Friday, September 12, 2014
Blessings to you all!
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Today was our last full day in Jeju and in Korea. The last concert, (I think) went pretty well, and a bunch of us ended up being 'social' afterwards. We got lots of pictures and emails with a Hong Kong (or "Honf Konf" according to the program) choir and some Japanese choirs. The closing ceremony was long and Sydney ended up going under the table and poking Akimoto with a fork. We got the bells to the hotel and packed them away in some room somewhere. Then we got fooooooooooooood and went to our rooms, and it was boring... This trip (in my opinion) was a lot better than Liverpool two years ago, except this year we didn't get to ring and sing happy birthday to Akimoto with all the international choirs at the symposium.
Friday, August 8, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
So yesterday was pretty cool we had about 2hrs and 30mins of practice which had 20 minute breaks in between that was hard to do because we were all so tired from our concert last night which also happened to be Eileen Lawrence's last performance with my choir. Then after the practice we had a half day tour which was all fine and dandy, but my favorite part was the Korean traditional show I got to give free hugs to an adorable actor and almost lost my voice because I screamed so much. Yesterday was pretty awesome!
After dinner we headed to exhibits by Malmark and Shulmerich (bell companies). They had cool new instruments that we got to try, like a cylinder-shaped bell that was really cool. Then we had our solo concert. Even though I bet we were all kind of intimidated by how good the other choirs were, I think we did pretty well.
This was also Eileen's last time conducting Katonah Celebration Ringers, so the end of our concert was sad. She said she wouldn't have wanted to end it any other way. After that we headed back to the hotel after a nice long fun day.
The video is by Emmy Okazawa-Bortolin of Canada; Thanks Emmy!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014
Today we made our second attempt to fly to Jeju Island and it was a success. Yay! Today was also Ben and Akimoto's birthday. We left the hotel at six AM in a bus up to Seoul for about six hours and then our flight to Jeju took around an hour to get there. After we arrived we went to a traditional Korean dinner where our table tried a little pepper and almost died from the spiciness. We then left for the Nanta show which is like an Asian Blue Man Group with food. Kate Khouri got married at the show (jjump t acting). After that we went to our hotel and went to sleep.
Today we (finally) left mainland Korea for Jeju Island, a self-governing province formed many years ago by a volcanic eruption. Being volcanic, the island is very mountainous, with only a thin layer of soil. Temperature and weather can also vary greatly between parts of Jeju that are relatively close to each other. This type of environment is well suited for tangerines, for which this area is famous. Other than that, the main buisnesses on the island are tourism and fishing.
We left from our hotel at 6:00 AM for a five-hour bus ride back to the Gimpo Airport. Akimoto and I received a birthday celebration during the drive, with brownie cookies, sweet buns, and little toy drums generously provided by members of our group. We also watched a Korean movie entitled "Scandal Makers" during the bus ride. While the bus ride was long, the airplane ride was very short. Our new tour guide, a nice man by the name of Chin, met us once we landed and proceeded to tell us three philosophical allegories regarding happiness, love, and friendship.
Some of our party left to help unpack our bells (for which we're very thankful) while the rest of us went to a very nice fish restaurant for dinner. Dinner was followed by a short bus ride to Jeju National College, where we saw a group called "Nanta" perform a piece called "Cookin'," which can best be described as a mix of the Blue Man Group, the Flying Karamazov Brothers, and Stomp, with some added Asian flair. It was a really amazing show. We then headed to the hotel and said goodbye to Chin, and acquainted ourselves with the interesting rooming arrangements (i.e. one bed in a room for four and the toilet directly in the shower). That's not to say the rooms are bad; they're actually quite pleasant and spacious, and there's even free Wi-Fi. Tomorrow marks the first day of symposium, so they'll be plenty more to say in upcoming posts.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
So our flight from Busan to Jeju was cancelled due to fog in Busan.
Our plan is to stay at the Commodore hotel in Busan for one more night.
Tomorrow morning - Aug 4th, we will be taking a bus back to Seoul to catch a flight from Seoul, Gimpo airport to Jeju island.
flight info - Korean Air 1285. The flight leaves at 1430.
All is well, we have a place to sleep, our guide returned, made hotel accommodations, bus transport to the hotel and a bus back to Seoul.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Lunch consisted of complete veggies, which wasn't too enjoyable for a teenager from America. It was nice to enjoy the culture by sitting crossed feet with our shoes off. After trying most of the food that we didn't even know what it was, we enjoyed a dessert of tea that tasted like honey and sugar mixed with water, Concord grapes and a pastry. We got on the bus and headed to Busan and on the way I was delighted with food poisoning. The traffic made for a 3 hour drive to the beach where we saw humongous waves that crashed from about 8 feet. We walked around the APEC building and saw where international conventions were held. It was really cool to see America as part of Korea's history. Next was the National Museum. We saw history from ancient Confucianists and Buddhists. Dinner consisted of the best meal we've had since we've been here- American cuisine. All the kids had about 9 pieces of pizza (considering the small portions we are given here), chicken wings, watermelon, spaghetti, ice cream and my personal favorite, the cream cheese. We got back on the bus and the kids have never smiled, been as loud and hyper as we have this entire trip. We had major sing-a-longs to Wicked and Frozen. After a quick drive to the hotel, we got our room keys and headed to the room. After settling in, we went back down to the lobby and listened to the singer from the Philippines. She sang Let It Go, Listen by Beyoncé and other hits from America. At 10pm we went back to our room and went to sleep after a long day.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Meditation on Beautiful Savior
Allegro con Moto
Visions of Peace
Symphonia on Hyfrydol
Jesus We Want to Meet
Now the Green Blade Riseth
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The city itself seems very nice, and very unlike New York City. The buildings here seem a bit more uniform, and the land is far more mountainous than it is in New York. We arrived at the hotel pretty late in the day, so we just broke off into small groups in order to find some satisfactory sources of food. Wandering around to find food was actually pretty neat, as the streets near our hotel are relatively small and winding, if not a bit smelly at times. I can't speak for the others in our party, but Akimoto, Caleb, and I all ended up settling with instant ramen noodles. Tomorrow would bring a breakfast buffet, and we were all too sleepy to care too much about what we were eating.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sunday, July 6, 2014
About 20 of us from 8 to almost 80 years young were among 60 invited local ringers at the Caramoor 4th of July concert by the Westchester Symphonic Winds. We enjoyed listening to the performance of 60 strong wind ensemble, alt saxophone solo and vocalist and at the finale of the concert with now traditional Independence Day music by Tchaikovsky's 1812, we played handbell with the band. You can guess where we played; at the end where all the fireworks starts. Due to the unfortunate huge rain in previous day there was no fireworks that night so our handbell added special color to the concert.