|A beautiful sunrise as we land in Korea|
We sign up for a 1-hour trip to a temple. The C12 Buddhist temple is a 15-minute bus ride from the airport. "35% of Koreans are Protestant. 17% are Catholic. But this is a Buddhist site and the materials used are natural: bronze, wood, clay, steel, and stone," the guide explains.
|Ongoing construction in front of a manmade carving|
"We use 5 colors of paints," continues the guide. "White, black, red, blue, and yellow. Our greens are a combination of our other colors. This big bell (pointing to an iron bell on a stand) is rung 33 times in the morning and 28 times at night. We say that souls go to hell or heaven after death. This soul travel takes 39 days. When the monk rings the bells, we hope the dead person will hear the sound and gain salvation to slip into heaven."
|Beautiful folk paintings on the Buddhist temple|
|A cat snoozes on a mat in front of the bronze altar|
We have an hour between tours. We eat bibimbap and sweet rice noodle dish for breakfast. It has a rich warm flavor. Now we stink of kimchee (garlic).
Soon we're back at the tour desk, lining up to board another bus. Joy is an amazing tour guide and makes the 3 1/2 hours lots of fun. "The port of Inchon has longest bridge of Korea: it takes us 22 km from the airport to the Incheon mainland. The toll for the bridge is $12 each way. Gas costs $1.50 late or $6 gallon. Samsung and LG are the main electronics made in Korea."
|Miles of mud flats under a bright sky|
"By the way," Joy points to the sea beside us, "the sea has just come in. The tide here is 9 meters (30 feet) high. First thing in the morning you can see the mud flats [as W and I did at 8am]. We'll have an annual Mud Festival in July."
|A blond royal in Korea? I doubt it.|
Joy spills out fun facts on the way to a cultural center. We learn about Korean royalty and get pictures taken in traditional court dress. We all walk around a nearby park. The plants are resting in greys and browns, and the leafless tree-trunks are quietly contemplating the end of winter. W and I climb about a hundred steps up to a viewing platform before high-tailing it back to the bus.
|W poses at a table set with traditional Korean food |
that would have been served to royalty
|Clean and sweet-smelling: a Korean food market|
Our nationalities are Japanese, Pilipino, Canadian, and Singaporean. It's an international feast. The chicken is amazing, too. We laugh, talk, and eat together.
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; Before him all the nations are as nothing;
With whom, then, will you compare God? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, A person too poor to present such an offering hey look for a skilled worker
Do you not know? s it not been told you from the beginning? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
“To whom will you compare me?
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: e who brings out the starry host one by one Because of his great power and mighty strength,
Why do you complain, Jacob? “My way is hidden from the ;
Do you not know? he is the everlasting God, He will not grow tired or weary, He gives strength to the weary Even youths grow tired and weary, but those who hope in the hey will soar on wings like eagles; saiah 40)
Prayer: Lord, we worship you as the One True God. Help us to remember that you understand us, even when we do not understand you. We rest today in your lovingkindness. Amen.