On Saturday, we started off the day by making some kimchi. I've never made any before, so I was super excited going into this class. The class was very well prepared, and we learned from the techniques of a kimchi "grand master". Pretty grand title, I must say. We used cabbage, and many different spices. Honey was one of the ingredients, which I thought was interesting. Anyways, we packed our kimchi and I was able to take it back. I didn't end up packing any of it, but I tried my kimchi when we got back to the guest house, and I thoroughly enjoyed the taste. After kimchi making class, some students were allowed to go to Dongdaemun, and many went to the war museum. I ended up going to souvenir shop. I stopped by a shop called Honey. It was near one of the Hongdae Exits that we've passed by several times. I found it humorous that I had trouble looking for Korean souvenirs because most souvenirs were about New York or Paris. I ended up buying a ton of small gifts for my friends back home - the gifts included mango soap, a tea infuser, and lazy glasses. I know, not Korean at all, but it'll do for now.
Today, we went to Yeoido Full Gospel Church. The church is supposedly the biggest in the world, and I witnessed it firsthand in one of their Korean services. To give just a hint, there were thousands of people in one worship room for one service. The church hosts 5 different services every day, with around half a million people attending. The pastor was pretty awesome. Because my dad is a pastor and I sit in his Korean services, I was able to understand the whole device without an interpreter. the service was very interesting. I especially enjoyed the choir and the band. I was thinking, with at least half a million people attending, the choir and band probably consists of only professional musicians. The service was very prayerful, and we kept repeating the chorus of one song, at it related to the message of only relying on Jesus. The intercessory prayer was very intense. The pastor was a great speaker, and I felt very comfortable at this church because I understood everything and certain aspects were similar to my father's church. I do prefer the communal aspect in a smaller church, so I cannot see myself consistently going to a large mega church, but it was a great experience. Continue reading Last Korean Church Service
Today, we visited the Bank of Korea. We were early for a change, so we walked around the area for a bit. We did a quick tour of the old bank building, which was turned into a museum. The tour was rather quick, but we were able to learn about currencies used in the Josen dynasty, expired currency, and even floor plates created from shredded bills. The Korean bills are different from American dollars as they are made of cotton fiber. Afterwards, we went into a lecture with Professor Moon Hyung Lee. He has been with the Bank of Korea for close to 30 years, and is well versed in planning and investment for the Bank. The Bank of Korea serves as a central bank, similar to the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States. Mr. Moon Hyung Lee gave a informational lecture on the Bank of Korea's history and functions. He went through how interest rates affect volume and value of money, as well as inflation rates. The lecture was an hour long, and it was very insightful. The most impressive fact I learned is the growth and stability of the Korean central bank. In the early 1990's, the Bank of Korea had around 21 billion in currency. Today, it has around 370 billion in currency. Most of it consists of securities, so whatever the Bank of Korea is doing to plan and invest, they seem to be doing things the right way.