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Sewol 2 Year Anniversary Street Interviews

Sewol Underwater

April 16th, 2016 marks the two anniversary of South Korea’s worst maritime disaster when the Sewol Ferry sank on a routine trip from Incheon to Jeju Island while transporting hundreds of high school students on a field trip. KoreaFM.net asked people on the streets of Seoul about the anniversary, how South Korea has changed since the sinking, & if the real truth of what happened will ever be known.

 


"Korean Soul Food" by John Hansen

I awoke to an overbearing smell of hot sauce. It was that time again. The time I could not invite anyone over to my home, knowing they would simply not understand. I could hear dishes clanging against each other, and the kitchen faucet's steady stream.

I got up, walked over to one of the bar stools, and watched as my mother prepared the kimchee. She smiled at me when she noticed I had taken a seat without saying a word. I didn't want to interrupt her concentration while she prepared the common Korean dish, but the smile on her face made me want to help her through this grueling process—adding spices, mixing, lifting heavy pieces of cabbage to the rugged cutting board.


Home is Where?

Well, it didn’t matter. He’d had enough. He wasn’t going to try to understand anything anymore. He was going home.  
 Except that wizards can never go home.
-Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

I come back to that quote every once in a while. When I first read Sourcery, back in high school, I breezed right past it; during a more recent read, it jumped off the page and lodged itself in my brain, and so far, despite my best efforts, I've been unable to kick it out.

Home is something I think about a lot. I've moved so many times that it's taken on a sort of hazy, unfocused quality. There's my hometown, where some of my family is, the place when I spent my childhood. There's my mom's home, in a town I've never lived in. Is it Seattle, where I graduated college? When I say "I want to go home," what do I mean?

Vlog Entry #18: Finding Nathan

Happy Father’s Day to the best dad I could ever hope for! Dad, thank you for your endless love and support, and for giving me all the tools I’ve needed to succeed during this crazy adventure I’ve been on. I may be 12,000 miles away for now, but soon I’ll be using that compass you gave me before I left to find my way home. I love you so much.

 


A Surprise Mother’s Day Visitor

It’s the kind of thing you have to see to believe: waking up to the sound of a mysterious knock on your door; turning over in bed because you assume someone has the wrong apartment; hearing the knock again and begrudgingly rolling out of bed; opening the door ready to give some random Korean person a piece your mind, when suddenly… you see your mom standing right in front of you.

Crazy right?! And on Mother’s Day weekend of all times! I was shocked and overjoyed, to say the least! If I were someone just reading this post I wouldn’t believe it either. So while my mom and I were out making the most of our short weekend together in Korea, I took pictures every step of the way as proof of all the fun things we did together! Below are the highlights. Hover over or click on each picture for details!


9-2-6-1-7

It’s 1999, I’m ten years old,

Emily is almost eight.

A family trip to somewhere fun,

Neither one of us could wait.

 

The tv wedged between the seats

And games of “Not-touching-you!”

Eye spy, slug bug, VHS tapes

And so the hours flew.

 

A passing truck, we pumped our fists,

And heard the engine revvin’.

It sped ahead and the license read,

“9-2-6-1-7.”

 

A memory challenge, “Bet you can’t-” “Bet I can-”

“Remember those 5 numbers.”

She was bound and determined,

To prove she could do it after one long car ride slumber.

 

It’s 2015, I’m twenty-five,

Sixteen years post-bet.

Emily now is twenty-three

And still she won’t forget:

 

“Nine-two-six, one and seven.”

She smiles every time.

And so do I for now I know to

Bet against her is a crime.

 

Creative, driven, Miss Independent


My Renewal Decision and 4 Life Lessons That Helped Me Make It

After thinking heavily about whether or not to renew my contract with EPIK, I’ve decided to return home in August. Signing on for a second year would offer me several enticing financial benefits and mouthwatering travel opportunities. And I’ve had a positive experience at my school, where I would continue to work if I were to renew. But during my time in Korea, I’ve learned or re-learned four life lessons, and made some new discoveries about myself, that have persuaded me to wrap things up at the one-year mark.


An Amari Christmas (or The Pablito Who Stole Christmas)

by Pablo Harris

I.

“Hey T, how’s it going?”

“Hutty! What up man?”

“Oh, just dealing with all this shit that’s about to go down.”

“Yeah, you all right with all this? You ready for it?”

“Yeah, sure, but got a question for you.”

“Shoot.”

“So, what’s up with Pablo? We got this Vegas bachelor party comin’ up and then there’s the big day. You know, my fiance’s getting nervous. She really wants to get a final headcount on this. Last time we talked he was all like ‘yeah, I’ll be there’ but that was two months ago and hasn’t responded since.”

“Yeah? Isn’t he a groomsman?”

“Yeah, s’posed to be. I even convinced Annie to have her friend Lena, Pablo’s favorite UCD Alpha Phi, be his wedding partner.”

“Leee-nnaaa. Shit, that guy owes you.”


Family Walk

Viewing 2015 Through the Lens of 2014

It’s about noon at the Dunphy house on the east coast of the USA, in sunny but chilly Middletown, New Jersey. Dad just put a small sausage pizza in his NuWave countertop oven and I am writing a blog about it. The pizza from ShopRite was 50% off, which means it will be even more delicious.

Meanwhile, back in Busan and Gimhae, South Korea, 2015 celebrations are well underway. And from here it feels like a dream. Or something long ago. Or something that hasn’t happened yet.

But, it’s something I’ll be back in the midst of in a few days after an 18-day sojourn over several seas. Thus, all the time, sleeping pills, early, early mornings and compromised digestive tracts will need to be calibrated anew. Shit. Maybe a poor choice of words.


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