Eugene Cho

our family trip to korea

Our family trekked back to the Korea for a six week excursion for various purposes but especially because Korea is our “heart home.”  We had a great time even despite the intense humidity.  Great memories that we hope our children will remember throughout their lives.  Here are some pictures and a video to give you a glimpse of where our shoes took us in Korea. 

This was Daddy’s first meal in Korea. Once he started eating, he didn’t say a single word. He’s quiet anyways but just kept making weird noses of satisfaction.

excited about eating korean food all the time.

School runs through July here in Korea. We’re done so we tried to rub it in. It was cool to see even young kids go to school on their own without parents and cool to see so many people – even grown ups – hold hands with their friends as they walk. We saw these three young girls holding hands while walking to school around 8.30am. Our brother stopping playing on the see saw and kept checking them out. We told our parents on him.

Something called Monsoon season has started in Korea which means it’s raining alot. Fortunately, we were able to catch a day of beautiful son at a nearby super spa and waterpark. Daddy and Mommy said that if we posted naked pics of them in the Mok-Gyok-Tang [Korean bath spa], we would be grounded for life.

As we walked around one of the University districts, our parents took us to an outdoor live concert. We think they took us there because it was free. Anyway, this was sort of a Korean Idol tryout. Our dad tried to rush the stage to do his hip-hop act but thankfully, the security guards stopped him.

This past Saturday, we went to visit our mom’s graduate school – Ehwa Women’s University. She studied Psychology there and looks forward to going back to school this Fall to study Marriage & Family Therapy.

We went hiking on Monday morning [June 30]. It was beautiful but our father kept slowing us down. He said he was lagging because he wanted to protect us from the rear. He also said that the last will be the greatest in God’s kingdom. Our father is a brilliant theologian.

Dad really wanted to go to the world famous KimChi Field Museum to get some free samples of various forms of kimchi but the museum was closed on Monday. He was very upset and came home and went on a kim chee binge. It was very scary.

We also went to the COEX Aquarium yesterday [July 6]. Nice but nothing close to the aquariums in Monterey, Chicago, and Vancouver [BC] – the three best aquariums we’ve been to. We went with mom’s cousin and her family.

They dressed up and made us take pictures of them all day long. As we were about to take this picture, our dad proclaimed, “Now the world will know who carries the big stick in our house.”

Dad and mom took us to Gyeongbokgung – the largest and main palace of the Joseon Dynasty in Seoul, Korea. We also went to the the Korean Historical Museum that’s dedicated to the Joseon Dynasty. Conveniently, the admission was FREE. Here’s mommy looking very royal-esque.

On this day, we went to visit Everland Amusement Park – about an hour away from Seoul.  It was incredibly fun.  Our parents took this video on one of our favorite rides – a rollercoaster.  We all rode it together but for whatever reason, we can only hear our Dad screaming like a little baby. 

We walked around everywhere and took the subway every single day.  Our grandmother lives on the last stop of one of the lines so we were able to take this photo of an empty subway. 

It was so hot and humid in Korea so we were very excited to enjoy swimming and anything where there was water.   

Our dad went hiking one morning by himself.  He said he needed some time for “solitude for the soul.”  We think he just wanted to play by himself.  He climbed up Mt. Suraksan and enjoyed this view of one area of Seoul, Korea. 

Seoul is really crowded.  Everywhere we went, there were tons of people.  The city never sleeps.  This was one of the “quiet” streets we visited for dinner one night.

And we had this meal with our parents.   This is called budaejjigae.  It was really hot but we enjoyed eating hot dog and spam in our Korea stew.

Our relatives took us to see the World Cup Stadium.  Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan.  Here’s Dad wishing he was on the soccer team.  We had a great

We had a great time in Korea but are glad we’re also back in Seattle.  But we hope to return again to visit Korea.

Filed under: family, travel

9 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    Great and fun pics Eugene. Glad you guys had good time. Enjoy these moments with your children. They go by very fast.

  2. Ben says:

    Korea’s national football team in WC 2002 absolutely ruined US sports for me such as the NBA/NFL. I’m a huge fan of our national football team and I’ve never experienced the high that I felt when we went to the semis in 2002.

    What a magical event and moment in Korea’s history. I want more!

  3. Donna says:

    Loved all the pictures & your comments/observations. I know how special the trip was for you, Minhee, & the kids & am so happy you got to go and spend time with your parents.

  4. gar says:

    Great photos!

    Rollercoasters are the best… GJ taking the video without dropping your camera. 😉

  5. ryanbd says:

    wow – great pics and I loved the rollercoaster video. Welcome back to Seattle -hope the post sabbatical blues go easy on you.

  6. eugenecho says:

    @ryan:

    the reverse culture transition wasn’t easy this past week. but i guess that’s one of the reasons why we chose to come back 2 weeks earlier than we had initially planned. i still have about 5 weeks left for my sabbatical.

  7. Tracy says:

    Thank you for sharing. What a blessing. *crying*

  8. […] as an adult and doing pastoral ministry for couple years in my birthdplace referred to some as the Land of the Morning Calm, I had absolutely no idea that adultery was “illegal” and a crime.  I enjoy following […]

  9. alroy says:

    hilarious narration of your travels! i’m flying to sk on September

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago