|Noah Gracey and Patrick Davidson at Korean Barbeque restaurant during 1st homestay|
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On a typical day we would wake up at 7:30a.m. We have flag time at 7:45am and say good morning in every language. Then we sing the CISV song. We eat breakfast from 8:00-8:45am. Our meals always had kimchi, a traditional Korean dish and rice. At breakfast there were always eggs, meat, juice, milk, seaweed and salad as well as a vegetarian option. I really liked wrapping seaweed around rice and eating it for part of my meal. I tried the kimchi but didn’t really like it because it was really spicy!
|Friends from camp|
At 1:00pm we had siesta time which is a quiet time to sleep or go to the JC shop and buy candy. JC means junior counselor. We had JC’s from Egypt, Korea, Portugal, Belgium and Brazil. They were teenagers and their purpose was to help while learning from the adult leaders.
|Patrick Davidson, Azar Bassett, Drew Fitzpatric and Noah Gracey at Seoul Tower|
We had different stations like popcorn, pillow case decorating where all of our friends signed our pillow case, and a photo booth with fun props. After the last activity each day, we did flag down where we said goodnight in all the languages of the countries represented at camp. Lastly, we would sing songs together and end our day at 10pm.
|USA Delegation to CISV Korea Village; Nick Sunderland, Leader; Drew Fitzpatric, Noah Gracey, Azar Bassett and Patrick Davidson|
In addition to the typical activities we did at camp, we also had two homestays and two excursions with one being a shopping day. For our shopping day the whole camp went to COEX Mall. The mall is the biggest underground shopping mall in all of Asia and is in the basement of the Korean World Trade Center. It has a 2 story library, an aquarium, a movie theatre, tons of different stores and restaurants. It even had a Kimchi Museum! While I was there, I was surprised that many of the store brands were ones that I’ve seen at Kenwood mall.
|CISV Activity Time|
There were other parts of the park as well like a monkey area, Zootopia area with a petting zoo, Lost Valley where your tram goes through a water trail and you see animals, and a super cool shopping area where all the stores buildings are made to look like famous world landmarks. My favorite was the one that looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
While at CISV village we had two homestays. The first homestay took place as soon as we arrived at Seoul airport. My friend Patrick, another US delegate, and I were picked up by a Korean CISV family. This Korean family had lived in San Francisco for four years. The dad had done village as a child. Their daughter was at village in Washington DC and their other daughter had done Step Up camp in Poland. We went to a Korean buffet, the Seoul tower, an arcade, and Korean baseball game. At the Korean bbq we were able to make our food ourselves.
|CISV Friends at Camp|
During my second homestay I was with my friend Steve who was from the Chinese delegation. We stayed with a different Korean CISV family. This family had two kids ages 8 and 5. While there we explored downtown Seoul, went to an old Korean palace and Korean barbecue. At the Korean Barbeque restaurant, the chicken came raw and the dad cooked it for us on the grill that was built into the table.
We had all kinds of dipping sauces and sides that came with it like kimchi, pickled daikon radishes and carrots, a tangy cabbage salad, Korean cucumber salad and spicy Korean coleslaw. That day we rode bikes to a really big park. When we were playing at the park a really big cicadia flew down my shirt and freaked me out. The bugs there were super-sized. They were really big! There was a spider the size of my palm and a cockroach the size of an iphone. It was crazy!
|Noah at Starfield Library|
I got the American chicken which was fried and the Chinese chicken which was tiny pieces of orange flavored chicken with shrimp. Back at the apartment we watched a Marvel movie and had traditional Korean ice cream which was like a King Cone but it was 13 inches long!
The next day we went to Lotte World. At Lotte World there was a huge indoor amusement park called Adventure that had rides and parades, an outdoor park called Magic Island, an aquarium, water park, Undersea Kingdom place, a jumping place called Seoul Sky that was a Korean version of Skyzone, and an international mall.
|CISV Flag Time|
At Seoul Sky, the first floor was the trampoline area and the 2nd floor was like a parkour obstacle course that we had harnesses for so we could do the rock wall, the climbing net and different balance beams. When I was there I met an American Army soldier that had been stationed there for 10 years. He was fluent in Korean. It was cool to talk to him. Lotte World was amazing, and I didn’t want to leave!
With my homestays I learned that most Korean families live in apartments. The families at both homestays went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and having a good time. Neither of the adults spoke very much English so I don’t know as much about them but they were really nice. Both homestay apartments were really far from where they picked us up. Neither had pets because most apartments didn’t let them.
|Whole Camp at Everland Amusement Park|
The families acted just like my own. The kids wanted me to play in the park with them and snuggle on the couch to look at books. I felt like I fit right in even though we didn’t speak the same language. I absolutely loved my time at CISV village and am hoping to do a CISV Interchange next summer. CISV is awesome.