Sunday, May 9, 2010

Girls' Weekend!

Friday night around 7:30pm, Taylor headed out to avoid contact with 15+ girls who were coming to stay for a "girls' getaway." He decided to stay at the local jjimjjilbang since he was going to be helping carpool the ladies to our craft the next morning. For those who do not know what a jjimjjilbang is... I will take a moment to introduce you to this Korean cultural tradition. Basically they are public bath houses. The men and women have seperate floors where the rooms are filled with large "hot tubs" in varying degrees. They are called "baths" and can vary in temperature and contents. Some Jjimjilbangs will have tea baths, salt baths, cold baths, warm baths, scalding baths, even mud baths. Then there are also saunas, both dry and wet. There are typically rows of low vanities with sinks and mirrors as well as a hose with a shower head on it attached to the faucet... as is every Korean in-home shower. At these low setting vanities, you sit on a plastic stool and proceed to scrubb yourself with a textures wash cloth and attempt to scrubb your skin off in hopes that you will become "paler" in the process. Fair skin is BIG over here. Where as in the states we try to get tan... here the women go to great lengths to protect their skin form the sun. They even go so far as to put bleaching agents in their skin care products! Anyways... back to the jjimjjilbang... besides the huge bath rooms, there is a common room, where you can go and watch television, eat, drink and even sleep. You typically pay about 7,000 won for a 24 hour period! Good deal huh?! (That is about $6.50) Well, our small town jjbang is only 6,000 and much smaller than the ones you might find elsewhere. Taylor took his sleeping bag and headed out while I put Corin down for the night in his own bed... we thoguht it might be easier that way!
So Corin fell asleep and at around 8:45 the girls started to show up. A little after 10 all the ladies that would be coming for the night had shown up and the house was roaring! There were 16 of us in all and man oh man were we loud! haha! Amazingly, Corin slept through the "white noise" and so we werew able to visit and then share some testimonies... it was sooooo good. Finally around 3:30am, when we were all quieted down and getting ready for bed, Corin's door opened and he stared blankly at the mass amounts of strangers in his livingroom who were not there when he went to bed. He mumbled a few words and then stammered back into his room. That was our hint that it was time to take a "nap" and so we began lying down to sleep... well most of us! A few girls talked and giggled and laughed hysterically in the livingroom after the lights went out. I was lying in bed with Corin as he asked several questions about the going-ons out there... it was pretty funny. "Who's that momma? She's loud mama. What's a midget mama?" To say the least, I was getting great joy out of this night! Finally around 4:00am the house fell silent and we all slept for a few hours at best. 7:00am came too soon. Corin was up and ready to go, but I had to entertain him in his room for at least another half hour before we went out to wake the rest of the crew. &:30 on the dot, I went out and began to get breakfast started as Corin began waking the girls! One by one, he would drag someone into his room and convince them to play with him. I think he was too afraid to go out into the room with all of them at one time! So soon eggs were scrambled, coffee was brewing, yogurt and fruit were out, and the girls were peeling themselves off the floor to get ready for the day. Around 9 Taylor showed up to help tote gals to the local dye house for our craft. After a couple of trips, along with the help of a couple other gals driving, we all were reunited at the dye house in nearby Haman. The craft was to dye a silk scarf with the traditional form of dying using natural materials to create the colors. We were dying ours a golden yellow using boiled onions skins! The women that work there had prepared the dyes ahead of time so that they would be cool enough for us to use. So we prepped our scarves, rinsed them and then dunked them in the dye for about 20 minutes. After that we gave them another good rinse and hung them to dry. Some of the girls tried using another color as well and soon we all had beautifully dyed scarves of our very own creation! :) Meanwhile, our guest speaker and daughter-in-law had arrived on the local bus and Taylor had let them in. So he showed up and we decided to try ALL piling in the cars so that we would not have to make multiple trips. It worked... we all got back to the apartment in one trip and in one piece! Upon arrival, we dove into the scriptures with our guest speaker who happened to be a mom that was in town on a visit! :) She spoke once before and once after lunch. The topics were "a servant's heart" and "hospitality" which were both really good reminders of what our lives should look like in serving one another. Lunch was a little crazy as we whipped up batches of fried rice... but once I got a system down, I was able to get a pan of fried rice cooked and ready in about four minutes! Of course... I now have tons of left overs in my fridge from my overzealous attemot to make sure we would have enough! haha... fried rice... it's what's for dinner!
After the second teaching session the girls either napped, walked around, sat and talked or hit up the brand new convenience store they set up out of the apartment office building... I am super excited about this! Anyways, we all finally settled back in the apartment and shared testimonies until it was pack time and then packed up in a hurry before all heading back to Busan. Most of the girls left in cars but a few decided to eat dinner in town with me as I had planned. So about 6 of us caught the loacl bus into Yeongsan and ate at a little Korean cafe. We packed in a few more good laughs before I helped them get tickets to Busan. Then Taylor picked me and Ashleigh up and we headed into the city ourselves. IT was a long day, but it was worth it! I had a blast and I am pretty sure a lot of them did as well... even if it took us 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get into Busan due to traffic! OOoops! :) So much for the hour drive!

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