This past weekend was the last CLS outing with all participants and their language partners. We went to the giant bamboo forest, 죽녹원, which is located in 담양 (Damyang). While there I got to try bamboo ice cream, rice made in a bamboo shoot and also 담양’s famous 떡갈비, which is a beef dish believed to originate from 담양.

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Here’s the bamboo forest! It is the biggest in South Korea. 
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Around the forest are various rest areas. Normally I would stop at one to enjoy the view but it was so brutally humid that sitting in the heat was unbearable.
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Peter and I dragged Riona and our language partners up to the highest area in the bamboo forest. It looks anticlimactic here, but we walked up a good sized hill to then get to this mound.
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Here is the view at the top of the bamboo forest. 
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Peter, me and Peter’s language partner 준헌.
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Peter, my language partner 정민, and me.
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We then went to go eat bamboo (댓입) ice cream. It honestly tastes very similar to green tea ice cream.
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After eating ice cream we had about an hour of free time left so we decided to go ride bikes. This 아저씨 (old man) told me that a guy needs to steer the bike and girls should sit on the side or in the back…. Unfortunately, it was not too surprising to hear. About ten minutes in Peter and I switched seats so I could steer the bike.
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We saw a lot of pretty fields on our bike ride.
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The crew that biked with us. Just about every other CLS participant and language partner spent a good majority of their time in a cafe avoiding the heat, but I am glad that we took full advantage of what was at 담양 despite sweating straight through our clothes.

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At the end of our bike ride we got to 프로방스 마을 (Provence Village) which was recently built as another tourist area. The streets and buildings are modeled after European towns. 
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As you can tell not all the construction is done yet. 
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Because we had to get back in time for lunch we only got to tour around this area for about 15 minutes before heading back towards 죽녹원 (bamboo forest).
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Tim and 성필

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Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV
After racing our bikes back to the bamboo forest. It was really really sunny out.
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Then we went to go eat 떡갈비 (tteok galbi beef dish)!
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Along with all the side dishes we got 대통밥 which is rice that was steamed inside of a bamboo shoot. The bamboo keeps the rice hot for the entirety of the meal and gives the rice a slight bamboo flavor. 
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Still not sure what the purple thing was on the potatoes… Never seen that before in my life. The soup on the far bottom right is 미역국 which is a soup made from seaweed and beef or seafood broth.
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Here’s a picture of the 떡갈비 and fish that was the main centerpiece of the meal. A lot of my friends found it to tedious to eat the fish so they all gave me theirs! 
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After lunch we went to go make Korean traditional rice-crispy, but I am forgetting what they are called. They are much less sweet and much harder than the rice crispy treats in the U.S. 

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Final product! I got to take some home to share with my host family and as usual they ate all the snacks in like twenty minutes. My host mom has told me to stop bringing home snacks because my host dad has no self control and keeps eating them and gaining weight.
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That’s all for this blog… Until next time!

 

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