Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beijing to Seoul

This was a day spent mostly in the airport and on an airplane. Yet even with delays and the anxiety of knowing the schedule made out for us at our destination was being revised because of the delays, God was gracious and good. I met a man on the plane who couldn't speak English. We spoke in Mandarin, and he kept asking me questions.

I was writing in my paper journal (I keep one of those on trips as well as this blog) and he said to me a number of times, "you write so fast and it looks so pretty." I told him that my husband tells me that my writing looks pretty but no one can read it! We talked more, and he showed me in his passport he had to have a visa to go to South Korea. I told him I didn't need a visa to go to South Korea, but I did need a visa to go to China. He was proud that he spent time in Russia, and would ask me how to say certain words in English. I'd tell him, then he'd tell me the Russian he learned for that word and hr would smile brightly and laugh. He made me laugh, and think about how my own impatience at being late can rob me of the sense of humor I need in just such a situation. I will never forget that man on the plane.

We were picked up by Fr. Yang and Fr. Park and driven to the guest house on the cathedral grounds in Seoul. I was given the same room that I spent the better part of one week in last year when I came to the Korean Convocation. It was like greeting an old friend!

As we were late arriving here and there was a dinner planned with some of the women clergy of the diocese, we were taken on a walk up to Namdemun by Fr. Park. This is just the area I thought Fr. Joshua could find the hats he was looking for to give as gifts. I was right. Fr. Park took us right to where Joshua could make his purchase:

Here's Fr. Park leading us:

Here is a picture of a man dressed up in front of his store modeling some of the goods he was selling. He called over to me to take his picture. He told me he loves America! He was doing a brisk business.

We made it back right at 7:00 to join some of the women clergy for dinner. We talked about Clara and Hannah who have been visiting our Diocese in Los Angeles, and how much we will miss them when they return to Korea. We talked about how women are gaining in number as pastors in the church in China. We remembered and laughed about our time together last year at the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the opening up of ordination to women. It was a warm and relaxing evening. Here we are at the end of our dinner together. Kyrie, to Ada Wong Nagata's left (and across from me) translated for us.

And here is our own Joshua Ng and Fr. Park. They joined us for dinner, but we wanted our picture taken separately.

In the morning I will preach and celebrate at the cathedral.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Beijing and Seoul

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