From Gail: We have finished our third week here on Jeju Island. We are enjoying our time with these kind and loving people. We have not had an opportunity to tour the island and really have only been to the supermarket twice, the hospital to support one of our new friends who had a baby girl, and Bob to see a doctor for some medicine for congestion caused by allergies.

We walked the prayer labyrinth with 5 youth from Mayflower Church.

When the Pastor suggested an outing on Saturday, we jumped at the chance! We are on an island and you probably can guess what that means. Beaches!!!!!! This place is called the Hawaii of S. Korea. I really love the beach and draw life from just seeing it and hearing the waves hitting the shore. It certainly was an offer we could not refuse!!!

Green Tea Ice Cream. A first and very tasty.

Five of the older teens, the Pastor and his wife, and Bob and I all piled into a minivan, and off we went! The first stop was a lovely prayer garden with different scenes of Jesus’ life portrayed in an interesting way in statuary. The grounds were beautifully landscaped. There was a big amphitheater, a lovely lake, and a prayer labyrinth which was longer than it looked! We all walked it in a line and it was intriguing to find yourself getting close to the center only to be led away back to the outer edge, then winding back again into the center – just like a person’s spiritual life and seeking God’s will sometimes can be. Everyone did eventually arrive at the center, which presents a hopeful view of pursuing God, I think. If we seek Him with our whole hearts, we will find Him.

We then drove to a tea museum – that’s right, an entire museum about tea. What, you might ask do you see in such a place? I’m not sure because we actually skipped the museum, and we all had Green Tea ice cream! It was really good! The grounds there were intricately landscaped with Korean styles, winding paths, little buildings and statues in among the plantings, and there were lots of places to sit and rest and talk. That is the hardest part of the trip – language. Fortunately, we had Google translator, and the teens have some English, so it all was a very restful and diverting time from what has proven to be a busy daily schedule.

Third on the list was lunch at a well-known Korean restaurant with authentic local fare. We enjoyed sharing cook-it-yourself-hibachi-on-the-table meat and veggies – delicious. Bob even used chopsticks like the other customers – well, not exactly like the other customers! His big question about chopsticks – how do you pick up rice with chopsticks…very carefully.

The unique hexagonal shaped lava columns that form the base of Jeju Island are easy to see where the lava met the sea so many years ago, causing this unusual rock phenomenon along the shoreline.

We then visited an area along the shoreline of the Pacific. A winding trail led us along lava cliffs high above the crashing ocean. Such a wonderful site. I could have stood there for hours watching the tourist catamarans that were viewing the same cliffs from the water, the parasail boats, and the speedboats impressing their customers with sudden bursts of speed and the occasional airborne leap.

I’ve never seen cliffs like these. They are topped with normal-looking black lava flow, but the bottoms of the rocks, where the lava hit the sea long ago, are broken into something called “hexagonal columnar joints” (from the signs which thankfully included English). The rocks looked like solid-rock crystal-shaped columns all joined together into large sections with the waves crashing up against them. It’s very hard to describe, so I’ll include a picture. We’ve never seen anything quite like it. Apparently, the whole island’s foundation is structured like that.

Last on the list was the beach!!! Hooray!!! We didn’t have our bathing suits, but that did not stop us from wading out into the splashing waves. The waves were great and there were lots of surfers though the waves were pretty small. We stayed there several hours. Bob taught two of the boys how to throw a frisbee, which we had brought with us from the US. The ocean always gives me life!

A beautiful way to end a long week of teaching. One more week to go!!!!

The ocean makes me happy!