Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blog 27 - 5th September

Our friend and neighbour, Monika, has been visiting and presenting a paper on Heatwaves in Adelaide at an International Environmental Health Conference at COEX here in Seoul. Here she is through the window of a Hanok (traditional house) at Namsangol Traditional Village .

This recreated village, in the midst of city buildings, is so quiet and peaceful and then a few minutes away we walked to Myeong-dong, a vibrant night spot, for a bit of retail therapy!

While Monika was here, I also attended a conference, the 13th Asian Conference of the International Association of Facilitators. The conference was hosted by the Korean Facilitators Association which formed in 2009 and volunteered to host an international conference one year later! There were 150 delegates from 18 countries including Finland and Ghana. It was a very hands on and collaborative experience as is obvious from this photo of a 'Flipchart Graphics' session where we learned how to write legibly and draw simply. Yes - this was a room full of professionals acting like kids! Here is the link if you'd like to check out the site.

The Birds of a Feather session invited like minded participants to gather to problem solve common key questions, concerns and strategies.

Monika took us (and we took her!) to dinner at Korea House where we were served an ongoing series of sumptuous dishes. Here is Monika (below) looking very gorgeous and (above) the waitresses wearing traditional hanboks. I never cease to be amazed that they never look dirty , uncomfortable or hot, despite the fact that their dresses float along the floor and it is 85% humidity in Seoul at the moment.

It has rained almost every day for the past fortnight. Add to this, a typhoon last week where many trees were toppled to the ground, four people were killed, schools and some workplaces closed for the morning, and it makes for an interesting and exciting time. Monika and I climbed Mount Namsan in the rain and could not work out if we were wet from perspiration or rain. The tower measures 236.7 metres from the base and was well worth the workout! The view was wonderful. This photo of an uprooted tree was taken on our way down and was one of many. The storm was the strongest to hit the Seoul metropolitan area for 15 years. In true Korean style 29,000 government officials, soldiers and volunteers have been working on the clean-up.

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