Our day began with a Welcoming Ceremony that including many students that will be visiting Lander this Summer for our English Language and Culture program and students that will be attending in the Fall – it is so good to begin making some connections with them as it will ease their minds as the time draws nearer to come to Lander! Mr. Chad Anderson, Professor in the Public Administration Department, gave an enlightening talk on Korean life and culture based on his many years in Korea as a professor. Afterwards we had a scrumptious lunch on campus at their Chinese restaurant (funny our first meal in Korea was Chinese) and then proceeded directly into our Lander presentation and a presentation by some of Incheon’s students about Incheon. Dinner was on campus at one of the restaurants for their students – the group chose…wait for it….Popeyes Chicken! After dinner afterwards some members of the delegation headed to Seoul to see what the big city had to offer.
May 17, 2013
We were treated today to a trip to Seoul where we saw (from the road) the “Blue House – this is the US equivalent to the White House. This led directly into a tour of the Gyeongbok Palace and the National Folk Museum. We managed to squeeze in a few minutes at Insa-dong, a famous shopping district. We headed back to the Guest House for a pizza dinner and then some of the delegation headed BACK to Seoul to see the Lantern Festival, a celebration of Budah’s birthday.
May 18, 2013
What a day – we visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ); later we discovered that North Korea had launched three test missiles into the sea on this day. On the way to the DMZ we had a traditional Korean meal complete with eating while sitting on a cushion on the floor. The DMZ visit was intense to say the least! After going through three JSA checkpoints with armed guards everywhere, having our Passports checked two separate times and transferring busses with an armed guard riding with us, we made to the actual DMZ. Lining up two-by-two we entered the outer building and were escorted to the outside area where we saw North Korea. With a North Korean guard watching our every move through binoculars and JSA guards watching intently making sure our pictures were only focused on the North Korean side, we were given about three minutes to take as many pictures as we wanted. Once time was up, we performed a left-faced and marched two-by-two back into the outer building and onto our bus. While at taking pictures we could hear chatter on the guards two-way radios and wondered why we were not able to enter the UN buildings to actually be able to step onto North Korean territory. While we boarded the bus, chatter increased on the two-ways and our armed guard told us quickly that we would not be able to visit Guard Tower #3 as scheduled for security reasons. After our two and half hour bus ride back some of the delegation once again took on Seoul.