attended De Pauw University in Chicago, studying art and art history. The young people are amazing.

When we arrived in Gwanjgu, we were met by several association members, including Ko Jeong-hui, who had hosted Madeline over 10 years ago, and was grieved to learn of her passing. We chatted with her at an auto repair shop’s office room while waiting for the air conditioning repair of Lee Hye-kyung’s car: It was very hot, hotter than the weather had been, and vital we have a cool car since we were 7 jammed into an SUV. Service was available, fast and efficient Jim found a brochure in the shop of the Chairman car, whch we have seen around and about. This is the top of the line, but of which car company we still don’t know--the brochure, which emphasized the grandiose and CEO quality of the name, seemed to avoid reference to the maker, only the model. Han told us it was made by one of the big Korean manufacturers, but didn’t know which. It is a paean to conspicuous luxury and the Horatio Alger sense of upward mobility which pervades some aspects of life here.

When I get near a scanner, I’ll post the card images of Noh Jung-Suk who works in conceptual ways: installation of books, changes color, the spiral is a motif from ancient petroglyphs, and the book form is the residue of their disappearance in the digital age. Her work is clever and was exhibited in Gwangju City Museum, in 2006, which we didn’t see, but which is an active venue. Gwangju is also building a huge arts complex to include performing arts: it was near the “arts street” area where there were art supply shops, galleries and antique dealers (latter minimal). Also beautifully made and graphically exciting is the embossed recycled paper relief sculpture and engraved work of Ryu Hyn Ja. Artists I didn’t meet but whose work I like include Moon In-joung (woodcut), Oh Hye-kyung (fiber), Cho Eun-gyeung (cast paper).

We ate a great bibimbap dinner (my favorite) nearby. Gwangju is said (by its inhabitants) to be the best in Korea for food. It certainly could be called, at least in a couple of ways, the Bologna of Korea respecting food and politics. We met Deok Jim Cho, a journalist (!) with Moodeungilbo, a Gwangju newspaper and chatted with her a great deal. I got an earful and I’m so thankful. She shared much about recent history and issues in Gwangju, pointing out the construction mentioned above, and joined the group at a music cafe, the name of which translates to “Rich with Snow, or a lot of snow,” a poetic title. It is owned by a famous Gwangju musician, Jung Yong Joo, who performed for us and we have his cd. He and another singer performed passionate songs about Korea, its land and their love of democracy. Some were ballads, some more traditional, some original and some decidedly up tempo. The place really rocked, and two of the Russian artists danced on the bar top, later joined by the exuberant Jung Yong Joo, who ended up shirtless; everybody was stomping and shouting. Jim learned about drinking “the bomb” a concoction of beer and soju (tamer than it sounds due to the glass size and amount of libation involved; Soju’s alcohol content is like fortified wine, and lower than typical distilled spirits).

The amazing Dr. Park Nam Hee wasn’t done for the night, locating a karaoke bar a block away for us to entertain ourselves in for the rest of the evening. Anna and Channa, our Moscow friends, rendered the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction and an ABBA song with great spirit, but the stars were Dr. Park and Lee Hye-kyung who were very spirited with their Korean pop songs, done with great style.

Next morning, we awoke to breakfast in the dining room with this beautiful view of the city. The hotel, like many here in Korea, maintains an active wedding business and all of the meat is carefully sourced in prominent posters. One of the issues in Korea with the fair trade agreement with US is the access to Korean markets of US industrially produced beef, which truly is a waste of an animal’s life with all the antibiotics, hormones and dangerous feed. People are healthy here eating safer meat in smaller amounts. I don’t want to eat it; it’s unpopular in Europe: why should Koreans have to eat it? We also read about efforts to form a joint North-South Korean youth orchestra under the direction of famed conductor Charles Dutoit, as a cultural bridge.

We met with artists again and headed off to The memorial to the May 18 Democratic Uprising. This cemetary and complex is an education center “for democracy, liberty and justice,” about 14 acres in Unjeong-dong, Buk-gu (North district) of Gwangju. The memorial tower and photographic memorial house involve ritual and art meant to inspire strong feelings surrounding the massacre and repression during the uprising in 1980. There are also films and learning opportunties for children. It is worth visiting and returning to.

Off we went to the garden of a 16th C courtier who retired to the area and built his home and garden there. He had been the tutor to the King’s children and was a student/follower of Jo Jung An, who was not a character but a presence in Dae Jang Geum. Fans will remember that when the heroine is sentenced to slavery in Jeju, the incident provides political cover for the goal of eliminating Jo. The gardener’s after his teacher’s death, sought refuge in the garden, and it is a thoughtful, splendid environment. We toured with a poet who explained, in English, the garden and its Confuscian structures. There is much to learn here.
We enjoyed a beautiful and artful lunch at the garden and gallery of a photographer and his wife, a singer, who runs a terrific "fusion" contemporary restaurant adjacent the gallery, via the poet who introduced them. We were allowed to take the bamboo cups in which the rice was cooked. SeeSook said that is her favorite, and I'm afraid it was mine, too, but the initial soup with crunchy rice, mussels and vegetables was excellent. (I had two helpings.)

Finally, we stopped at Hainsa, the famous temple complex with the Tripitaka, carved wooden printing blocks containing Buddhist scriptures. We actually could peek in to see them, and I have a souvenir of printing from it. Quite a climb and much confusion, but Ryu SeeSook and other Daegu women figured out all our transport woes like magic! I have never met such awesome administrators on their home turf.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pohang, Kyungpoo and a song fest

We drove to Geongju yesterday and briefly toured the museum here: Jim and I plan to return; so I’ll cover it later. Having not eaten breakfast, and with the ride I was rather dehydrated and car sick, unable to access my meds since we rode with Younguk who’d left to deliver the art to the gallery. I got some juice and rallied, but still feel somewhat off the next day. We ate at a tourists’ buffet in Gyeongju with this classical Joseon roof (coated in neon for night no doubt). This included vegetables, algae, red rice (like brown) and fruit, for It is beautiful and cooler here than in Daegu; rain is expected later in the week. We were also surprised to find spaghetti and marinara sauce, as well as Chinese and Japanese dishes.

I’m learning a bit about driving behaviors: people talk about crazy drivers here, but I think these may manifest in large cities such as Seoul and Busan: while there are some aggressive or quirky drivers, it is nothing compared to the ineptness of those on the East US coast, nor the hostility and speeding aggression of San Francisco Bay Area drivers. There is a kind of flow, and people assert themselves or wait. U turns are essential because of road layout and have their own rules (don’t do them in the middle of the intersection but before). Sometimes there are horns, but not with the frequency of NYC. Sometimes there is a lot of traffic, especially at rush hour. However, this must come in waves, since many people work long hours and appear to be done at different times. We saw auto repair shops open at 10 pm at night. Daegu definitely does not roll up the sidewalks early. Highways have tolls and frontage areas to access gas and snacks, light shopping. Ok, it's not UK, with everything tightly orderly. However, Korean roads and cars are the same orientation as in US. We'll see how I do when I drive.

The nav system in Yeonguk’s car has, like everything we’ve encountered in Korea, elegant and very understandable design. I hope versions for rental cars come in English because the one she had is both sophisticated and easy to understand. I would be hard pressed to get through her destination menu in Korean: there were many menus and choices. Jim says the voice of the narrator sounds almost conspiratorial, so smooth, almost a whisper, but very clear enunciation.

Although we stayed at the University guest house at in Daegu, there is another here on the coast where many of the women in Dr. Park’s circle had stayed during their student days. It is surrounded by small fields tended by hand, and the farmers were coming to work before 6am this morning. Most appear to be elders. They are growing a variety of sweet corn, not available as street food (which we were informed is usually from China), but is very specially appealing to people here. Also appearing is a range of vegetables such as lettuce, onions, peppers (long and not hot), eggplant and of course tomatoes which grow well in this hot, moist climate. Tomatoes appear to be very popular: cherry tomatoes appear at every table, and at our favorite student cafe near the gallery, a blend of ice and fruit choices is banana or tomato. These tomatoes are flavorful without being sweet and are vine ripened without being watery. The produce we’ve had here has been consistently high quality and extremely fresh. Here’s a small dog we encountered: this kind of little white dog seems popular, our having seen several specimens in these suburban settings, and in dramas.

We stopped at Homigot, on the "East Sea", between Korea and Japan, where these large hand sculptures (about 10 years old) and some tourist activities such as the lighthouse museum draw weekend crowds with music and children’s activities. There are numerous lighthouses along this coast, not massive, but maintained, not seeming in use at present. In contrast to the muddy, shallow waters on the west side of Korea, the water here is deep--the Pacific Ocean. A large shipping channel was apparent from the large number of cargo ships passing by, and fishing boats, small jetties in every town, showed .

Pohang is an industrial city, famous to us before we came here because of the major iron and steel factories, seen here along the river. Younguk was a little cynical at the the new coat of green paint on a prominent part of the Posco factory asserting its commitment to the environment. Posco dominates the city, making it almost a company town. However, our dinner included locally caught octopus (muno) provided by Dr. Park’s friends who are managers of the industry here. We enjoyed Korean berry wine and Russian vodka (seemingly omnipresent as the Russian women are not charged for baggage weight nor size) as well as beer, and we're getting the hang of pouring for others (two handed is the polite way), instead of just passing the liquor. We traded songs, and Dr. Park’s student, Mr. Park, included a protest song, very beautifully sung. Dr. Park and Younguk have lovely voices and sang a couple of pop songs with gestural routines as well. Jim wouldn’t sing his own song, despite enthusiastic calls when it was evident we could sing. (“Where have all the flowers gone” and “Over the Rainbow”--were we too sad?) Dr. Park queried about our groups meeting again: we agreed to try in three years, all three groups, and the Russian women promised to respond within the month about whether they would be able to host such a gathering in Moscow. I wish we had resources for this in Seattle.

Here's a view of a street we could take to the beach from Kyungpook University's Learning Center where we stayed.

In the morning, we stopped at an educational enhancement training center where young teens come to learn traditional character building and team building activities. I think some of the reasons Dr. Park is so effective an organizer include her strong community contacts and her approach to team building as an educator. We got to shoot arrows, and after a couple of quivers, I hit the target! Here's Jim at it.

Today we saw the Tomb of the Heavenly Horse in Gyeongju and understood better because we'd seen the artifacts the previous day in the National Museum in the city. The tombs are park-like and the area is filled with trees. Maintenance crews were cutting the grasses on the tumulae. It was really quite pleasant. Some good information can be found on

We also visited Gallery ROW, where the second exhibition is taking place. Unfortunately, we had little time to examine it, but I have a great card from the exhibition, featuring my work, and my favorite work in the gallery storage was the owner's--without me knowing until I was ready to leave. There were numerous art supply and framing shops as well as galleries in this area: we hope to return this weekend and explore more.

Our hosts are feeding us well and we are enjoying such thoughtful and considerate care. Everyone we have met attempts to help or offer advice and we are getting amazing support from frequent fruit access to hotel bargaining on our behalf. We truly feel special.