Well, I was so tired from not getting much sleep coming from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul on a red eye -- less than three hours sleep and a LONG day -- that I slept almost 10 hours last night -- waking up after nine in the morning. Glad I was being picked up at 10 to start the day! Steve got sick (stomach) in the middle of the night (Anna, I found out later, did as well). So, I quickly got ready and arrived downstairs in time to meet Fr. Augustine, who was with us when he did his CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Good Samaritan. It was good to be with him! Ada joined us and we headed out.
We got on the subway and headed out. It was already crowded in the streets and in the subway -- it is a national holiday here, and EVERYONE was going out! We started by going to a village set to look the way villages looked in Korea generations ago. There were men braiding shoes and baskets. There were TONS of tourists -- I could speak Mandarin and/or Cantonese the entire time I was in there -- all to the tourists. It was a beautiful walk, and went we went outside the main part of this village (but remained in the park) it was peaceful and serene. There were great views and the air was cool and clear. It felt so good to walk around and not be sweating, as we have during the last few weeks (not that I'm complaining -- but it felt good!)
We then went down to Holly's Coffee (it is a chain -- don't know it's origin, but it was across the street from Starbucks) and had tea. I drank citron tea, which was delicious -- with citron pieces at the bottom.
We then headed over to Insadong for a bit of shopping and lunch. I only bought one very small gift, but we had a great shabu shabu lunch at the same restaurant I ate at 3 1/2 years ago when I first visited. It was still the same delicious shabu shabu! The restaurant was packed -- this being a holiday, EVERYWHERE was packed in Insadong, including the streets. Not as crowded as Beijing, but darn close.
We walked some more, and headed back to the hotel to rest a bit. I got back to discover Steve feeling better, but resting. I suggested we get a tea and a snack at the French Bakery in the basement (I came up in the elevator with a woman who had delicious looking baked goods in a bag from down there). We headed down, and Steve was glad to eat a bit of bread and cheese (yes, cheese). We sat and enjoyed catching up on the walk I had this morning. He actually felt as though he should walk more, so he did about a 2 hour walk, exploring parts of the city I had pointed out to him -- a great gift for him. He did have a bit of a problem understanding the people when they spoke to him (he had the same problem in England, Scotland, and Ireland -- just saying -- any accent is hard for him to understand). At any rate, we enjoyed out time in the bakery.
We met up with Agatha and Lawrence in the lobby at 6, Anna was already there and Ada was right behind us. We then walked over to the restaurant where Agatha's friend Esther was waiting for us with the new baby! He is BEAUTIFUL! The restaurant we ate at tonight is called Bulgogi Brothers. We ended up having a private room, which was GREAT with the babies. We ordered, and immediately the 2 month old woke up and was hungry. Agatha is so good at juggling both boys, and was a champ. After the baby didn't want anymore to eat but was still fussy, and the bulgogi we ordered and bbq we ordered was winding down, Nurse and Priest extraordinaire Ada Wong Nagata took over and walked the baby around until he was almost asleep. I took over next and so enjoyed holding that baby! He was asleep, and stayed that way. To feel his breath against my face was a welcomed gift -- a gift of the Spirit through this young, beautiful life.
Agatha has passed her American Nursing boards (certification?), and her English is improving steadily -- she is a great gift -- she will soon been bilingual, and watching her level of care of her own children, I can only imagine how she cares for her patients (Ada and I have had long talks lately about just this thing -- her own early experience in nursing bears this out).
We said our "see you soons" and headed back over to the hotel.
I am so glad to share Seoul with Steve -- and with all of you.
...and a few more pictures with the Baby and Lawrence....
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