Hey friends and family, we hope each of you are doing so well and enjoying the growing excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas in the oh-so-wonderful US culture! We are really starting to feel the sadness of being in Korea over American Thanksgiving and Christmas...that was probably ushered in with the missing of my cousin, Meredith's, wedding and my Granddaddy's 90th birthday party. Signing up to spend a year in a foreign country, however, guarantees that things will be missed back home, but plenty of new memories will be made.
Speaking of which...
Austin and I had the brilliant plan to have a relaxing, peaceful weekend in the small island town of Namhae. It is southwest from where we are now in Yangsan and is connected to the mainland by a really sweet bridge. We took a bus from Busan to Namhae on Friday night and then a taxi to Sangju beach (which is one of their top things to see on the Namhae website!). We unloaded ourselves from the taxi, took several looks around and realized that we were not on a hoppin' beach but rather in a depressing ghost town. There were several motels that we spotted, but only one with the lights on and any sign of human life in it. We were starved so tried also to find a restaurant to grab a quick dinner only to realize only one restaurant was open. Their specialty, you ask? Raw fish. yum. We talked them into giving us Ramyeon (Korean version of our cheap Ramen noodles...they are cheap here as well and pretty much bear the same stigma) and the owners showed us upstairs to their discrete motel that was actually rather nice. We enjoyed being able to lay in bed and watch tv (the only English was sports, which we were totally game for) since our apartment does not have cable set up. Our land-lord told us that we could not set up cable television unless we could promise to keep this lease for 3 years -- sorry, bucko...no TV in our apartment it is. And for what it's worth for Namhae, I'm sure you are wonderful and quite fun in the summer, oh Namhae.
Austin and I woke up the next day optimistically thinking that the experience the previous night of Ghost Town, South Korea was just an illusion and that in the morning there would be more activity. After walking around the beach and surrounding beach area and seeing appx. 10 people Austin made the executive decision to grab our things and return home. For those questioning our judgment and thinking that we are sissies, you're probably right. At the moment of depression we didn't care, though. I mean, 10 people in a whole village, really!?!? So we tucked our tail between our legs, boarded the bus back to Busan and smiled as we entered back into our gigantic city :)
Saturday night Austin and I had the perfect "us" night by going to a yummy Western restaurant (Book&Beer) and shared skewers of peppers, onions, shrimp, salmon, etc. We then did what we do best: coffee shop it up and enjoy the relaxingness of sipping a latte and reading.
On a super positive note, because of our earlier-than-expected arrival back into Yangsan, we got to go with our good friends Paul, Bertha and baby Sonya to a great English-speaking church in Busan. It is called Antioch International Ministry (AIM) and has English-speaking Christians from all over the globe...America, Korea, Philippines, Africa, Japan, etc. The church also holds a Chinese and Japanese service at the same time as the English service but in a different part of the building. It was so refreshing for us to be able to worship and be in a community of believers that we can understand and fellowship with. Thank you, God, for that blessing. AIM is about an hour away from Yangsan, but way worth the travel to get to be with other believers.
That's all for our at-times-dismal and sporadic but fun weekend.
For those who have not received it yet and were wanting our address here:
Austin and Lauren Schauer
Gyeongsangnam-do, Yangsan City, Mulgeum-eub, Beom-eo Li,
Namyangsan Heights Vill #404, South Korea, 626-814