FC: South Korea
1: My Time in the Peace Corps | Becki Barrett
2: 38,502 sq. miles | slightly larger than | Indiana | Choson | "Land of the Morning Calm" | 65% forested | Experiences all four seasons | Monsoon Season is from mid-July to mid-Aug.
3: Language: Hangul | a phonetic alphabet | created in 1446 | English is also taught as | a requirement.
4: President Lee | Myung Bak
5: Republic of Korea | Capitol: Seoul | 9 Provinces | Population: 48.7 | million | Chief of State: President Lee Myung Bak | Head of Gov.: Prime Minister Kim | Hwang-sik
6: Economy | Currency: won (KRW) | Due to heavy dependence on | international trade, the economy | is vulnerable to global, regional | downturns. Large amounts of | foreign debt and the economy's | dependence on exports made South | Korean one of the hardest hit by the 2008 economic crisis. Inflation | has risen significantly, while the currency value has fallen. | Labor Force: 7% in agriculture and 25% in industry
7: Chief agricultural products include: | Rice | Barley | Vegetables | and Fish
8: A woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart | Buddhist: 26.3% | Christian: 23.2% | Religion
9: All interaction is determined by one's place in various social groups. | It's determined by gender, education, family, wealth, occupation, and | political ideology. | A bow is the traditional greeting. | usually accompanied by a handshake | between men. Women shake hands less | often than men do. | Greetings and Gestures | Among friends and family a simple nod | is acceptable. Children bow when | greeting adults.
10: Education is greatly valued in Korean Culture. It is seen as a key to success, respect, and power. Core Subjects include Korean, English, and mathematics. Less emphasis is placed on art, music, and physical education. Foreign language and science schools are prestigious due to their competitive application process. Non-specialized high schools function primarily as institutions concerned with getting their students into good universities. | Education
11: All segments of the population have access to good health care. The best medical facilities are in Seoul. Most people now have safe water and adequate nutrition. Nearly all women receive prenatal care and medical attention during delivery. And more than 90% of all children are immunized. | Health
12: Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. | Ondol and Yo - Ondol is a traditional way to heat floors, while a Yo is a comforter placed on the floor. (Left) | South Koreans eat 3 | meals a day. And eating while | walking on the street is not | considered appropriate for adults
13: Steamed white rice Bulgogi, recipe follows 1 carrot, julienned Cooked bean sprouts, sauteed in a little sesame oil or peanut oil and seasoned with salt Cooked spinach, sauteed in a little sesame or peanut oil and seasoned with salt 4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and sauteed in peanut oil and seasoned with salt 1 egg, cooked over easy 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil Soy sauce, to taste
14: Love conquers all things | Dear Mom and Dad I'm enjoying my time here in South Korea, I'm teaching English at Kyeongbuk High School in Daegu. I mainly teach tenth graders. I’m living in an apartment building with my host mother, Mrs. Yim, near Daegu Duryu Park. She owns the building and reserves her personal home, which is two floors for peace corps volunteers. She cooks me three meals a day. Common eating ceremony requires us to eat this many times a day as well as eating with metal chopsticks and spoons, and to pass everything with the right hand. And she insists I go back to the apartment everyday for lunch. Culture deems it inappropriate for an adult to eat in public places, like cafeterias. Thankfully the walk is only five minutes long. And she is a wonderful cook, my first night there she made andong jjimdak, which is made by steaming chicken with vegetables and cellophane noodles in ganjang sauce, so as not to overwhelm my taste buds. I’ll write back soon and give you lots of updates. Love Always, Becki
16: Daegu | Hauling boxes to take to a | recycling center
17: Dear Mom and Dad, Daegu is nice and very beautiful. But just yesterday i saw a worker hauling boxes to a recycling center, in big cities like this a lot of people make their living by sifting through garbage. Economists are concerned that South Korea's economic growth potential has fallen because of a rapidly aging population and structural problems that are becoming increasingly apparent. Korean policy makers are increasingly worried about diversion of corporate investment to China and other low wage countries, and by Korea's falling foreign direct investment (FDI).
19: Dear Mom and Dad, Sam and I took the weekend off to go sightseeing; we took a bus and made our way through Seoul, with a whole group of Peace Corps volunteers, most of them volunteer in the agricultural business. It took us a couple of hours. Since it was the day before their Independence Movement Day there was pandemonium wherever you turned. The second Sam and I were off the bus we saw a traditional nongak, which is performers moving in a line, drumming, dancing, and singing to Korean folk music. We went through Tapgol Park and then we stopped at Gyeongbakgung which was the main palace during the Joseon Dynasty, and we watched the changing of the guard. The next day, the streets even fuller, historic temples were filled with tourists as well as residents. Restaurants and the markets were overflowing. There was so much excitement and thousands of colorful lanterns everywhere. | (Continued --->)
20: The DMZ
21: I couldn't help feeling sad, because with all this happiness there's the innuendo of violence just a few hundred miles away. And it's been this way since WWII. .............................................................................................................................................................. "President Lee Myung-Bak rallied international support to pressure North Korea to nix its rocket launch plans during his bilateral talks with leaders of around 15 nations for the last four days. ---During their separate talks with Lee on Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard expressed their concerns over Pyongyang's plan and concurred that the North should comply with the U.N. Security Council resolution against the use of any ballistic missile technology" (Korea Herald). "North Korea on Wednesday warned against raising the issue of its nuclear weapons program during an upcoming global summit in Seoul, saying it will regard any related statement as a declaration of war. In the event of a provocation such as a statement regarding the North Korean nuclear issue at the Seoul conference, it will be heinous blasphemy against the wishes of the great men of Mount Paekdu who left as their will the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and go down in history as another enormous crime," the North's Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch monitored in Seoul. "Any provocation against us will be considered a declaration of war" (The Korea Times).
22: As soon go kindle fire with snow. As seek to quench the fire of love with words | "Over the course of 2010, tensions with the North rose and fell as Pyongyang engaged in a series of provocative actions believed to be tied to steps taken by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, to position his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor. The South Korean military has maintained high vigilance since North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at the island of Yeonpyeong in November 2010. That attack and the sinking of a South Korean warship in March 2010 chilled inter-Korean relations to their lowest point in years. While South Korea remains frustrated with the North’s persistence in its nuclear program, it has faced growing appeals from international relief agencies who say that the North’s most vulnerable should not be punished for their government’s deeds. The United Nations humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, said in October 2011 that six million North Koreans were in urgent need of food aid. South Korean Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik told the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, that his government would consider sending aid to the North through the United Nations" (South Korea News).
23: All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love | "Today, as U.S. President Barack Obama described upon his arrival here Sunday, the contrast between South and North Korea could not be “clearer, and starker,” in terms of both freedom and prosperity. Experts say the hosting of the nuclear summit clearly reflects South Korea’s elevated global status following the success of the Seoul G20 Summit in 2010, where it played a pivotal role in setting out a future direction for the global economy.They point out the Nuclear Security Summit will give Seoul a greater say in the future on challenges that the international community faces, including safety issues in nuclear power generation and North Korea’s nuclear programs. President Lee Myung-bak was not just a participant in the two-day summit, where representatives from 53 nations and four international organizations, including 44 heads of state, attended. He was the host and chairman of the international gathering and the one responsible for setting agendas and the Seoul Communique, which identifies specific goals and outcomes" (Korea Times). | S.K. News