Thursday, September 30, 2010
Walking with the Wild Cats
One Stop, Two Great Escapes and
A Rainy Day Tour of the Cape Peninsula
The following videos capture a few moments from each of those articles as well as the Harrington's boat ride out to Seal Island near Mossel Bay, South Africa.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Upon arrival the group used thier intuitive navigation skills as well as the large balloons and many other festival goers to determine where the festivities were taking place. As they entered the festival grounds they were amazed by the numerous tents offering all manner of goods from crunchy cinnamon pancakes, to pickled shrimps and kimchi, from puppets and masks to chrysamthemum tea. The tea of course caught Melissa Harrington's eye and tastebuds and was promptly purchased...well, as promptly as possible. The ladies selling the tea were adamant that Mrs. Harrington purchase the chrysamthemum because it was grown and harvested in the area whereas the other teas were not, therefore, the ladies would not tell Mrs. Harrington any thing about the other teas.
Getting There: The Harrington's went to Dongbu Bus Terminal via Bus 105 then purchased a ticket for Andong. A time table was available at the site: WorknPlay
When to Go: The Mask Dance Festival generally takes place at the end of September through the beginning of October. More information is available at: VisitKorea
Sunday, September 26, 2010
On Tuesday, September 21st the Harrington's accompanied three other EPIK teachers; Brad, Whitney and Krystyna on a Chuseok Vacation Hike. Krystyna kindly figured out which mountain would provide an easy, short hike as well as how to get there. The Harrington's were not disappointed.
Hiking in Korea is definitely an experience unlike hiking in Wyoming. When hiking in Wyoming one expects many switch-backs, a rugged trail and only a few other hikers to be present -- unless of course you're hiking in Yellowstone or the Tetons. Korea however is a country of efficiency, effieciency in ways the rest of the world has yet to embrace, one example of such efficiency is their tendency to hike or climb straight up the mountain. (The shortest distance from A to B is a straight line). Hence, many of Korea's mountains are equipped with steep staircases - just for an easy hike on Gubonsang Mountain the Harrington's walked up over 300 stairs, likely almost 300 stairs, not to mention the many steep inclines which were not outfitted with proper stairs.
Regardless, Korea's hiking provides a wide range of breathtaking views. From the minute and miniscule flowers and dragonflys to the cityscapes and mountainscapes seen from peaks, hiking will surely become an activity the Harrington's seek out more regularly. As would any of our readers, considering the many quarks and perks of hiking in this nation. Some examples? Often while hiking (or simply walking around town) one will walk by mini-calesthenic stations where you can lossen your muscles, get a bit of a stretch and even rest.
The hike, as advertised was only a few hours time committment and provided each of the hikers an enjoyable and productive way in which to spend the first day of their Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holiday.
Getting There: From Seodaejeon Station hop on bus 201 and ride until you go over the river then debark at the first stop. Head toward the mountainous area (sorry, not good with directions at this point). The trail head is just pass the wooden carvings as seen in the first photo of this post.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Harrington's Get a Close Look at the Work of World Vision
Because the couple continued their travels after Guatemala it has taken us at The Harrington Times some time and patience to get access to these videos straight from the field, offering readers a deeper look into the summer experiences of Mike and Melissa Harrington. Keep you eyes here for the latest home videos and recent stories of the couples first month in South Korea.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
So, along with Mike's co-teacher, the Harrington's made their way to a couple of shops and after an hour and a half or so they each had a working cell phone that functions in English. Hungry and ready to celebrate their anniversary, the Harrington's hopped over to Indy, a popular Indian restaruarnt in Daejeon and sat down for some delicious Naan, Curries, Tea and Pomegranate Lassi. Following their amazingly delicious meal the couple returned home to enjoy a bottle of wine and some 'fancy' cheese under the Wyoming flag in their living/dining room in South Korea.
Here's to another wonderful year of togetherness!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
From the temples, the group made thier way down to the river where it is common to wade, swim and just be. Numerous Koreans were soon joined by numerous foreigners - fully clothed and enjoying the cool water on a rather hot and humid day.From the temple, the group of teachers made their way toward the traditional Hanok Villiage where the first order of business would be to sample the infamous Korean dish of bibimbap - a base of rice and accompanied by a wide variety of vegetables and topped of with an egg. The table is set with a number of side dishes from kimchi to peppers and many unknown items inbetween. The dish tends be a favorite of foreginers and did not disappoint the hungry crowd.
The day continued with a number of activities including: making fans, trying soju, exploring the streets and viewing the traditional architecture of South Korea, sampling some traditional teas (from persimmon tea to pine needle tea) and topped off with an entertaining traditional performance of dancing, drumming and eventually the joining in of most the English teachers.
The week commenced with an impressive showing of Korean cultural performances, delicious foods and the acquiring of new friends.
The week continued with a number of helpful and informative lectures of which only a few managed to bore the audiences - most proved surprisingly engaging and entertaining. The Harrington's felt encouraged, inspired and at times overwhelmed with the responsibility and privelege of teaching South Korean children our native language. As the week drew to an end, the Harrington's and other EPIK teachers grew anxious to meet their co-teachers, see their schools and begin applying all they had learned to the upcoming year.
Friday, September 17, 2010
A path often walked by the touring crew when returning to their home-for-the-week kindly lent by the Rigg-Hillard family.
Sea Lions of Pier 39
Near a famous book store and watering hole of the beatniks.
Taking time to stop and smell the roses in Golden Gate Park.
The other lovely couple which accompanied the Harrington's on their final "American" days: Karl and Kendra Heimbuck.
The Harrrington's last supper (American/Mexican supper). As in, the last time they'll have delicious and authentic Mexican food in a year as well as the last time they'll eat a supper in America in a year.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Shortly after arriving and having a quick sandwich Melissa Harrington and Jerri were off to Ross where Mrs. Harrington would spend some time picking out a few professional pieces for herself and the husband. These pieces will soon serve as the fabric of the Harrington's 'new life' teching in South Korea's Public Schools. The pieces were also put to use the following day when the couple made their way into the city for a visit to the Korean Consulate to apply for a work Visa. Much to everyones delight, the trip was quick and painless and allowed the trio to explore Chinatown, enjoy a lunch of DimSum, a tea tating and the many sights and sounds.
The couples days spent with Jerri continued in much the same relaxed and easy-flowing manner as they had begun. The couple enjoyed delicious Mexican dishes, burgers (even once from In-N-Out), glasses of Wine (wine-tasting), frozen yogurt, home-cooked meals and morning cups of tea. The Harrington's also enjoyed an afternoon walk in a gorgeous area of California even spotting a small herd of deer. As is true with all good things - the Harrington's time with Jerri and Kevin came to an end. Once again, the Harrington's packed up their belongings - old and new, and made their way back to the Korean Consulate for their Visas prior to being dropped off at the home of Mike's cousins' house where the would eat pizza, track down a key and finally enter since his counsins were on an adventure of their own!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Not having too much information on the area, the Harrington's made their way along the streets hoping to run into a castle they had seen marked on their map. As the approached the moat they were delighted by a couple joyful Japanese children catching cicadas - a lot of ruckus as well as entertainment.
The couple then toured a castle enjoying the sights of the city and seeing some traditional armor and swords. From castle tours to shopping malls the Harrington's were on a mission to find some sushi or some ice cream. Ice cream won and the Harrington's sat for a few moments enjoying their ice cream cones rather than discovering why there was a large grill as the center of the table they were seated at. With an upcoming flight it was time for the Harrington's to make their way back to the airport.
Returning to the airport proved a bit of an adventure as all ATM's rejected the Harrington's debit card and banks and money exchanges were closed. A few prayers later and the kindness of a Japanese stranger had their American money exchanged and their bodies boarding a train airport-bound. Good fortune continued following the Harrington's when they volunteered to give up their seat on their United Flight. Simply by volunteering they were given a pass to enjoy the Airport Lounge (complimentary wi-fi, drinks, snacks and gifts!) When asking further questions about their need to stay behind the Harrington's discovered that not all passengers had arrived on time and because they had so kindly volunteered to stay behind, they could now enjoy Business Class seats for their upcoming 12 hour flight -- not a bad deal!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
While in Georgetown, Penang the couple also enjoyed a couple movie outings: Inception and Salt. Even when in a foreign and exciting land - a good dose of your native language and air-conditioning on a hot evening is a welcome luxury.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
With just over a day to explore the Harrington's began by setting up shop in the Romantic Guesthouse where they would enjoy sleeping in a bed that seemed as though it were stuffed with newspapers but was under the management of a few extremely sweet Thai women. With their belongings stowed away, it was time to explore and discover. Stomachs growling the couple made their way to a market, saw some food that look tasty, pointed and smiled then sat down with their extremely cheap and delicious meal. Leaving the market, the two opted to purchase some lychee. The price read 20 Baht (the equivelent of about 60 cents) however the couple didn't know what they would get for 20 Baht --they soon discovered, a mere 20 Baht could purchase 1 kg of fresh spiky pink and green lychee fruit.
Lychee in hand, the Harrington's made their way toward the beach and experimented with various ways to eat their recent fruit purchase. They opted for peeling, sticking the whole thing in the mouth, then removing the pit. The afternoon brought the Harrington's to Songkhla's famous Mermaid Statue where they took some shots and were even asked by some Malaysian tourists to pose in a picture with them -- sure, why not!?!
Following the Mermaid adventure and few minutes of fame on the beach the Harrington's decided a day at the Aquarium was just what they needed. Upon arrival, they discovered tickets for foreigners were 3X the price as for locals, however, considering that made tickets a mere $9 they went for it. At the Aquarium, they enjoyed watching the feeding show where Manta Rays and small Sharks did "tricks" for bits of fish. The rest of the time was passed 'finding nemo' and any other fish friends. And, as one would expect, the Harrington's again were recognized for their dashingly good and famous looks and asked to pose in yet another photo.
With two out of a half-dozen of Songkhla's top attractions checked off the list, it was now time for the Harrington's to make their way to the Dragon's Head Statue. The tail and body of this Dragon are spread throughout the city, however the head is the most fascinating and enjoyable to photograph. The day finally began to cool and the Harrington's slowly made their way back to their Guesthouse making a few stops to watch various people play soccer and a group of students practice a special song and dance number. Their only regret was not having more time to spend in Songkhla.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Prior to their arrival in Chiang Mai, the Harrington's had a pleasant, one day stop over in Lampang, Thailand. The city exuded a perfectly quaint, undiscovered Thai vibe that the Harrington's enjoyed immensely and were discouraged they had only one day in this lovely city.
The day of their arrival and departure, turned out to be a holiday. Therefore many businesses were closed down but many students were out and about in a park and provided the Harrington couple some of their fondest Thai Memories. Wondering about the city, the couple spotted numerous groups of school-aged children practicing various dances in a city park. Hot and sticky, the couple sat in the shade and enjoyed watching the many performances and practices.
For any readers who would like a small taste of the couples experience, simply watch this popular K-Pop (that's Korean Pop) music video - this was one of the songs the students were practicing and performing to. Not to mention, the type of music the Harrington's now get to enjoy on a fairly regular basis living in the Republic of Korea\
Aside from the entertainment, the Harrington's were also excited to be approaced by a group of young Thai girls eager to practice thier English. Being a group of girls they were more inclined to talk with Melissa and offered many suggestions for what to do in the area as well as offer Fish-Flavored Taro snacks that weren't as bad as they may sound. The moment was purely Asian and left the couple with warm feelings towards their soon-to-be Asian life.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Each team consists of three players. One serves the small woven synthetic (traditionally bamboo) ball over the net where a series of blocks, passes and an eventual flip kick send the ball to the other side. For an entire day the Harrington's sat in amazement and admiration at the athleticism of these men and women who so impressively play Sepak Takraw.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
When in Thailand, particularly during the summer months which are best described as hot and sticky, much like a sauna; a typical day should consist of visiting one or two Wats (temples), drinking a minimum of two Thai Teas, finding a restaurant with air conditioning and Chicken Pad Thai or Bananas in Coconut Milk and chowing down on any random fruits you can manage (except of course Durian). This, anyway, is the way the Harrington's chose to live out life most days in Thailand.
- Being asked if they were German. The couple is unsure what kind of reputation the Germans have as travelers, but are pretty sure it's better than the repuation of American travelers.
- Purchasing artwork from a street vendor who was eager to practice her English and recommend a Wat to visit.
- Looking out on Chiang Mai from the cities most popular Wat Don Suthup.
- Drinking Thai Tea daily
- Recieving Thai Massages at a spa that hires women from the local Women's Prison so that they can look forward to a life of dignity rather than landing back in prison.
- Discovering the perfect deliciousness of Bananas in Coconut Milk.
- Sleeping in an airconditioned room free of charge every night.
- Sunday Walking Street and the variety of vendors and goods being sold.