Friday, May 11, 2012

South Korea Day 8-15: WWOOF Korea #1

안녕하세요! Wanted to type a bit in Korean but without Hangul keyboard it is so tideous to use the online keyboard. As expected, I am back for more posts on Korea. As you know, my trip to Korea is not merely an ordinary travel plan. Well, we did travel like tourists for 7 days or so. Here is Day 7, where links to other 6 days are included. In my way previous post, I wrote about me and my other two friends who joined me for our first WWOOF experience. This will be a post on the first farm, which is located at Gangwon-do 강원도, a province next to Gyeonggi-do 경기도 (where Seoul is located).

The first farm is named Naetgang Village 냇강 마올. Since it was our first farm, we were quite surprise that we were not involve in farming much, despite the WWOOF program. Most of what we did was community services. Maybe cause our host is the village head and we were there when there were many events. We lived with our host Mr. Lee 이원희 씨 and his family. One thing to emphasize, his whole family is good looking. ㅋㅋㅋ Alright so here are photos of what we did at Naetgang Village. I only captioned some because there are way too many photos (even though I have already sorted them twice).

The view there there was magnificent! It is located at the foot of mountain ranges and we were lucky to have it as the first farm because we could have froze ourselves if it was to be our last. Eventhought it was still late Summer, the temperature here goes below 10°C during early morning and late nights. Since it is the North-est province, it is also the first province to get snowy during Winter.

To get there, we sat a bus from DongSeoul bus terminal in Seoul to Wontong 원통 bus terminal. 원통 is the nearest town to the village, which is actually still a distance away. Maybe 30minutes. 이원희 씨 picked us up at the terminal when we arrived at Noon and brought us to eat Jajiangmien 자 장면 for lunch. We totally forgotten about 자장면 when we were in Seoul and Busan.

이원희 씨 brought us to our accommodation, which was a fully furnished penhouse. Complete with attached bathroom and kitchen. Refrigerator included, heated floor and television (though all of the channels  are in Korean!) We stayed with a Taiwanese lady, Shawna, who did WWOOF with us together with her mother. It was awesome knowing new people. She is truly our idol because she travels around the world while joining such program and working part time while travelling. Before Korea, she had just came back from a working holiday in Australia. Currently she is still reciting in Korea, working at guesthouse and helping tourists (she speaks much better Korean than any of us!!)

The first thing 이원희 씨 asked us to do is to visit the stream. The view totally wow us because of the mountains around us and the small river/stream. We put down our stuffs and went to the stream straight!

이원희 씨's wife actually owns a restaurant where we spent most of our time at. Usually we just help do the dishes, help to serve the customers or just make ourselves coffee (using automated coffee machine!) LOL Koreans do love coffee a lot. You have coffee machines in almost all restaurants, even at the hotels. And coffee vending machines. They drink coffee after every meal. I am not so much of a coffee lover but their coffee seemed exceptionally yummy!

 Some traditional items displayed in the restaurant.

Since 이원희 씨 is the village head, he is rarely around. We only see him during breakfast and sometimes during dinner. And during the day, there are not many customers at the restaurant (usually only for bookings) we do whatever we want. Shawna 언니 loves walking and traveling so during our free time, we walked to 원통...

We even walked past a military training base LOL

Had our "luxurious" meal in 원통~ Super yummy but their yummy food are mostly spicy! Which makes me upset because I can't really eat spicy food...

And other times when we cannot afford walking for an hour or so over the hilly roads...we just sat around, fully utilized the Wifi LOL or study Hangul 한글...

Our busy time came when there was a visit to the village from UNESCO volunteers. We had to prepare meals and some activities for them. We prepared everything at the village hall.

We witnessed the making of Kimchi김치!! After that there were more to come but we never remember the recipe cause they used so many types of sauces. (_◎)

Took a break and took picture with my coat. I love red coats!! I wonder when will I be using it again...

The process of making Tteok 떡, which is an ingredient for Ddukppoki 떡볶이, the spicy korean rice cake! It can also be eaten as it is or with sugar. Yummy!!

And to our surprise, quite a number of the volunteers of UNESCO was from Malaysia! They thought we are Koreans and they were also surprised knowing we are from Malaysia. ᄏᄏᄏ

And towards the end of our stay at 냇강 마올, we had the opportunity to take part in a community event to welcome Autumn where all the villages in the area where given a booth during the event to promote items from your village. Before that, 이원희 씨 taught us on how to make some handcrafts!

We spent 2 days at the event. The temperature at the event side was even colder because it was located nearer to the mountains, like it was already somewhere on the foot of the mountain. Took lots of pictures during the event because it was the highlight of our stay at the first farm!

We had bibimpap 비빔밥 and Tteok 떡 for lunch!!

This Korean ajussi 아저씨 love my handcraft and requested for a photo LOL

And we learned to make Popcorn 팝콘 the traditional way...

Do you feel Autumn 가을 is near? (my post is so bad-dated, it's now approaching Summer in Korea LOL)

Another village invited us to make some perfumes!!

At the end of the day, there was a game where u need to throw fishes into the jar. LOL And of course those who manage to throw will get prizes :)

These two are toilets. Ain't they cute? But super dirty and smelly. I prevented myself from drinking or eating too much because I was afraid I need to go to the washroom. I later found out there were toilets nearby for the staffs and sneaked in LOL

These are...I think fermented seeds, which makes healthy natural wine. It was quite pricey when we saw the price. Took a few sips and found out it was more concentrated than it looks and I think the alcohol level is like Vodka or something.

This is me, already feeling tipsy...LOL

Our haraboji 할아버지who helped us a  lot during the event. Taught us lots of stuffs too though we only partially understand because he spoke in Korean >.<

The day after the event ended, 할아버지 invited us to his house. He brought us to visit his farm as well.

If you watched Family Outing 1, the scene where Chun Hee and Hyo Ri were collecting these and Chun Hee clumsily stepped on these, then you'll remember Chestnuts. I didn't know it was really spiky until I had problem picking it up. The spikes looked soft but in fact they are hard and really sharp!

The day before we left, 이원희 씨 brought us to his farm and we had our first farming experience on WWOOF. LOL. Did some harvesting of potatoes 고구마, fruits and some weeding.

Bottles and bottles of Soju 소주, for those who never tried it before, it tasted like Vodka Original. Which I definitely don't prefer Makkeoli 막걸리 (Korean rice wine)compared to 소주 and mekju 맥주 (beer). No I am not an alcoholic, Koreans just love drinking so we enjoyed with them :D

Phew, that is the end. We stayed at 냇강 마올 for a week. Overall, it was an amazing experience! We met new people, learned new cultures and had fun! Our 2nd and 3rd farm were also so much of adventures so stay tuned!

No comments: