June 1st took us to Busan (the KTX station is shown below) in preparation of a ferry ride to "Dae Ma Do" for the Koreans or "Tsushima Island" for the Japanese. We wished we had spent a few days, but our reason for going initially was not a vacation or site seeing, but a cheap way to renew our Korean Visas! Tsushima is a beautiful island with tons of history for Korea and Japan as well as Russia (the Russians invaded Japan and uses Tsushima for a stopping point). I have vowed to return and spend a few days!
Katie enjoying the flower and water garden outside the KTX-Busan station. The had older people singing traditional Korean songs and younger ones singing more modern songs-until 3 AM (was not so "cool" when we could not sleep as our hotel did NOT have A/C and we needed the windows open!).
Unfortunately this was NOT our ferry to DaeMa Do or Tsushima Island, but now that I know it is only 60 dollars more it will be the next time! lol
Kaitlyn loved the ferry for the first hour, but as the seas became rough-so did her stomach...she is not so sure we will make the trip again! lol
It is near the end of June and we are still in Korea. I am not sure if I am happy or sad we are here-today (here in Korea and tomorrow in "America") is Shy's 25th birthday; Thankfully Daddy drove the 7 hours to go see her and spend the weekend with her (he has really began showing the older kids he cares-not sure why but definitely can't complain!). Can't believe Shy is 25-where did the time go? (Altough, due to her mental condition she will always be "13" or so...).
Kaitlyn is complaining of "being sick mamma, maybe we should go see the doctor?!" but she is not having any problems eating popscicles, ice cream or Hershey's kisses-or even a few mini-reeses cups! She does have the snottiest nose I have seen in ages and is running a low-grade fever so we are medicating with Dimetapp and Children's Tylenol...
We are currently house and pet-sitting for a school teacher-the poor little dog is lost without her "real" mamma, but is finally beginning to come around-she only growls when she sees or hears us! lol She is finally eating without being bribed and runs to the door to go out when she sees or hears a plasitc bag rustling (poopy bags per Kaitlyn).
The weather has been very co-operative for being Monsoon Season-it rained last night and that is the first rain in a week! The temps are running 70's to 80's and we have only used the AC one night in the bedroom (not that I would not prefer it if I was not worried about the bills! lol). Yesterday was cloudy and today is as well, but for 3 days before that it was sunny and very warm.
Kaitlyn is finally speaking Korean-and lots of it! We had a parent-teacher conference at her school and the teacher says "she volunteers now to go to the front of the class and speak Korean and does a good job of it". She is also realizing the limits of my Korean vocabulary and occasionally spits of something that does not sound anywhere near a real word and then says "hmmm, can YOU speak Korean? No? Why not! Do you mean I will have to teach YOU?!" She is a smarty pants occasionally, but for the most part is just too good-and she is beginning to love her "native" language and people. She is aclimating to the customs of the Koreans and now knows what is expected of her by the Korean population. Although I am pleased beyond measure thaty she is speaking Korean it is posing a slight problem...she understands when people now say "mahnee ipoyo" or something similar-meaning "she is beautiful" and she now asks "mamma, do you think I am beautiful? Do they think I am the most beautiful?" We are daily having the conversation of "you cannot be beautiful on the outside if you are not FIRST beautiful n the inside!
LOL, I am appalled at the price of "ice cream" in Korea- it is up to 700 won for one on a stick...about 65 cents of late...but from 2001 to 2007 it was only 500 won (about 40 to 50 cents depending on the won rate) so this increase this year is about a 25% increase! Katie of course thinks it is cheap (and she is oh, so correct) so will do just about anything to earn the money to go get an ice cream; you also have to realize that Korean ice creams are not as sugary (ok, some are) as American ones so she is getting fruit (most are fruit based!) with a little sugar or milk for 65 cents per day...I know it adds up, but we usually spend the "loose change" laying around and don't miss it too much.
The morning of the 19th brought a sad day to Korea and to the local Army base and the H____________ orphanage! Tracey Momo and Jon Momobu flew to Hawaii for thier next duty station. Tracey and Jon were active in the local community and Tracey was VERY active in the Korean community near the orphanage-teaching English to underprivledged kids for free (while others only do it for 30 to 50 dollars an hour!), taking "goodies to the orphanage children (fruits, clothing, even going and cooking dinners for the 50 kids there!). Tracey and Jon have 2 boys- Ian who is 7 (bio son) and Caden who was Kaitlyn's "mat mate" at the orphanage. One of the things that helped us get thru the "good-byes" was in knowing that this family is a wonderful family and that we will keep in touch with Katies's "soul mate"-Jon will be a totally awesome example of a father and husband for Caden, so if it is the way God intends- Katie will have a wonderful husband down the road! The other "happy" thought? Caden became a US Citizen upon landing in Hawaii and clearing immigration!!! This family went thru hell and back to complete their adoption of Caden and then the US Gov't side waited until only 6 days before take-off to grant the immigration Visa...but Thanks to tons of prayer-God is bigger and He got things done-the final result? A happy, healthy family and one very happy, new US Citizen!!
Katie is asking for ice cream, so perhaps a short walk is in order...hey! we get exercise and ice cream...can't complain TOO much! lol