Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our New Address!

1060 Thornrose Way
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's Next?

Now that we are back in the States we have frequently been asked the question "So what are you going to do next?" I thought I would spend a few minutes answering the question for those of you who haven't been able to ask us in person. Since November 22nd we have been living with my parents in Cherryville, NC. Since we are in a transition time without jobs we have tried to keep ourselves busy. I went to a conference on "Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention" for a few days with my father in Ridgecrest, NC. Then on a hunting expedition with my uncle in Camden, SC. We have also been on the go visiting friends and all the new babies that have been born during our 15 month absence. This past weekend we traveled to Williamston and Henderson, NC with my parents where we visited the Griffins, Ms. Sexton and the Burnhams. All of those were great visits and they further increased my excitement about our upcoming move to the eastern part of the state. On Friday we leave to go to Atlanta, GA. where we will spend about five days with Leslie's brother, Brent. We are looking forward to spending time with him and seeing his new house.

We will continue living in Cherryville until January 12th, then we pick up and move to Wake Forest, NC. In Wake Forest I will be attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and we will be living in their married housing apartments for the upcoming spring semester. Leslie is currently looking for a job as a Graphic Designer in and around the Raleigh area. When the day arrives will be sure to update you with the good news that Leslie has found a job she likes, until then please pray for her as she searches.

Our goal is to only live in the married housing apartments for a semester. Since we know that the Masters of Divinity program will run me at least three years we would like to try and buy a house somewhere in the area. If you are keeping a list of prayer requests the hope and dream of buying a house is somewhere below Leslie finding a good job and me not failing out of school.

Now you know about as much as we do. Thanks for keeping up with us and for praying for us, we will be sure to keep you updated as we can. God bless.

PS. I have some really great friends who are working in a very difficult place in Africa. They have a wonderful blog that I know you will enjoy reading and following. They both graduated with me from Rift Valley Academy in Kenya and they have since gone on to receive degrees from Moody Bible College and Columbia International University. They are some of the most capable people I know and no one in the world could do the job they are doing any better than they are. I know they would appreciate your prayers as well.
www.africanfaders.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Amsterdam


Here we are the third and final installment of the "Trip Home" series. Thanks for sticking with me this far.

Amsterdam was by far the easiest city to get around in. The public transportation was so easy to learn and use, it amazed me. The train ride from the airport to Central Station was a quick 15 or 20 minutes, then we walked outside and got on a tram which took us close to our hotel. The whole time we were there it was so easy to use our little map out of the travel book and get wherever we wanted without walking to terribly far. The weather was much colder than Thailand or Athens so we weren't as excited about exploring the city on foot as we were the previous destinations. America could really stand to learn a lesson or two about public transportation from Europe, or Korea for that matter it was good there as well.

In Amsterdam we were forced to stay in a hotel rather than a hostel due to conditions beyond our control. A week or so before we arrived in Amsterdam we were online looking and looking for available hostel rooms and were dumbfounded not to find any. When we arrived we found out why, it was Cannabis Cup week! Evidently, Amsterdam hosts it once a year and we just happened to pick that weekend to travel through. For those of you curious...No we didn't join the judges but in case you're interested I will explain how it works. Anyone over the age of 18 can buy a judges pass for x amount of money. That individual can then go around to all the different "coffee shops" and smoke their finest selection. That judge then votes on which "coffee shops" had the best product. The winners can then boast that they have the best selection available. (By the way, if you are an American reading this thinking how liberal and far down the slope Holland is, you should just know that most of the people walking around with judges passes on were Americans.)


Amsterdam was a beautiful city to explore. Athens of course has the Parthenon and those surrounding hills but outside of those the city itself is nothing to special to look at. Amsterdam was fun for the eyes wherever you looked. Buildings that looked ancient but housed modern offices or buildings that we swore looked like they were leaning sideways. A beautiful, old, (but still active) stone church sat in the middle of the red light district. The canals and their accompanying bridges are a marvel to behold. I would love to go back sometime when the weather is warmer, rent bicycles and ride up and down each canal.

We went to the Van Gogh Museum one day and that was interesting, (more interesting if you really enjoy art, most of it was lost on me.) We also went to the Hemp Museum, personally I found it more entertaining than Van Gogh. Inside they had a completely legal grow house, along with lots of other documented history regarding hemp and its use over the years. You can see pictures from the grow house in the flickr album, evidently they have won several awards at Cannabis Cups over the years. This is one of the many reasons I love traveling, you can see so much crazy stuff that you would never get to see otherwise.

The food was good, we had Indian, hot dogs, English breakfast (2 eggs sunny side up, on top of toast, with a side of bacon, fantastic!), fish and chips, shawarma, I enjoyed it all.

Another fun part of the trip was a parade that happened while we were there. St Nickolaus comes to town a little earlier in Amsterdam than he does in America. There was a big parade to welcome him as he rode through town on his white horse accompanied by the black faced Peters. (Why are there black faced Peters? I don't know. Look it up.) They handed out ginger snaps to all the kids and to us if we smiled big enough. It was fun. We only have a few pictures of the occasion though because the battery on the camera was about to die, there is at least one good pic of St Nickolaus though.

Well I hope you have enjoyed these posts about the trip home. If you have further questions about any of these places you can feel free to ask. If you want to see pictures of Amsterdam click on the Flickr photo link on the right hand side of the page and go to the set titled "Trip Home: Amsterdam."

Monday, December 03, 2007

Athens


I think quite honestly that this may have been my favorite stop on this trip. We arrived early in the morning and made our way to Athens Backpackers Hostel very near the Acropolis. Check in time wasn't until one o'clock so we left our bags and went up the hill to see the sights. Within two hours of being in the country we were sitting on top of the Acropolis in the shadow of the Parthenon. The whole experience of walking up the hill through the olive trees, past the ancient marble, through the scaffolding, between the throng of retired American tourists was just fantastic. The view from the top of the Acropolis is marvelous. No matter how many pictures or postcards you have seen of the Parthenon and the other temples at the top of the Acropolis nothing comes close to being there. Standing in front of ruins that old really put me in awe.

The hostel was nice but it was a bit difficult to sleep with all the other people in the room having different schedules requiring them to either come in late or get up insanely early. Staying there though did provide us the chance to meet other travelers and hear their stories. One of the best parts about traveling is meeting other people from around the world and hearing their perspective.

Greek food is wonderful. It was such a nice contrast from the Korean food we had been consuming for fourteen months. Everything is cooked in large amounts of olive oil and it tastes great. We ate baked chicken and potato almost every day, plus gyros and slouvaki, and greek salad which is drenched in olive oil dressing with a generous slab of feta cheese. It was fun every time we ate.

The second and third day we climbed Aeropagus Hill (in Acts 17 it is referred to as Mars Hill) and walked through the Ancient Agora (market). Mars Hill stands in a great location. Depending on how you are facing you can look down on the Ancient Market or turn around and look up at the Acropolis, and of course all around is a great view of the city of Athens. I have always wanted to do a tour of Israel and the numerous sites there that are mentioned in the Bible. But this was a good second to what I think that experience will be like. While we were standing on top of Mars Hill an American church group walked up and sat beside us and did a reading of Acts 17, then the preacher did a short talk about what the city of Athens was like during the time of the apostle Paul, he also gave some good background on the intellectual community which Paul was speaking to when he preached his famous sermon "The Unknown God." It was a wonderful experience that really made the whole trip to Athens worth every penny that we paid.

If there is one regret that I have it is that we did not have enough time to go south and do the Greek islands. I would love to go back and island hop sometime when the weather is warm. If you want to see pictures of our time in Athens click on the link to the right called Flickr Photos then go to the set titled Trip Home: Athens. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an upcoming post on Amsterdam. If you have questions you are of course welcome to ask, write me an email or post a comment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

My wonderful friend Catherine had my kids sing happy birthday to me. It was so touching. I miss them already. Thank you Catherine!! I miss you too! You made my Korean experience better just for being my friend. :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thailand x 3


This is part one in a three part series (at least on the part of Thomas, Leslie may add more) about our travels from Seoul, Korea to Cherryville, NC. Stop number one is Thailand.
I swore right after this happened that I would never tell anyone because I am amazingly embarrassed but oh well here goes anyway.

Leslie and I had said our good-byes to our students and friends, we were packed and ready to go. We showed up at the Air Singapore desk and the lady behind the counter asks to see our visa for India... I knew it was bad right away but I wasn't quite sure how bad, I've never been quite this stupid (in this particular area, at least) before. Because I didn't get us visas for India we couldn't get on the plane! Unless you have been in this type of situation there is really no way for me to tell you how uncomfortable it feels. After some research we found out it was going to take around a week to get a visa for India so we decided to scrap it altogether.

I went into an English speaking travel agency in Seoul and with desperation in my eyes looked across the desk and asked the woman to get us out of Korea. She said she could put us on a flight to Bangkok the next day for a really great price so, (even though we have already been there twice in the last year) we took it. She then got us a flight from Bangkok to Athens for the following week. The lady then proceeded to call the Korean travel agency we had bought our India tickets through and demanded our money back for us. I don't know how she did it but we are getting a full refund for those tickets with only a few minimal fees. I was so grateful I could have jumped over the desk and kissed her; that's not quite acceptable behavior in Korea though so I just bowed and thanked her in every language I know. The next day we were on our way to Thailand, again.

I am sure there is plenty more to do and see in Bangkok but on our previous visits we have really seen as much of it as we care to. So we bought two round trip tickets from Bangkok to an island called Koh Samui. If you have read the book or seen the movie The Beach, it is mentioned there. Unfortunately for us, we happened to be sitting on one of the world's greatest beaches during rainy season. From the Indian visa into the rainy season, our luck had not been so hot thus far. Anyway. We did our best to make the most of the situation. Koh Samui is used to having tourists so there is no shortage of tailors, street vendors, pharmacists, massauses, etc. selling any and everything you can possibly imagine. Leslie had a wool, winter coat custom made and yours truly, the t-shirt, sandal, jean wearing, future seminary student got two custom made suits. Those JCPenny wearing professors aren't going to know what to think. I can just hear them now "He looks like a vagabond bum in class one day and he rolls in like Armani the next" ha ha.

One of the fun things about all the rain is that the streets flooded. So I rented a scooter and went driving through it. As long as you keep the exhaust pipe out of the water it's all fun so thats what I did. There were even some off-roading muddy experiences that put a pretty decent size smile on my face. All in all out of about six days we had two nice ones, otherwise there isn't a lot to tell about Thailand on this trip. If you're reading this blog for the first time and want to know about our previous trips to this brilliant country there should be a link on the right hand side of the page were you can scroll through old posts and read about it there.

This concludes part one. To see pictures click on the link on the right called "Flickr Photos" and look at the album titled "Trip Home: Thailand." Stay tuned for post 2 of 3 concerning Athens, Greece.

PS. Thai food is still the best food in the world...well...Ethiopian is really good too...let me backtrack a little. Thai food is one of my favorite foods. Go to your local Thai restaurant and order chicken pad thai and a curry called Gang gari Gai (sp?). You'll thank me. Their stir fry dishes are really good too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Korea



Before we get rolling on telling all the awesome things we've been up to for the last three weeks of travel, I would just like to do a quick summary of teaching in Korea.

We started a year contract at Global Kids International (GKI) on August 23rd 2006 and finished October 31st 2007. The fourteen months spent in Korea working at GKI were such an excellent experience for Leslie and myself. Our decision to go was based on a lot of thought and prayer and without a doubt - God was faithful. We had certain financial goals that we wanted to meet while in Korea such as paying off my student loans from undergrad at CIU; we quite easily accomplished that within six months. The other goal was to get a little practice living overseas and living in a different culture far from North Carolina. I can honestly say that we prevailed quite well. Certainly our small, moldy apartment was conducive to arguments and frustrations but we managed and I think we have come away a stronger couple who are now more equipped for the calling that God has laid on both of our hearts to serve Him wherever He chooses to call us.

Secondly we really enjoyed our time with our students and coworkers. In our first six months God blessed us both with fantastic kindergarten classes, where we fell in love with our students and throughly enjoyed being in the classroom with them and getting to know them. The last eight months, at least for me, were more of a challenge as I moved to teach a young class of five year olds. I managed though and I am fairly confident that they all learned a little and at least a couple of them had a really good time in the process (I'm sorry but all teachers have some kids they just like better than others). We both made some relationships with kids that we will remember and cherish for a very long time. Our elementary classes were always sort of the same each and everyday but it was really up to us as to how good a time we had. If we showed up creative and innovative then the day was good, if we showed up to get it over with then well...

The coworkers we had at GKI really helped make our experience a memorable one. There were three Canadians (Jack, Miriam and Catherine), one international (Kimberly) and our two Korean helpers Mary and Hera. When we first arrived they were all super helpful with our transition and throughout the year they turned into friends who we will keep in contact with for a very long time.

Overall I would highly recommend going and if you have any questions about it please feel free to ask either of us.

Coming up next are posts on Thailand, Athens and Amsterdam so stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're back

I am sorry to say that we have not had the chance to upload pictures from our travels just yet. We did however have a great time in Thailand, Greece and Holland. Our last day teaching in Korea was October 31st, since then we have been traveling. Last night, November 21st, we arrived in Charlotte at 1:30am, about 25 hours after leaving our hotel in Amsterdam. It was a long day. I promise that within the week we will post our pictures and write some thoughts about our travels. Thank you for thinking of us and praying for us these past 15 months while we have been overseas. Don't forget to check back soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

God's Agenda


This past week was a big one for my (Thomas') old man. Dad was given the chance to go back to his Seminary alma mater and speak in chapel. It's no small thing to be asked to speak to such a group and I know Dad was excited if not also a little nervous. I am proud to say that he represented himself and our Lord in quite a fine fashion. I have listened to the message twice myself and it was even better the second time. It is no wonder with a Dad like mine that God reached into my life a few years ago and began leading me to Southeastern myself. I challenge you to take 30 minutes and listen, you might be surprised how God uses this bald, old, gospel warrior to spark a passion for the nations in your own life. Click HERE for a link to the school's page so you can listen, scroll down to October 18.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What a great week!

We’ve had an exciting week. Tuesday was Thomas’s birthday so we went our with our co-workers to Dos Tacos in Gangnam. It was delicious as usual. Then on Thursday we went out again with everyone for Thai food at a new restaurant at the Konkuk University stop. We had delicious red and yellow coconut curries, fried rice and chicken pad thai. Yum! Then they.... amazing friends as they are...surprised us with a going away present of a Nintendo DS! We were shocked! THANK YOU SO MUCH! We’ll miss you guys. It’s been such a blessing to work with everyone at GKI. It’s been an amazing year of many adventures and travels. None of which we’ll soon forget! I can’t believe we leave Korea in 3 weeks!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Chusok


We just had Chusok, Korea's Thanksgiving holiday once again. GKI had a fun day where we played traditional Korean games with the kids and they dressed up in their hanbok. We were also blessed with a few days off work so we were able to take the KTX bullet train to Busan for a long weekend. We stayed in an awesome hotel that had a huge projector screen tv that came down from the ceiling, a huge jacuzzi tub, a shower complete with steam room, computer with internet access and a Playstation. The beach was very pretty although the weather wasn't. We were able to do a little walking around the cove and even got to see a small lighthouse. It was a nice break from the city!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Update

It's hard to believe that it's the second week of September already. August literally flew by. We purchased our tickets home this weekend! We'll be leaving Korea on November 2nd and flying into Mumbai. Not spending any time in Mumbai but going directly to Goa on the coast. From there going to London and Amsterdam and maybe Paris. Then we're flying home on November 20th. We're really excited about our upcoming trip!

Check out some pictures of my K2 kids from the past month.

Aquarium Field Trip

Making A Volcano

Swimming


Just for fun

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

We've officially been in Korea one year as of this past week. It's been a wonderful experience and we're really glad that we came. Thomas's loan is paid off, we've had the opportunity to travel, and we've had lots of fun in Seoul. We've extended our contract for two more months, so we'll be here until the end of October. Then we're coming home. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Update!

Sorry it's been so long since we've updated! These past few months have been a little crazy. At the end of July we went to a few soccer games. We were able to watch Korea play Uzbekistan, Bolton, and Manchester United. Fun times!

Catherine, Me, Hera, Mary, Miriam

We had our one week summer vacation the next to last week in July. We went to Bangkok, Thailand for a day and our friend Josh Skaggs met us there. Then we went to the island of Ko Samui. We rented a bungalow for the rest of the week. It was on a small resort close to the beach and was wonderful. We had lots of fun relaxing, eating good food and reading our books.

Us with Josh at a Muy Thai Fight

Our Bungalow in Thailand

I went into the hospital for my sinus surgery on Sunday, August 5th. Surgery was on Monday. The doctors and nurses took great care of me there. My nose was packed with a lot of gauze, which was removed on Tuesday morning. They actually served me Western style food every day! It was really good too! It's probably the best I've eaten on a daily basis since we've been in Korea. I was released from the hospital on Thursday and able to come home.

This past week I returned to work and have continued to recover. My breathing is getting more normal every day. My only pain is a slight headache from time to time. I'm on lots of medicine to prevent infection along with a nasal spray. I feel good! I have to say, I'm glad I did it. I think it's really going to help me. I've struggled with constant sinus infections since I've been here and this will hopefully eliminate them for good. If not, then at least for a very long time.

Carmen's friend Nathaniel, Carmen and Us

Tuesday of this week, Thomas's cousin Carmen Baker came to visit! She's currently teaching English for the YMCA in Japan. She's been there for about 2 months and is really enjoying it. We had such a great time hanging out and getting to know her. We went to the Black Eyed Peas concert, saw the movie Stardust and ate different kinds of Korean food and some sushi. She left this morning and we were sad to see her go. Though we are considering going to visit her in Tokyo!

Black Eyed Peas Concert

Thank you so much to all the people that prayed for me through my surgery and recovery. I could really feel the hand of God on the whole situation. It honestly couldn't have worked out any better. Now, August is almost over! Our 2 year anniversary is on Monday. I can't believe it. We miss you guys and are looking forward to coming home in only 3 months!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Boryeong Mud Festival

Boryeong boasts 9.9 million square meters of the brown stuff, and it’s not just any old muck. Far from it. In fact, Boryeong is the only area to receive a certified credit from The Korea Institute of Geology, Mining and Materials for the quality of the mud on its tidelands. The blackish mud is rich in minerals such as germanium and bentonite (highly effective in preventing wrinkles), and apparently radiates long infrared rays (which in case you wondered is a good thing). The Boryeong Mud Festival was started six years ago to make the most of this precious resource, and now attracts over a million visitors. Attractions include mud slides, mechanical rodeo rides in the middle of mud baths, a mud body-painting contest, a mud sculpture contest, traditional Korean wrestling in mud and an enormous communal mud tub. There are also games and mock battles on the mud flats.

Thomas, Catherine, Josh, Jamie and I went to the Mud Festival this weekend with Adventure Korea. The weather was beautiful and we were able to get some sun and lounge on the beach.

It was a package trip where the cost included our round trip bus ride and hotel. We knew going into it that our room wouldn't have beds. Ok, five of us on the floor with some blankets and pillows. Two of which were filled with drinking straws cut into one inch pieces. Weird. Something about being a cheap alternative to a contour pillow. Not too soft I have to say. So, we go in our hotel room and look over and lo and behold the five of us are sharing a room with another group. The two rooms had NO WALL in between!

Needless to say it wasn't a match made in heaven. Saturday night we enjoyed an amazing fireworks show and retired at around 12:30am. Our "roommates" didn't make it in until 4:30am. Completely wasted and laughing hysterically for about an hour. We were not happy campers.

On Sunday we lounged on the beach all day. I finished my book, Blink, which was awesome by the way, I recommend it to anyone! I have a nice little bit of a tan and Thomas got a tad red on his back. Tomorrow is a holiday and we're going to a Peace Cup soccer game! Thomas is super excited. Then Saturday we're off to Thailand for our vacation! Please pray for safe travels. We're meeting up with Josh Skaggs who's on a whirlwind world tour. He'll be coming back to Seoul with us and will stay for a week or so. It'll be fun having a friend from home! Yay!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dancin'


Talk about innovative advertising. We saw this Friday night while we were out. This is a projection of a girl dancing on the glass doors of a store in Gangnam. Pretty cool.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Job Search

As you probably know, we're coming back to the US in November of this year. Only 4 more months to go! Thomas will be attending Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC and I will be bringin' home the bacon. That being said, I have to find a job...deep breath. Over the past week I've put together my online portfolio so I can hopefully woo potential employers. Please keep this in your prayers. I was blessed with a job I enjoyed while we were in Charlotte and I hope to find the same in Raleigh. My prayer is to find a job I really enjoy and hopefully one where I can use my skills to God's glory. Thank you!

www.aigadesignjobs.org/lesliecrane

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

World Vision Stir



And some people wonder why third culture kids often have a hard time adjusting to life in a self absorbed "developed" country. When one has experienced the "developed" and the "developing" countries of the world it can often be hard to justify and acclimate into the former.
James 1:27 says "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." There are so many ways that we can fight and champion for those far less fortunate than us even while sitting in our cozy, over stuffed, swiveling, office chairs (I would be more impressed if you actually got up and got your hands dirty though). Challenge yourself daily to "do something" of greater significance.... I'm rambling.
ps. Be nice to the next TCK you run into... they are weird but... it's not all their fault. Not that TCK's can't be spoiled brats too, I mean look at me, I had Margret for goodness sakes. But having been witness to so much suffering over a long period of time does tend to put things in perspective.
pps. I'm not ranting and raving against the "developed" world, it is after all the technology of that world that allows me to ramble here. I just wish we would better use our efforts and resources towards an end that benefits those who need it most.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Buddha has a birthday?

A few weeks ago Buddha's birthday was celebrated here in Korea. It's a national holiday so we had a day off work, wahoo! We went with some friends downtown to a Buddhist temple to see all the lanterns and that night saw the Lotus Lantern Parade. It was a fun experience and the lanterns were really quite beautiful.
Lanterns at the temple with prayers attached

A view inside the temple

Women in the parade

A float in the parade

The temple at night

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Family Visit!

Morris, Renee and Sheila getting ready to eat Tak Galbi for the first time

On May 23 our moms and Thomas's grandpa Morris arrived in Korea! We'd been anticipating their arrival for months and were happy the day had finally come. The first night was spent in Incheon where the airport is. We stayed in a nice hotel and even had a real breakfast the next morning. Breakfast is a rare find in Korea so we fully enjoyed it!

Our moms and Morris were able to stay in the IMB Baptist Guest House in Sinchon. It was about an hour from where Thomas and I live, but the low price made it well worth the distance. It was like an apartment with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a common area with couches, a tv and a computer with internet access. It was also very Western in style so our family was quite comfortable.

They were even able to take advantage of the oven! Renee baked us cupcakes and cookies! It's been hard here not having an oven, so that was a welcome treat that we shared with our kindergarteners and the other teachers at our school. Thank you Renee!!

Me and mom with a guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Below are just a few of the photos we took over the past two weeks along with some explanations. We had lots of fun exploring Seoul and visiting with our moms. It was sad to see them go. You forget how much you miss someone until you get to see them again for only a short time and then they're gone again. I love you Mama!

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Eating Korea's famous pork bbq


On Sunday we went to Yeouido Full Gospel church which boasts to be the largest church in the world as far as membership with 800,000 members. We sat in the international section and were able to listen to the sermon on headphones that had about 6 languages including English. We attended the 11am service and it was packed!

Dinner at Sala Thai in Jamsil

Last Saturday we did the USO (US army) DMZ tour. It was awesome. We went to Camp Bonaface which is right at the border of North and South Korea. We saw a great presentation and video about the Korean War and the ongoing conflict between the two countries. We went into a United Nations building that is literally on the border of N. and S. Korea. So we were actually able to stand in North Korea. Outside the building we could see N. Korean soldiers and were told that with every tour they photograph people on tour and look at you with binoculars. I actually got a pretty good picture of an officer observing us. Pretty cool.

Army officers at the DMZ Tour

South Korean Rock Soldier

North Korean Soldier

Renee and Morris with North Korea in the background

On their last day we went to the Korean Folk Village in Suwon. We got to see lots of traditional Korean houses ranging from peasant, to commoner, to middle class and wealthy families.

Me and Mom with kimchi pots

We got "Crane" written in Korean Script

It's hard to believe we've been here 9 months! It's gone by really fast. We only have 4 months left here. Our plan is to leave at the end of October and travel a bit on the way home. We may go to the beach in Goa, India and then to London. Thomas hopes to see and Arsenal soccer game if it works out. Then we'll fly home from London in time for Thanksgiving. It won't be long! Thanks for all your prayers during our time here. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon. ~ Leslie and Thomas