Gochang Fortess festival 

The festival has taken over the town. Not too long ago I moved to downtown location a few steps from  Zenith. This also means that I am a crosswalk away from giant speakers pointed right at my face. It encourages me to lock the windows and stay inside however I don’t mind being woken up by the opening ceremony. I caught a little bit on video. I love the traditional instruments. 

Alleycon

September 19th and 20th Gwangju’s Design Center held the foreign geek convention. Every kind of geekery was represented. Dr. Who was there, Snow White was present, Kreiger from Archer was there. These were just the cosplay outfits I recognized. There were writers and artists selling their items. There were a few bands rocking the convention halls. There were people giving lectures on different topics. Wyll and I played so many board games, I finally got to play Pandemic which I’ve been wanting to play for years. There were a few games people brought that I had never seen or heard of. Games where there is no board but there are figurines and model landscapes. There was Magic the Gathering and RPGs like Dungens and Dragons. 

The event is heavy on charities so there was a pay to play DnD session that ran all night long at someone’s house and was broadcasted live via twitch. Two of the concessions supported a local school. One of which was the Kwangju Foreign School which hosted a Halloween party for kids that I took my younger brother to last year. Also most of the tournaments have fees to support something. 

I was so busy catching up with friends that I didn’t do everything I intended. I did get to watch Steve Ward of The Coffee Manifesto make three different types of brewed coffee. He and his wife brought delicious baked goods from a local organic French bakery. The food was good the coffee was amazing and the people are awesome! Needless to say I spent a lot of time near the coffee booth, especially after they set up a baby zone. It was wonderful to set down the 25 pounds of energy that tends to be strapped to my front when we travel. 

I met so many new and different people. People who are interested in unique things even for the States. I met a girl who is a clothing designer. There was a lady who makes her own mead- in Sourh Korea! I got to hang out with moms I shared being pregnant with. I had people come up to me asking if I was the game designers wife or telling me I was. It was a lot of fun. 

   

    
    
 
In this last picture, Steve is showing me how to make cold brew!

Update October 2015

These past three years have been a wonderful opportunity to submerge myself in a different culture and see what life is like outside of the US. There are still many things I would like to see and accomplish before we leave. Nine months to do something great that we hadn’t thought of before. Or to buckle down and do the things we forgot!

After reaffirming my desire to try again for the Foreign Service, I rearranged my schedule to put studying in the forefront. At first I wasn’t sure how to study. I thought back in July that since we were headed back to the states at some point I should get back into learning Korean. I haven’t really figured out how to study Korean. Last year I had a tutor but the first stages of pregnancy put extra activities on hold. So in July I got a copy of Rosetta Stone Korean and Living Languages Korean. I got to unit four when I realized I was procrastinating, this would help me in Korea but not for the Foreign Sevice Test. 

What would help me for the test? Last time I had passed the multiple choice section. My score on the essay had been terrible. I enrolled my husband into helping me. We had already arranged to watch the baby alone for a couple of hours a day, so we each had personal time. I used my time for essay writing, suggested reading and learning Korean. As the test day became closer and closer more of our time went to focusing on the test. Two weeks before I think Wyll spent all his time watching the baby while I prepared.

It was wonderful. He read my essays and graded them according to ACT. I will difinately pass the essay section now I’m worried I spent too little time studying history or something. I’m driving myself crazy waiting for the results. It has barely been a week. I won’t know anything until mid-November at the earliest. 

   

 I’m submerging myself in the culture a little more. I started making 반전. I want to make more Korean food at home and practise the language more. I was recently inspired by a friend who is now doing all social posts in Korean.

So, I have high hopes for learning Korean. I’m using so many books. I also have an idea for a flash card game. I think there are some people who would be interested in helping me learn too.