Volunteering and going to jail…

“I’m an international BALLER.” -J

“It’s like buying a really expensive car that you can’t drive.” -J

Yesterday:

We volunteered with some children at a welfare center, who were there for daycare while their parents (mostly poor, or single parents) were at work. We tried to teach them a little English. It didn’t work out very well…Haha. We had to remind E’s mom that all of these children already had parents, so she can’t take them…

After lunch, we went to Seodaemun Prison History Hall. Which was a terrifyingly eerie place to be. First of all, we though we were going to a Natural Museum, (like a nature/science museum), and were expecting dinosaurs. There were not any dinosaurs. It was a functioning prison until 1987, but was built originally by the Japanese for the torturing of Koreans during the Japanese occupation. We were taken many places that were very uncomfortable to be in…Especially to think that people were being hurt and dying in those places not long ago. It’s one thing to pur your head in the blocks at the Renaissance Fair, but it is totally different to stand inside a wooden torture box that the Japanese used to lock Koreans up in for days at a time. This was not during the Renaissance, or even during the Salem Witch trials. This was from 1910-1948. Tragic, and terrifying.

Thankful for all of the independence activists that have given Korea the right to fly this flag.

Today:

We spent the day in Pyeongtaek City, at our agency’s welfare town. We stayed in the morning with the unwed mothers and made kimbap with them, and then ate it for lunch, along with chicken/ginseng tea. In the afternoon, we played with the children under 5 in another building. These children are not relinquished by their parents, but may be there because their parents cannot care for them at the time, but believe someday they will be able to come back for them, but many times, they never do. It’s so sad to think about, so I tried to not think about it… The babies were so precious. I fed some of them, and they are big enough to have personalities, and were collectively very happy, and they loved their caretakers very much.

I also met with the boy that my mom sponsors today. He is 13, and lives in the rehabilitation center. Everyone told me that he was very cute and smart. He plays handbells, and his favorite class is music. He said his father comes to visit him often. He was very shy and would not look at me, but he was very sweet. I told him to keep doing well in school and that my family was very proud of him.

Tonight was the second night in a row that we had Korean barbeque…not exactly healthy, but we’re living it up while we’re in still in Seoul. Delicious!

Tomorrow we are touring Samsung Electronics, and going to a Korean Spa…should be interesting!

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