Today was Sunny’s birthday! We surprised her first thing this morning when we got to the teamroom. The plan was to have everyone in the teamroom at 8:50 AM to hide. A few of us were here on time, but several of the team ran into Sunny at breakfast and weren’t able to break away. It wouldn’t have worked out well if the team had said “Oh we have to go…uh…we have a prior commitment.” The good news is it was still a huge surprise.
Sunny was happily surprised. 🙂 Cake #1 and flowers gave her a big smile.
After the birthday celebration we kicked it into high gear doing final preparations for our review meeting this afternoon with the County. We met at a different office from where we have normally been meeting. We were fortunate enough to experience yet another area of Pyeongchang County as met in the village of Daehwa. The cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom in this area and it was beautiful.
During the meeting we positioned our recommendations at a high level. The good news is…we are on the right path. 🙂
Our gracious hosts even presented us with strawberries that were freshly picked this morning. They heard that we like them and they wanted us to enjoy yet another authentic Korean experience. We’re getting spoiled again!!
Our afternoon meeting was graciously interrupted by a County official who wanted us to join him for tea. And what amazing tea it was! I have to say I’m truly hooked on all the tea. Although I’m sure I won’t be able to get any of the teas back home.
This one was made from jujube, some kind of organism that grows on the branch and something else I can’t remember. Jujube is a red fruit with a crispy texture, edible skin and a sweet-tart, apple-like flavor. It has positive medical properties that help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. I’m SOLD!!
The tea itself was brewed in a kettle on top of a very large metal oven that was literally placed in the middle of the room. It was explained to us that this was the only government office in the County where they are able to make this kind of tea due to the metal oven. I’m realizing now that I should have taken a photo. Shame on me. 🙂
After the conclusion of our meeting we departed for yet another amazing dinner!! Tonight’s ingredient of choice was buckwheat. Mmmm!!!!
We started with drinks (oh boy!)…and in the Korean culture you MUST drink when your host gives you a drink. Fortunately we had buckwheat noodles which helped with the alcoholic intake. 🙂
The end of our meal presented us with the broth that the buckwheat noodles were cooked in. Apparently this is quite a treat as this kind of buckwheat noodles are only found here and in Nepal. And it was so good! I think I’m going to be in Korean cuisine withdrawal when I get back to Denver.
Sunny was also presented with cake #2. Lucky girl! She gets to make 2 wishes today.
It still amazes me how the food just keeps coming and you really don’t seem to get that full. It’s all about pacing yourself. And we still haven’t had Korean BBQ. I’m told that’s on the agenda for the weekend. 🙂 It’s definitely one of my favorites, but I can’t complain about anything we’ve had thus far. We have eaten so well and I swear I’ve gained weight. Ha!
This time we even got to sit on the floor! What fun!! It truly makes the experience much more enjoyable and relaxed. It was a great ending to another amazing day!
After a wonderful dinner we bid adieu to our Korean client who are becoming our friends. Justin made a lovely toast and the emotional person I am got teary eyed.
So goes the amazing experiences in this beautiful country! We are again so fortunate to be here…the friendships we are forming among our team as well as with our new Korean colleagues will stay with us forever.