Water, Sun, and a Great Big Swing

We closed Gina’s for the day so we could go to the countryside with our workers. They planned the day for us. Hiking, playing games, and wading in the river were all on the to-do list.

More than twenty of us (that included 9 kids-ours and friends) walked to the bus stop. You might think that 20 people would fill a bus, you’d be wrong. Our stop was the very last one and we just kept adding people all along the way.


It was a HOT day, in the low 90’s (that is really hot for this area) and all the kids could think about was the river. But, not yet. There is a traditional Korean swing set on the hillside and it is a BIG deal.


Just a little further…


Made it and it was worth the effort!

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In ancient Korea, women remained in their walled homes and courtyards. I was told that these swings were created to allow them to “escape” the confinement and see over the walls. Traditionally, you are supposed to stand on this swing. It is low to the ground when standing still, but when swung your feet may be 15 to 20 ft off the ground. Swinging the traditional way is hard work. A grandma in her early 80’s watched us sitting and then showed us how it was meant to be done.


I tried it, but it was a total fail for me. I couldn’t get the aerobic motion going in rhythm with the swinging motion. (No photos needed, your imagination isn’t far off! I looked ridiculous.) I decided sitting was a better option for me. I know how to pump.


The kids enjoyed the swing, too. And the view was amazing!



There is a tree near the swing that is supposedly 1,000 years old. Some of our coworkers weren’t convinced the number was accurate but regardless…the tree has been around for a long time. Many people visit this area just to hang their prayers on the branches. (Notice the red ribbons.)


We joke that God gave David all girls so that he would be prepared to lead a restaurant full of women! Here are 4 of our beautiful cooks!


Finally, it is time. Anyone interested in playing in the river? They took off, no need to ask twice!


We walked the narrow farm road through cornfields and rice paddies.



We came out of the fields to this scene.


Our workers’ idea of “playing” in the river was getting their feet wet, some of them preferred watching others get their feet wet. Definitely not what our kids were interested in doing.




The older 4 floated and fought the current in the deeper water, while the younger 4 enjoyed the shallow…for a while.



Once they had explored the deeper water, each of the older kids took responsibility for one of the younger kids and help them enjoy the deep water, too. They helped them float down the current and caught them before they hit the faster water.




They ended the day soaked and it was wonderful.


~ Regina

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2 Responses to Water, Sun, and a Great Big Swing

  1. Regina,
    I love reading your blog posts! This one was especially fun to read for summer time weather. As for the traditional Korean swing, and the story of the courtyard, I have something to share. I bought a book at the local library’s bookstore. I found a book about a Korean girl who grew up during the era you mentioned (ie: girls/women of nobility had to stay inside courtyards). This story was called “See-Saw Girl.” In the story, she desperately wanted to see the mountains that were mostly hidden from view because of the high walls. She ended up using a see-saw (with one person jumping on each end to propel the other) so that she could see (and paint) the mountains.
    Glad that you all had a day off to enjoy the countryside, the swing, and some cooling off in the water!


    • Choosingjoynow says:

      When we lived in S. Korea, we saw women jumping on the seesaws. They flew high into the air. I tried it once, but my feet barely left the board. It took practice to be “thrown” high into the air and then land on the board so that your partner could go flying. I never got it. 🙂 I’ve added the book to my list to read; thanks for the recommendation.


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