a little family visit: blue skies and nightlife

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Today was a national holiday, Buddha’s birthday. We spent the morning at Mugaksa, a temple on a mountain in the middle of downtown. We hiked around, looked at all of the 5.18 memorial monuments, hiked some trails, and walked around the temple grounds.

After the temple, we went to a familiar Indian restaurant for lunch. We always enjoy going there.

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After a long rest in the afternoon, Kaiser and I took Terran around town for 방 culture, which is going to special rooms for fun activities. There are rooms for ping pong, pool, karaoke, PC gaming, sauna. We wore our KIA Tigers jerseys and started with 치맥 (chicken and beer). We also went to PC rooms, where boys gather to battle in PC games. Sadly, we could finalize our accounts. Next, we went to a 노래방; a karaoke room. I loaded our song list with American rock classics, let the disco ball drop, and we chopped away at the lyrics. Kaiser was breakdancing the whole time. Fun!

Then, and finally, we went back out so Terran could eat the famous 떡볶이 followed by 팥빙수. It was fun going to the different rooms, walking around town, and eating a lot of great food!

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a little family visit

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Tamara’s brother and sister-in-law are visiting for the week. We will be taking them to all of our favorite restaurants and best hiking trails.

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a little anniversary: a face to call home

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“Little by little, inch by inch
We built a yard with a garden in the middle of it
It ain’t much but it’s a start
You got me swaying right along to the song in your heart
And a face to call home
A face to call home
You got a face to call home

So good you didn’t see
The nervous wreck I used to be
You’d never know a man could feel so small
And you never look at me
Like I’m a liability
I bet you think I’ve never been at all…”

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We recently celebrated our twelfth anniversary. Kaiser and I like  John Mayor’s song, “A Face to Call Home,” because it reminds us of Tamara. Wherever she is–that’s our home.

I’ve come to love Tamara, not just as my girlfriend and wife, but as a person. She is lovely. She is completely trust worthy. She is dependable, funny, open-minded, forgiving, and patient. She is a wonderful companion. She reaches out to people. She is constantly baking for the entire neighborhood. She makes our home a place of peace and reverence.

Happy anniversary, Tamara. I love you and I’m proud of you.

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a little saturday: mud, smiles, and tears

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Kaiser and I spent the day out in the fields, gardens and rice paddies looking for frogs and treasures. There is an expansive community garden a few blocks away. It’s near a small Buddhist temple and an infantry training facility. We brought a tuna sandwich and stopped by a small shop to get chips and drinks.

While we were visiting the community garden, we encountered some angry bees and Kaiser got stung. I had to pick him up and run for it! When we were far enough away, I set him down, removed the stinger and put a cold can of juice on his eye–and wiped his tears. Not long after that, we were at the park eating lunching and back to playing–but he avoided all bees, flying insects, and flowers for the rest of the day!

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The pictures below are of the valley near our home. There are rice paddies with hundreds of tadpoles–and mud, mud, mud! We also got to see the elusive pheasant that calls out when we arrive.

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middle school sports day: dress to express

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Every year schools across South Korea have Sports Day, two or three days of fun sporting events. Each class picks a goofy outfit for their team, this makes the playing field very colorful! This is one of the happiest times of the school year for students. Everyone gets recharged and renewed.

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facenda’s festive friday food: fantastic!

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We were invited to have a Friday dinner with the Facenda family. It’s an hour bus ride to their part of town on the #29. A bit of a jaunt, but a good way to start the weekend. It’s always good for American kids to play together, they can speak English, play football, Star Wars and army guys, without having to explain. Expat kids and Third Culture Kids need each other.

Here is the view from the top of their new home.

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As a father of a boy, I always like to see what occupies my son’s hands; what interests him. I noticed Yaechan by himself on the rooftop handling some stones. He was stacking them. I would find this to be very satisfying and therapeutic (although, I don’t know why). Nice pictures of an American boy alone with his thoughts.

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After dinner, John and I ran to a coffee shop for some macchiatos to enjoy with Rachel’s homemade cheesecake–it was great!

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children’s day: it’s my father’s house

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It’s Children’s Day in Korea, school is canceled and every kid gets a gift. Toy stores make more money than Holland during Tulip Time! Our church had a special celebration for all the kids in the neighborhood–what a party!

“I don’t know where you lay your head
or where you call your home
I don’t know where you eat your meals
or where you talk on the phone
I don’t know if you got a cook
a butler or a maid
I don’t know if you got a yard
with a hammock in the shade…

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I don’t know if you got some shelter
say a place to hide
I don’t know if you live with friends
in whom you can confide
I don’t know if you got a family
say a mom or dad
I don’t know if you feel love at all
but I bet you wish you had…

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Come and go with me
to my Fathers house
Come and go with me
to my Fathers house

It’s a big big house
with lots and lots a room
A big big table
with lots and lots of food
A big big yard
where we can play football
A big big house
Its my Fathers house!”*

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As always, I want to thank the many volunteers who dedicated this day to the kids. The staff and crew did a lot of work, spent a lot of money–and it showed! All under the threat of rain. THANK YOU!

I can’t pass up a picture of beautiful flora. Here are a few more pictures:

*”It’s My Father’s House” by: Audio Adreneline

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