Daniela, Outbound to South Korea

Journal #2 2019. 11. 25

It is crazy to think that I have been in Korea for almost four months now. It’s been a little while since my last journal and lots of things have happened. First of all, in October, all of the inbounds in my district and some other districts in Korea had a trip through the Gangwondo Province. The trip was three days and we got to go to the DMZ and lots of museums about the war as well as some art museums. Though everything we saw and visited throughout the trip was very interesting, most of my fondest memories from that trip came from getting to meet people that I had never met before from lots of different countries. A few days after the trip inbounds from my district and a couple from other districts were allowed to go to a Taekwondo Camp in the mountains of Muju. In Muju, there is a structure called Taekwondowon (this is where the camp took place). Taekwondowon is the taekwondo capital of the world. There are many training areas as well as a full taekwondo stadium. The campus is absolutely beautiful. There are dormitories and if you go to the roof of the dormitories and look around, you can see mountains surrounding you. The camp was five days and six nights long. On the first three days, we would learn Taekwondo, and after lunch, we would have some sort of cultural experience. The last two days, they took us to different places on field trips. Whenever we were dismissed for the day I went hiking in the surrounding mountains with some of the other inbounds. The view was stunning. The lights from the buildings in the dark looked like stars on the ground below us. When we would get back from our hikes, we joined the rest of the inbounds and listened to music and got to know each other better. It was really cool to be able to see the other inbounds after the orientation. The taekwondo camp was the best experience I have had so far on exchange. I got to learn so many new things about the Korean culture and I had the chance to become even better friends with the inbounds in other districts. Having to go back to school after Taekwondo Camp was a little difficult because it was a snap back to reality, but I was happy to be able to see my school friends again. The week after Taekwondo Camp, all of the exchange students went to a Rotary meeting. At this Rotary Meeting, I did a presentation about life in Georgia and the culture in the United States. I was very nervous because it was a pretty long presentation and all in Korean, but I think it turned out okay. After my presentation, they made some ending comments and we all went out to eat together. A few weekends ago, our Rotary Club Coordinator took all of the exchange student to a city called Daejon. While we were there we each got a Hanbok to take home gifted to us by our Rotary District Governor’s wife. Hanboks are the traditional Korean clothes. We had chosen the colors a few weeks ago, but we got to see them all put together and take them home. We stayed in Daejon overnight. All of the exchange students stayed in a different Rotarian’s house. My Daejon host mom was extremely friendly and had super cute dogs. Though the trip was short, it was very fun to be able to see a different part of the country and to meet such amazing people like the Rotarians and their families. These past few months have gone by very quickly. I have felt my language skills increasing and I have formed strong bonds with people that I would have never met. I’m looking forward to the upcoming holidays to learn a little more about the Korean culture and how it differs from what I am used to in the United States.

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