KOREA—ANOTHER DAY

Well, we finished up our school visit yesterday, and were pleased to be able to award the school some good ratings and fairly mild Required Actions. It remains for me to complete the written report during the next couple of weeks, working around our second school’s evaluative visit.

The weather has turned great, and there is a nearby hillside blanketed with brilliant hues of pink and lavender; I need to get a picture of it. I continue to be curious about the various species of trees that are unfamiliar to me, particularly a type that grows into a perfect isosceles triangle, reaching about 100 ft. toward the sky. Groups of them almost appear to have been trimmed, but the shape is a natural one. Another ubiquitous species is the gingko, the most ancient of trees and having parallel venation in the leaves, and utilize a motile sperm for fertilization. I played a few holes of golf this afternoon, and in the middle of the course is a gingko dating back to 1280 A.D., a huge specimen surrounded by a protective barrier that hid one of my errant shots.

My partner Phil and I indulged in one of my favorite pastimes, helping out the local economy. The Koreans have lot more neat souvenirs than I saw in Japan last month, and I still have a few more to buy. The highlight will be the custom-made cashmere coat I ordered—-it was so cheap that I had to buy it! It will be ready on Thursday. I also bought a traditional Peyton Manning Denver Bronco Reebok jersey. I’m thinking of getting a box and mailing all this stuff inexpensively through the military post office on the base. They seem particularly adept at ceramics, pottery, a variety of figurines, mother of pearl boxes, and the use of jade for lots of different things. It occurred to me how little we know about Korea compared to our knowledge of Japan, and I now want to know a lot more. The people appear fun-loving, lots of laughter, laid back atmosphere. Now I am getting a glimmer of understanding why the Korean lady golfers are so successful on the LPGA tour.

Tomorrow, Saturday, we made it onto the tour of the DMZ, a 12 hour trip. Sunday, the high school principal and his wife are taking us on a tour of Seoul, somehow I think there may be a gift shop or two in those areas, so I had best have my credit card handy! I’m looking forward more to seeing the countryside than our two destinations; as I’ve mentioned before, cities seem to have a lot in common and it’s only when you get to their very special features that they are different—shopping bazaars, towers looming over the town, museums.

Always Be Happy                                 TOur Youth…Always

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