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IVI: A Korea based Company that is bettering the world

After a long day, I am always tempted to dance my way out of work to the latest K-Pop hit towards the closest theme café where I can drop double digits on a coffee while petting dogs, trying on wedding dresses or getting my feet manicured by fish.   These quirky cafes and plethora of other awesome Seoul eateries is just one of the many reasons why I have fallen head over heals for this city.

Yesterday an online video was launched that made me think I should forgo one of these beloved trips each month to budget a few bucks towards giving back to a local charity and making the world a better place.

Uno Residence - Expat-friendly Studio Apartments

Uno Residence - Brand new duplex studio apartments in Yeonsan! 


  • Furnishings including refrigerator, mattress, digital TV, washer
  • Central Heat and Air-conditioning
  • Storage Lockers provided at no charge
  • 24/7 CCTV Security Cameras 
  • Conviently located, 3 minute walk from Yeonsan subway station, exit#1
    Google Map Location
  • English-speaking landlord

Deposit: 5 million won
Rental Fee: 500,000  


Stories of Seoul: Amber

The second video in the Stories of Seoul series is quite the tear jerker. Bring out the tissues...

The other day I had a conversation with a Korean university friend and he mentioned that he would be afraid to go to Itaewon because of transgender people. Hopefully watching this video will enlighten him a bit?

안녕히 가세요, Korea: Some Things We’ll Miss About You

This week we head back to America, which for all its school shootings and conspicuous consumption, will always be home. We will return to a pretty similar version of the life we left there two years ago, kids a little bit older, location a little more central, but essentially the standard NC middle class teacher existence.

We will always hold this place in our hearts. Korea has been special for us in a ton of ways. Living abroad is challenging, and especially so when transitioning between Western and Eastern cultures. Living here, thriving here, taught us a lot about ourselves, our resiliency, our ability to surmount obstacles together.

And there are a laundry list of things we’ll miss about this place. Here are just a couple:

1.  Cheap, delicious food eaten in the company of good friends (WITH CHOPSTICKS):

Late-Onset Culture Shock

I think the hardest thing about living in Korea, as a foreigner, is what feels like constant scrutiny. Maybe it's easier in Seoul, or Busan, places where being a foreigner is no longer so noteworthy, but in my small city and smaller neighborhood, I feel as if everyone is super interested in anything and everything I do, from the moment I step outside my door. If I buy bread at the bakery, the owner wants to know why I'm buying it. For dinner? Breakfast? If I run into my students, they want to know where I'm going, why am I going there, who will I meet? Friends? Korean friends? American? A boy? Girl? Your boyfriend? North Korean spies?

Temple Stay in Gyeongju City

As part of the summer programme (SPIKE) at UNIST, we went for a 2 day 1 night temple stay in Gyeongju City. Temple stays are getting more and more popular as a tourist activity in South Korea. We did not get to sleep in a real temple but we had to eat vegetarian food for the two meals there and we had to attend the evening and morning prayer sessions.

All the happy faces.. not knowing what they will be facing the next morning...

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak & The Haenyo (Jeju's Woman Divers)

     The lady divers of Jeju, or Haenyo (properly pronounced 'hay-nyaa': 해녀- or 'sea women') remind me a lot of the 'Ama women' (pearl divers) in Japan. In Jeju's instance however, these women were best suited to collect the island's aquatic treasures of abalone and conch (abalone porridge (전복죽), by the way, is one of Jeju's most famous dishes and can be eaten best around Seongsan Ilchulbong) and exporting them to Japan in the 1970's. The traditions of the Haenyo can in fact be dated back to the 17th century when the men were off at sea leaving the women to become heads of the family, as seen in a matriarchy, this clashed with the mainland's Confucianist culture wherein women were regarded as second grade citizens.

Peter DeMarco on Photo Contests

Let’s face it, the idea of winning a photo contest and getting a the top prize is pretty tempting. They are designed that way or else no one would enter. You get the feeling of satisfaction that your photo was chosen over all the others and you get a nice chunk of change for your hard work. What could be better than that?

The Badass Koreans

First thing is, there are two types of categories for Koreans who’ve made Russia their home.

And when I say Russia, I actually mean the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

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