Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 8 (May 31st In Seoul)

Today was a no plan day.  So we decided to go back to Dongdaemun, but bring everyone this time.  Jaemin had already bought us a meal with Mrs. Kim's money as she asked and we also wanted him to pick some items out to buy and bring back home with his money.  He still has enough left for one more Korean meal for the family tonight.  The streets in Dongdaemun are packed with people even on a week day.  I really wanted to get some shoes, but getting the attention of the store owners when they're on the phone is impossible.  We just walked around and found some gifts for some of the Godparents and Jaemin found what he wanted.  Of course, he immediately saw a whole set of the older Ninja Turtles and HAD to have them.  Then, he saw a KTX train and he loves trains, so he bought that too.  We got him a Pororo water holder, Hangul numbers puzzle, fan, and a couple of other small items.  We found some cute clothes for the girls too.  I wish I could take a picture of the subway during rush hour.  It's amazing how many people funnel into these tunnels.  You have to be assertive in Seoul.  You must push your way and get through or you will go nowhere.  We're getting used to that.

Nice laid back day though.

In the mornings, the ladies at the restaurant behind us prepare for the meals of the day.  Much of Seoul is this way in the morning.

Dongdaemun Area.

Cheonggyecheong Stream near Dongdaemun.

Jaemin and most of his toys he bought with the money (dollars he calls them) Mrs. Kim gave him.  He still asks if he is going to see Mrs. Kim again.  I think if he could see her again before we leave he would love to.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 7 (May 30th In Seoul)

We've had a lot of fun and it's almost coming to an end.  Today was our last foster family visit.  And we had perfect weather today...not too hot, not too cold.  Everyone is getting so good at bowing and saying kamsahmnida!  And we're getting a lot more people saying hi to us to try their English out.

Today, we went to ESWS to see Kaelin's foster family. Turns out her foster father came this time.  He really remembers her and loves children a lot.  He looks the same as the pictures from when she was a baby.  Kaelin's foster mother really liked the scarf Kaelin knitted for her.  She gave Kaelin some shirts and socks and socks for the other kids....and food...which Kaelin has been snacking on.  She said that out of over 30 foster children, Kaelin is only 1 of 2 that has returned in all of the years.  I am glad we got the chance to see them again.  It was a really, really nice visit and you can always see how much she loves Kaelin.  She told Kaelin she loved her before she left.  Mrs. Kim is again fostering 2 babies at a time.  She is a very good and strong foster mother for Eastern.  She gave Kaelin a family portrait and it included her two children, their spouses and their daughters.  The granddaughters are so CUTE!

After the visit we were told we would meet Dr. Kim, the President of ESWS.  We went to a room with an Australian family and she talked about the process now, etc.  She gave each of the kids gifts.  She then invited us to a lunch buffet with other families waiting to receive their children.  The food was so good!  After that we talked to the Australian family for a bit and they took us to their guest house room so we could see what they looked like.  I think we can fit if we ever come again (like me with the younger 3 or something....maybe?).

We then walked to the Trick Eye Museum.  Kind of expensive, but one of a kind to see for sure. Pictures speak for themselves.

We were tired after that, but it was only about 3:30, so everyone came back to the hotel and Kaelin and I decided to walk to Namdaemun.  We spent a lot there in 3 hours of walking.  Came for almost everything I got.  I did get Lois the postcard from Trick Eye and mailed it.  Got Becky the ugly sunglasses at Namdaemun.  Got my pillows for my living room and then Kaelin found herself some cute shoes and Jaemin some slippers....and Kaelin got slippers.  We'll try to work on Godparents tomorrow.

It's been really fun!

 Dr. Kim with our family.

 Kaelin at her agency (ESWS)

Trick Eye Museum:

Stopping for a rest between ESWS and Trick Eye.
Same walk to our hotel and back (from the subway) almost everyday.

We walked to Namdaemun and saw that the South Gate had been repaired.  It was still under repair 4 years ago and Kaelin sat in the same place she did 4 years ago for another picture.