After promising to post more on here I went a full year without posting anything! I can't believe I did that! And especially this year because so much has happened. Trips to Japan, so many new students coming and going, my niece is coming soon to teach English here, and a new phone and new oven and lots of new recipes to talk about. I hereby resolve not to repeat any of last year's posts. (Easy, there weren't any!)

So look for some newer stuff soon, and this time I promise to keep my promise and post more here!

We have had a lot of cold temperatures here in South Korea this year, and although there has not been a lot of snow at one time, it has snowed many more times than usual. I told the students that to stay warm they should just break off a piece of the fire and put it in their pocket! Yes, it feels that cold!

Well, I'll put some new recipes on here before I leave for Japan, and maybe some new pics too. When I return I will post some new pics from Japan and maybe even a new video.

Hugs to all, and to all a Happy New Year!!
A new year begins and a new resolution to post more on here!

We have so many students coming here all the time now and from all around the world. Almost every morning I prepare a western style breakfast for them. Everyday is different and runs from simple eggs and potatoes to baked goods like muffins and pastries; sometimes we have quiche or hummus, and even good ole' biscuits and sausage gravy.

If you would like to join us you can see us on the page marked Joe's Breakfast Bar, where I have posted a live streaming video from the room where we eat. If you go here, you can see and chat with us too!
Here we go! The spring has been a short break between the cold and the hot. A few weeks of cool weather was wonderful, but summer will soon be here in full force. Right now we are having warm days and cool evenings with some rain thrown in to make it interesting. 

The pollen has stopped and the yellow sand has blown thru, So the air is nice and clean and I can start getting out on my scooter again and taking some pictures for you. The valley is beautiful and green, the rice paddies have been planted and the mountain is green again. Such a beautiful valley I live in. Wish you could come here and see it for yourself!

I'll add some more recipes in the next few days, got some cool things I've come up with. Next week I'm gonna try my hand at making sausages with Korean ingredients. There are no real Korean sausages out there, other than soondae, which is pig intestines stuffed with noodles and some meats. It is actually quite good, but I'm going for more a fusion type thing. I'm thinking a Ginger-Sesame Oil-Garlic Pork sausage and a Mountain Berry Wine-Garlic Beef sausage for starters. Stay Tuned!
Wow! I had no idea it had been this long since I posted anything on here. I deeply apologize for running away. I have had 3 bouts of illness from colds to flu, running around getting my visa renewed, bringing students from Seoul to HQ, preparing the Breakfast Bar every day I'm at HQ, attending classes at night and helping the students in anyway I can. 

My kitchen is finished and I have been busy cooking treat for everyone and making meals. I have been looking for chickpeas to make Hummus with since I arrived here two years ago. Last week I was in Seoul to pick up my college buddy Douglas Bonner to bring him to HQ for study. We went to a fried chicken restaurant he remembered from his last trip, but they were closed. While we were looking around for a new place to try we stumbled upon a truly International Market just off the main street in Itaewon. They had chickpeas! Dried or in cans. I got a bag of the dried and brought them back with me.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, the universe always takes care of us. This week we have a student from Dubai. For him Hummus is a staple food. I had no idea he was coming, but the universe did, so it made it possible for him to have some comfort food.

I confess that I did take some time off at Christmas to go to a special indoor/outdoor water park/sauna. Have you ever run outside with no clothes on in the snow to get to a hot tub? Try it sometime. It's invigorating!

I just got my scooter to running again. It has been so cold that it would not start. Even if it had started then I still couldn't have ridden it. It's been below freezing for most of the months of December and January.

But the temperature broke this week and it is nice and warm outside. Soon I'll be back on my scooter and sending pictures to you of the beautiful valley I live in now.

Hugs to all!!

We started a Breakfast Bar for foreigners here at the Nonsan Main Center. Right now it is small, but we have milk and cereal, toast and jams, boiled eggs, waffles, and sometimes we have bacon, sausage, fruits, cheeses, and more. The center is providing us with space and facilities, but we have to supply the food ourselves so we ask everyone who participates to contribute some to the pot, about 10,000 won (US $10) per week is enough. It's nice to get together with each other and discuss the meditation and what we are doing. Hope to see all of you soon!
Look at the Korean Delicacies page here. Complete with pictures and my opinions on the food. Come for a visit and we can try anything on the list, plus I have a few more you might like also! (evil grin....)
I went out on my scooter today, and found a lake nearby. I knew there was one there, but not sure how to get there. On my way there I found two sets of the totem, or wood carvings, that the Koreans of old would put at the gateway to their village. These represent the queen of the earth and the king of the sky. Then I found the lake where you can rent a fishing barge and go out onto the lake For the pictures go to the Photos page. Oh, and those spiky green balls on the tree are chestnuts!!
OK, the weather is so nice that I had to go outside and make some pictures. The spider is as big around as my hand, the persimmons are just about ready to eat, the butterfly was very cooperative, and the dragon fly is called a Go-chu-san Dragonfly or a Hot Red Pepper Dragonfly! So very cool!!!

This weekend I went to the Baekje Festival in Gongju, a celebration of one of the Three Kingdoms in Korea around 2000 years ago. The Baekje Dynasty was very highly civilized and traded with countries all around Asia including Japan, China, Russia, and many more. In 1971 the tomb of King Muryeong was accidentally discovered and  had never been robbed. It contained almost 2000 artifacts from the Baekje period which proved the high state of culture and accomplished trading that had been achieved. 
This festival celebrates this period in Korean history with a month long-two city wide festival in Gongju and Buyeo, the main cities of the Baekje Dynasty. The Pictures I posted today are from the Art Complex in Gonju. Soon I will go back and post more pictures of the parades, plays and more. Enjoy!

I also posted some more pictures of the area I live in. Fall has come and the air is crisp and cool and the sun was back out today!
This is a new poem I wrote. It is the first thing I have written in a long while. If you guys would like to see more of my writings, I will post some.

Nature’s Path


The wind blows, the tree bends
The cloud comes, the rain falls
The sun shines, the earth grows warm
The flowers grow, the bees make honey
The flea bites, the dog scratches
The man walks, the path goes on

The wind does not know that it blows
The tree does not know that it bends
The cloud cares not if it comes or the rain falls
The sun does as it does and the earth thinks not about being warm
The flowers, the bees, the flea and the dog
All have no thought of what they do

But man does not see the world around him
He just follows the path in his mind
Not seeing the real world
He only sees the world in his mind
Made from the images he took of the real world
He only follows the path in his mind
And he follows that path to his grave and beyond

To see the real world man must escape his mind
He must discard the images and thoughts in his mind
To see the world that is true
He must cleanse his mind and discard his attachments to it
This is the only way to freedom
To happiness
To eternal life
To Truth
It is the only way to follow the natural order
And have the mind of the universe


© September 14, 2010, Joe Gattis, All Rights Reserved