Returning to the DMZ after 20+ years

During our recent visit to South Korea, we visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.  Zach served along the DMZ for a year while in the Army 20+ years ago.  Returning after all of these years brought back many memories.  

More than 2,700,000 people were killed in the Korean War which is still technically ongoing.  We all learned a great deal about this awful conflict and pray for a peaceful resolution.

Thanksgiving in Korea

This Thanksgiving we swapped the mid-80s and humidity of Guam for the mid-30s and snow flurries of Seoul.  Due to the high volume of Korean tourists visiting Guam, there are several low cost carriers and we were able to find very reasonably priced flights.  We arrived in Seoul Wednesday morning and had a great time exploring the city and surroundings over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Seoul is home to 11M people but we found it to be very welcoming and easily navigated despite the language barrier.  The kids absolutely loved the cultural heritage sites and museums.  We were all blown away by how technologically advanced South Korea has become.  

Evie added to her wardrobe with a traditional outfit.  Zach added to his waistline with plenty of BBQ.  Jane found the fabled "racoon cafe."  Pierce enjoyed rock jumping on the rehabilitated Cheonggyecheon River.  We love Seoul!

We hiked the tallest mountain in the world yesterday

Ok, ok! We didn't hike Everest but technically Mount Lam Lam is tallest mountain on earth as measured from the bottom of the Marianas Trench to its top. Standing at 38,300 feet we felt pretty great about our summit even if we only had to climb the last 1,300 feet. We're becoming regular weekend Boonie Stompers (the name for hiking on Guam). The stomp was hot, cloudy and extremely muddy...some ice cream may have been promised after several shoes were completely submerged in mud. The views from the top were amazing and worth the effort!

1001 Steps

We are super behind on our posts and we'll work to get them posted very soon. 

Last weekend we completed the 1,001 Steps hike on the Mangilao coast of Guam. We didn't count to see if there were actually 1,001 steps but it was a reasonable hike down to an amazing coast line. The kids enjoyed climbing on the rocks and exploring the area. There are a lot of nice hikes on Guam and we've made a list of ones we'd like to do.

Where did the first month go?

Our beloved and very old Mac computer cracked and died about a month ago. It took several weeks to get a replacement and our blog activity stopped while we waited for a new computer to arrive. We're sorry for the lack of updates.

It has amazing how fast the time has gone. We were able to find a great school for the kids. There are more than 1,000 children from more than 19 countries attending the K-12 Christian school with P and E. The kids have adjusted well to their new environment and are becoming active in the school community. P is starting in a futsol league and taking a Rubik's Cube class. He is determined to learn how to solve the cube. E is taking an after school board game class and continues to read whenever she can. 

We've spent weekends touring the island and are taken with the natural beauty and amazing snorkeling offered on Guam. There are very few mosquitos except when in heavily forested locations. We'll post some more of our explorations in separate pos…

First Typhoon in the Books

It was a crazy first week here with Typhoon Mangkhut welcoming us to Guam. We received a crash course on typhoon preparedness and weathered the storm quite well. Thankfully, the typhoon ended up being a category 1 storm but went on to become a super typhoon that devasted many parts of the Philippines and China. Our prayers go out to all those impacted by the storms in Southeast Asia and back on the eastern coast of the United States.

We were without power for around 24 hours and the winds were impressive. There were many down trees and power lines. It took almost a week to restore power to the entire island and many families lost their homes. Zach’s start date was delayed for two days until the hospital was back to normal. We’re thankful the storm was minor and we can check typhoon off our “to experience” list!

The Calm Before the Storm

We're learning all about typhoon preparedness and the various codes used to communicate the typhoon's status. It is much like other weather warning systems but the preparation stage is much longer. We've stocked up on water, canned food, batteries and gasoline and feel as ready as we can be for Typhoon Mangkhut. Our building is made of concrete and we are in a second floor apartment which should protect us from the winds and potential flooding. Zach was scheduled to start work today but that has been delayed at least two days until the storm passes. He is excited because he may get to watch a Packer game. Are you ready for some Monday morning football?