whoa, what a busy weekend. all the TaLK teachers in my province got to meet up together for a cultural trip at the DMZ. it was full of delicious food, so many museums, and secret (illegal) picture taking.
(we stayed at the Peace Life Valley Center. it is a plot of land that is part garden-musuem-hotel-convention center. it's located just miles from the DMZ and tries to promote all forms of peace. peace with yourself, peace with nature, and peace with others. with that kind of motivation, the whole center was solar powered and beautifully designed to coincide with the environment that surrounded it. above is the room that i stayed in. cotton sleeping pads and blankets are pretty common for korean hotels. way nicer than a jimjibang, but still not quite the same as a bed.)
(our fantastic POE, or the guy that is in charge of all the teachers in the province, had a full day planned for us. we ended up going to 4 different museums in one day. holy moly right?)
(pottery discovered in the area from 3,000 BC at at prehistoric ruin museum. double holy moly.)
(persimmon paintings. i don't think i'd ever seen a persimmon in real life before korea. in goseong they grow everywhere. at first i had no idea what the heck they were. but now i have tried them in all forms. raw, dried and smoothied. i didn't like them at first, but they are surely growing on me. also, they're a super bizarre looking fruit. most aren't ripe until late fall, early winter when all the tree's leaves have fallen. they look like alien plants growing fruit on bare branches.)
(another curator. so chic.)
(VIP room at a museum. piiiiiimpin.)
(the bus we drove around in)
(because we were so close to the DMZ, the military presence was strong. we had to stop at checkpoints and ask for permission to pass and soldiers checked out the bus.)
(the food was delicious.
bulgolgi (korean beef) stew above and bibimbap (rice and mtn vegetables) below.)
(the entrance to the tunnel)
all photos were forbidden and were policed by soldiers, but luckily i read my camera manual the day before and learned how to turn off all noises and flashes while taking a picture. heh heh.
(my girl claire dancing in the tunnel entrance)
OVERALL OPINION: the perfect start to jam-packing as much korean culture as i can in my last weeks.