TODAY IS THE DAY! I'M COMING HOME AFTER FOUR LONG, UNEXPLAINABLE, ADVENTOROUS, UNEXPLAINABLE WEEKS! I have definitely enjoyed my time in Asia! Although I don't want to leave, my time has come to an end. I have learned a lot about myself as well as others on this trip. I can't even begin to sum up this trip. What I can say is, I hope more Lander students will take this opportunity to do something that is really "once in a lifetime". Not many people can say I went to Asia. But it's almost time to hit the road to go ol America...MY HOME SWEET HOMEEEEEEEEEE! I love you all....and unfortunately it won't be a next time...but I will be uploading pictures within a "one week" period, so bare with me.
I love you all!
Here is some ways to get in contact with me:
Facebook: Melanie Shatise
Yesterday May 24 was a bitter sweet day...because all good things must come to an end...
Yesterday we played the drums with students from the university. It was sooooo fun because they taught us three different rhythms and we played them ALL together! All the teachers and students were really enjoying themselves! And before we did the drums, we dressed up in Korean traditional clothing and learned how to bow the correct Korean way. After dinner, we headed to the festival and I was finally able to meet Corbin and Angela. Corbin is teaching English in Korea, while Angela did the the foreign exchange program at Lander. We all went out and had a great time!!!! Couldn't stop dancing until the early morning!!! LOL...
I apologize about the little paragraph, I was trying to squeeze all that I knew in from yesterday!
Thursday May 23
Today I started off my day with breakfast, and then the group took an hour an half ride to the Buddha temple. It was amazing. They had buddhas everywhere. I was amazed to actually see first-hand how people were praising him. In one area, you could stand behind a rock and if you are eye to eye with Buddha, you could make a wish and your wish would come true. You know I made my wish! After the temple, we headed to lunch at another traditional Korean restaraunt where you have to take off your shoes. The food was great once again. After lunch, we headed to see tombs. Now, these weren't any ordinary tombs, these tombs were wayyyyy up high with bodies buried inside. There were about twenty tombs and we actually got to go inside one! NO! I did not see any dead bodies but I did see an example of how one looks inside. I couldn't take pictures but that was a once in a lifetime opportunity. After the tombs, we headed to dinner which consisted of this big HUGE plate with lots of chicken and noodles! It was good too! After dinner, Kiera, Ashley, Emily, Harry (one of our guides), and I went to do a little browsing and then headed to the festival again tonight. Just two more days,,,and my adventure is over...getting a little sad...well everyone until next time...I love you all!
Pictures coming soon...
Although I was only able to stay one night with the Lee family, I felt right at home. They treated me so well, and I wish I could have stayed longer. Ms. M Young Son cooked breakfast for me and the girls and afterwards presented me with gifts. She gave me red ginseng candy, and also Korean pies, sort of like "moon pies" back in the states. I loved my gifts. I presented her with two South Carolina keychains because she has never visited South Carolina only Oregon. I told her, I hope she can visit and bring her girls. I gave her my email and blog address to stay up to date! After presenting the gifts, we drove back to the school and said our final goodbyes. I will definitely miss her and I appreciate her for treating me like her own daughter. I hope one day I will be able to meet her and her family again. And here crazy and funny stories! I also hope they can come to America soon! After saying our goodbyes, the group headed to the KTX train station to Daegu. After about an hour and a half, we arrived at Dongdaegu Train station and headed to Yeungnam University. Since everyone didn't have breakfast, they treated us to some KFC! That chicken was GOOD! After lunch, we went to another building, where we were greeted by the USA(Universal Student Affairs) council. They introduced the university and all of its' wonderful accomplishments. They also gave us a campus tour. We then headed to dinner, which was awesome. It was so much pork to eat, I got full on the second round. The food was great though. After dinner, they took us to the welcome party, which was more like a festival. It was so LIVE! We were dancing, singing, and just having a great time! We even saw Eric Newman, who is over here teaching! We were so surprised to even have spotted him. We got to meet other foreighn exchange students, which was pretty cool. Well it's about 12:07 Korean time, and I have to get up super early...so until next time..Sa rang he (means I love you)...and Good night!
Tuesday May 21
Ne e rem en Melanie e da.
That says, Hello, my name is Melanie in Korea!
Of course, I started out my day with breakfast, and then the group headed to the Sondo Tour. We visited the Compact city, central park, museum, and even got to see the city riding on the boat. Everything was so beautiful and TALL might I add. In the musuem, it was a 5D movie theater and also an outlined construction build inside to see Incheon from it's past, present, and future! What I like the most was, they said, "money is never an issue." Everything they want for the city will come in due time. It's growing A LOT! I hope to be able to see the future plans. I just can't fathom the fact of being in Korea. Time is going by so fasttttttt! Next we headed to lunch at Leeman's restaurant. It was very modern and I ate a bacon egg sandwich with fries and a salad. I also had fruit punch tea...DELICIOUS! After leaving lunch, I had to hurry and change because we met with the president of Incheon National University, Sung-Eul Choi. It was a honor and privledge to have met with such a prestigous man who is making his university better each day. I hope to one day create such great things for the people around me. Afterwards, I changed AGAIN and finally met my homestay family. I was welcomed by Ms. M Young Son. She was such a sweet lady and I think she was just as excited to see me as I was to see her. We headed to her home, where I met her two daughters, Ji Soo and Ji Woo, who were the most precious little girls I have ever seen. They were so well mannered and very intellgient. They are ten and fourteen years old. Ms. M Young Son and Ji Woo took me out for a walk around the neighborhood. She showed me how to make a flower ring and also helped me make a flower tiara, it was beautiful. I wore it all around town until we got to her home. After coming in from our walk, I helped prepared dinner and played traditional Korean games with the girls. I know for sure I wasn't winning, but I was trying. I had a lot of fun with them. After dinner, I took a walk with the whole family and they treated me to Korean dessert. It was good, might I add. I can't remember the dish name, but she told me it is very famous in the summer. Mr. Sang Cheon, her husband, told me it was couple's day! LOL. But a lot of people don't know about it. I think it's kind of like an anniversary in America. But after walking around, we came back to their home and showered up and got ready for bed. The girls had school in the morning and although it's extremely close to their homes, they like to be early just like me. So until tomorrow, good night everyone!
Below is pictures of us...more to come as soon as I get them from Mrs.M Young Son. :)
Monday May 20
Today started off great, had breakfast and then headed to make Korean Cuisine. It was so cool! The chef actually is the only chef in Korea who makes traditional food. She did shows in New York. I was like "GO GIRLLLLL"! The food was great and I was really proud of myself for making another great dish! I even have pictures to prove it. After cuisine making, we headed to the garden and I was able to try on traditional Korean outfits! It was pretty awesome, my head was heavy due to the hair style they put on my head. After leaving the garden, we headed to China Town...and since it was still in the holidays, majority of the stores were closed. Which is fine, things happen, ya know? Afterwards the group headed to the fish market. This is when my day turned for the worst. I got sick, out of no where, so I missed out on the fish market...and pretty much dinner also. But I would definitely like to thank Ms.Kim, who was assisting our trip at UI and the rest of the students at UI, they did a great job on making sure I was okay. I really did appreciate their hospitality. Afterwards. we headed back to the guest house and UI is having their Spring Festival. It is awesome! Everyone's eating, drinking, and having a great time...I got some cotton candy and watch the cheerleaders perform. (These pics are on my phone, upload them as soon as I can). Minus my unknown sickness, I had an okay day. Not feeling a 100% tonight, and hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better. 4 more days...AHHHH! Until next time, I love you all! Good night/morning!
There is more pics from this day, but as soon as I get well, I will post more
I know this has nothing to do with my trip, but I have been gone away from my LS's and pro's for about a month...Forty years ago today, on May 19, 1973, 14 TENACIOUS WOMEN sought to find better for Lander University. They charted the ALMIGHTY Kappa Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNCORPORATED! It was the FIRST, yes, the FIRST black greek organization that graced the presence of Lander University! Just like my founders, they wanted MORE for the school and community! At this time, I wanted to thank my charter members and definitely my big sisters...the 11 Expressions of Versatility on making me into the women I am. I appreciate you all for finding something in me, to continue this 40 years of legacy of Scholarship, Service, and Sisterhood. I'm thinKG about you all...and I miss you all more than you'll ever know. Although, I'm not there to celebrate it with any of you, I hope you're stepping, duck walking, or just OO-OOPing because you can. KG will ALWAYS and FOREVER RUN THE YARD!
Sunday May 19
It is currently 11:08 pm and I must say I really enjoyed myself. Today was a "free day" so we got to do whatever we wanted. After my club recovery, TJ, Ashley, Kiera,Jenny, and I went to downtown Incheon and spent much of day shopping. They really have nice things out here, but I believe everything is so westernize, all the things I saw...I know i could get back at home. I did buy a dress for $5, I thought that was pretty cool! After shopping, we went to a self serve bar! It was sooooo good, and I even had duck, pork, and chicken. What was making me smile even more, i was able I really did appreciate Jenny for coming with us and showing us a good time. She really has been patience with us and all of our many questions! I love Korea. It is an amazing city and I really enjoyed my time here...even though it's going fast. Well everyone, I'm a little tired and tomorrow they are taking us to a festival...I'm EXCITED and can't wait!!! Until next time, I love you all...
Saturday May 18
Woke up today, feeling much better than yesterday. I got breakfast and the group headed to the DMZ tour. It took us about 2 hours to get to the bus then we transferred to another bus and then that took an hour to get to the DMZ tour because I'm not sure everyone knows, Koreans aren't allowed to go to the DMZ. Before we went, we ate lunch at a really nice restaraunt...but we had to sit on the floor and take our shoes off. It was definitely a different experience. The food was soooooo good! It was helping me clear up my cold. After our lunch, we finally headed to the DMZ. They had such strict rules. Just a little background information, the guys MUSt serve military time up to three years. There is a bridge that controls the division of South Korea and North Korea. Each day US soldiers are faced with their enemies (Korean soldiers) each day. I'm not sure if I could do that, but I do give a round of applause for our US military. A lot of people do not know how much our soldiers go through on a daily basis. I will continue praying for them. While on our tour the JSA(Joint Service Area), was taking us around, showing us how they monitor even the farmers working. It was INTENSE. We did not have the chance to finish our tour due to 3 missles being fired into the East China Sea, while we were there. They were concerned for our safety, and we had to head back to the bus. I really was appreciative of the opportunity I was given to see what was allowed. It is really an eye-opener. After the tour, we were on our own. So Kiera, Ashley, Emily, TJ, Jenny(Foreign-exchange student) and myself went to a Korean club! I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE...despite some awkard moments. They really do party til the sun come up. We didn't leave the club until 4 in the morning...and my ears were ringing but I did enjoy myself!!! We finally arrived back at the hotel around 7 am and I got some much needed rest for Sunday afternoon...so until next time my loves....I love you all. (Picutres will be posted soon).
Friday May 17
Today is day 3 at the UI, and of course I started my day off with breakfast, then we took a city tour bus to Seoul. I got to see the President's House...although I wasn't able to go in, I still enjoyed the moment. It's actually the color blue, i know pretty cook right. Next we headed to the Gyeonbok Palace. It definitely reminded of the Forbidden City in China. It was such beautiful scenery.. After the palace, we head to lunch. I had the BEST chicken soup ever! I had a whole baby chicken...it was soooo gooooooooooooodd! Afterwards, we headed to the National Folk Museum in Insa-dong. Although, I couldn't take pictures, they had amazing hand-crafted faces they made back in the day. It was such a beautiful museum. Afterwards we headed back to the guest house and had Dominoe's pizza for dinner! I don't even know what kind of pizza I ate. All i remember is pineapples, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes were on my pizza. Yes, it sounds weird but it was really good. Well today, i did not feel well. I have come down with some type of cold, so I'm headed to bed a little earlier. I thank Kiera for getting me medicine and a crossiant to go with it. So everyone it is 9:49 pm Korea, I love you all and good night...