Spring is a very, very welcome change!!! It came just as fast as fall turned to winter. It's so fun to watch green spread its way through the city, while jackets and scarves disappear. But my very favorite change is the blossoming of the cherry blossoms. I have always heard how beautiful these trees were. Before I came to Korea, my first image of this country was the cherry blossom. So, you can imagine how excited about this short 2 week season in April. Despite my excitement, I was expecting to be disappointed. Korea has a way of "hyping" things and I have been fooled many times. Cherry blossoms, however, were not one of my disappointments. They are so mystic, beautiful, and Asian to me. They cover the city. Literally, cherry blossoms are everywhere I turn. In these apartment buildings near my work, there are countless cherry blossom trees that line the streets creating two beautiful tunnels. The best thing about these flowers is that when the wind picks up it begins snowing little blossoms. It's a wonderful experience to sit near the trees and have the pedals fall on and around you, even making there way between the pages of the book you are reading. Also, its great to see the response of everyone in the community. Everyone runs out of their apartment with their families and loved ones and enjoy picnics under the trees. Families and couples seem so happy together and there is such a positive energy. It's too bad that the blossoms only stick around for 2 weeks, but I guess that is why they are so magical. I took great video of the blossoms just blowing everywhere covering the streets in a thin layer of blossoms.
Recently, I have been getting into rock climbing. My buddy, Brad, is a pretty accomplished climber and has gotten me into this sport. So, I bought the equipment and joined a rock climbing gym. It's very difficult and I did not start climbing like Chris Sharma, but I have improved a lot, I think. It is fun and definitely satisfying overcoming the fear of falling and learning how to get pass overhangs (very small ones, in my case) and difficult holds. I am by no means good, but I look forward to getting stronger and better. This weekend we climbed on this cool crag near Namhansansong, an old fortress in the Joseon dynasty. We had so much fun and its great to get back into the woods after living in a huge, polluted city.
Also, my family has taken a huge blow. A very loved and close family friend of the Jemisons, Mark Metherell, was recently killed in Iraq by an IED. He left behind his lovely wife, Sara, and darling 2 year old daughter, Corah. He was a navy seal and had been serving our country since 2001. He was such an impressive person and will be missed. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.