Jaeho, Minyeal and JD had a great trip in the US
Thanks to your generous financial support, KKOOM is able to create educational experiences for young adult Korean orphans, who would not otherwise have suh opportunities. Last fall, three young adults who grew up at Samsungwon, an orphanage in Gumi, South Korea, traveled around the United States for two weeks. They visitied Chicago, Washington, DC, New York and Detroit.
The three travelers were Minyeal, age 27, who is planning to transition from factory work to studying English; Jaeho, age 29, who recently completed a Master's in Divinity and is set to become an ordained pastor next year; and JD (Jindong), who studied in Boston this summer and met Minyeal and Jaeho in Chicago to begin their trip.
This fall, the three guys sat down and wrote an essay about their trip. It's a bit long, but we've included it all below, since we hope many of you will be interested in reading about the experiences your support has made possible. Thank you for all of your help!
This first part of the essay was written by Minyeal and was translated by JD.
September 7, 2015. It was my first overseas trip to a huge country, America.
I went to Incheon international airport, I had never been there before. I hoped to see several celebrities there, but I didn’t. My whole body started to be bad as soon as I arrived. (I don’t know why). The airport was full of people and I had no idea how to check my baggage and where to go to get my airplane. But, I could get the airplane thanks to smart guy, Jaeho.
I was really excited and happy. The flight attendants were so kind. But I didn’t like the meals in the airplane and they served just a little. I just had it to live. Actually, some of my acquaintances said that I will be tired if I take airplane for 14 hours, even so, I didn’t get tired at all. Because I was really excited to visit America.
I slept little while, and the airplane arrived Chicago!!!!! The city I’ve just seen on TV. It was so amazing that I got there from Incheon by plane.
Aimee and Jindong was there to pick us up. The weather was hot like Korea, not warm. But I think it’s better than rain. We ate Chicago Pizza, while we were getting the pizzeria, the street and road was really interesting to me. And I was happy to have real Chicago pizza at Chicago!! Even though I can have it in Korea. But it was not easy to eat it more than one piece. Because it was too greasy, I thought it isn’t good for Korean. But I liked it, I had it in America!!!
After that, we visited a hotel to stay for 2 days. We said good-bye to Aimee and decided to see again next week. I thought we are a team from now on. I wanted to challenge and confront something there and went outside. I was really exhausted and had some parts painful. But I didn’t want to be weak in America.
We looked around Millennium park, Cloud gate, Buckingham fountain first. There were so many people. I didn’t know they are famous. So I was not that interested. Anyway I took lots of pictures.
We returned to the hotel early. We planned where to go the on second day and went to bed. I couldn’t fall asleep well because of jet lag.
Next morning, I thought I can be diligent if I live here and I felt like Chicago is mine. Metro, Construction site, and so many people going to work, I loved it. Even though they were working, it was interesting to me.
And we went to Willis tower and took a picture as soon as we arrived there. After getting the top of the building, the view of Chicago was really great and beautiful. I’m sure that photograph can’t show all of the beauty, we can feel it only if we go and see it.
And the next destinations were Field museum, Art gallery and somewhere… (I forgot it). I saw lots of animals and 4D movie. I also took a lot of pictures. To be honest, I don’t like museums that much in Korea. I can’t feel anything from some exhibitions or heritages in museum. I don’t know why. But I liked the museum in Chicago, it was really big and I saw plenty of things there.
We spent a lot of time and searched somewhere to have dinner. Hamburger or Hotdog…. But I just appreciate to have something and didn’t complain. But I felt like I had snack or appetizer, not meal. After having meal, we visited John Hancock center to see the night view of Chicago. I was so excited.
We stayed and waited for the night view for a long time. After some time, we saw the night view… It was gorgeous and wonderful. I really appreciated God for letting me see the great view. And I didn’t want to come out from there.
I went to bed thinking that I can come back here someday. Next day, we went to Washington D.C. by airplane. The only one place I know of Washington D.C. is ‘White house’, where president of U.S. lives. I’m too ignorant… I thought Washington D.C. is so clean and really wanted to live there. I was so excited that I wanted to live anywhere in America.
From the airport of Washington D.C., we walked to the hotel, I still regret to walk to there. It made us too exhausted. I heard that we can have breakfast for free at the hotel. I thanked Aimee^^. We unpacked our baggage, and Jaeho and Jindong went outside, but I didn’t because I slept. Next day, there were some food on the 1st floor. We had breakfast and visited ‘Pentagon’. I didn’t know that is well-known place to people until I got there. At the entrance, there were several police officer those who are big and looked scary.
After looking around there, we went to ‘White house’, the place I know well. There were many people taking pictures. All of the places we planned to visit were close to White house. We just walked from a place to another place Because it was ambiguous to ride something. So many kinds of museum were in Washington D.C. I thought Washington is so clean city and lots of gentlemen are there. I recognized that it is the capital city of United States.
We returned to the hotel, I was too tired and have some parts painful. We went to Costco to buy something to eat. We had hotdog and bought one chicken. After we came back to the room, We ate ‘Shin Ramen’. I can’t forget the taste. And we went to bed.
We visited zoo next day. But there were just a few kinds of animals and the animals looked tired. I guess it was because the weather was too hot. And I stopped by drug store to buy pain killer. We tried to find another place to visit, but we decided to return to the hotel in order to take a rest for tomorrow. Next morning, we went to the bus terminal in Washington D.C. to go to New York. It was rainy at the moment to say goodbye to us.
The rest of the essay was written by Jaeho and was translated by JD.
The next morning, we went to the bus terminal in Washington D.C. to go to New York. It was rainy at the moment to say goodbye to us.
It takes 4 hours from Washington D.C. to New York. I admire the bus driver that drove the bus without any break time. We can go anywhere from somewhere with 4 hours in Korea. America is really huge.
We arrived New York where we’ve just seen only in movies. We unpacked our baggage at ‘Hi NY hostel’, and met Aimee and her friends. We had pork meat in Korea town. The problem is that it was really expensive. And we took a rest to have good tour in New York.
I had not expected to see a baseball game in America, even in Yankees Stadium!! After the game, we went to Hillsong Church. What I was impressed by is there were two lines of people there, one was a line of people waiting to get into a bar, and another was a row waiting for church worship. It was interesting scene I can’t find in Korea.
Led by Christine, one of Aimee’s friends, we had some pizza which was two times larger than my hand. It also tasted good. I felt everything is huge in America at that moment. And we visited ‘Strand Bookstore’, which was opened in 1927. I really regretted not to study English very hard at the moment, Because I couldn’t buy any books to read.
We walked again and again, stopped by Bryant park, New York city library and went to Times Square. It was really wonderful and beautiful. Even though it was night, I was impressed by many signs shinning. I’m not that good at taking a picture to take all of the beautiful scenes.
We walked again next day to see ‘statue of liberty’, the symbol of New York. (of course, we took subway, lol). Going to purchase the ticket to take the ship, a trickster tried to make us buy their fake tickets and we were about to get deceived, but fortunately, we didn’t. Getting close to statue of liberty was also great, and the skyline of Manhattan was very nice. I envied the natural beauty I can’t find in Korea.
We started to walk again, the next destination was the 9.11 Memorial. The area was still sorrowful and we couldn’t enjoy it. The atmosphere was quite solemn. I wish everywhere in the world be free from terror.
We just wandered without any destination. We walked so long time that I didn’t want to walk more. At the moment, two people appeared those who could encourage us, Christina and Christine, Aimee’s friends and friends of KKOOM. We walked again with two New Yorkers. I felt like we were also New Yorkers. Our goal was to eat many kinds of great food in New York. ‘Little Italy’ was held at that time. I forgot what I ate there, but they were good. The food we ate at China town were really nice; I can’t describe how great they are.
‘Grand central terminal’ was so beautiful not like other stations. I remember that it appeared on lots of movies. There were various stores and restaurants, but we just passed them. We stopped by Times Square again when we returned to the hostel. After looking around there several times, I thought it is just like advertisement exhibition.
Next morning, we visited ‘central park’, I borrowed a bicycle and rode it around there. It was really huge. I wished to eat ‘Samgyeopsal’ on the grass in the park. I wanted to look around the park slowly, but we had just little time to do that. I was satisfied in being there and said goodbye.
Christina recommended us to visit ‘Chelsea market’, and we went there. The atmosphere was kind of special. I felt a harmony of traditional market and modern market.
After that, We moved to Brooklyn bridge. The sunset and Manhattan next to the bridge were really nice and beautiful. I didn’t want to be interrupted by my camera, so I just saw the great view long time.
We recognized that there is a kitchen in the hostel the last afternoon we stayed there. We had ‘Shin Ramyeon’, and moved to Yankees stadium to see a soccer game of ‘New York City’. I was interested that we would see a few famous players such as Pirlo, Lampard and Villa. I was also curious of how the stadium can change to soccer stadium.
We went to bed early to take the airplane the next day. I hoped to be back New York, I was not sure I will be back someday.
I was accustomed to boarding an airplane even though I just have experienced it a few times. I didn’t feel joyful or interesting of getting an airplane anymore.
Our next city was Detroit, the ‘Motor city’. We visited Henry Ford museum with Aimee. We looked around Ford factory and Greenfield village. And we took ‘Model T’, which is almost 100 years old. I was surprised that the car worked well although it is too old. We also took a train with steam engine. I don’t know of Henry Ford well, but I could feel his passion at Greenfield village. After visiting there, we moved to Aimee’s parents’ house. It is a kind of typical American house I’ve seen in lots of movies.
Her parents served us very nice food and handmade beer, they were great!
We went to an outlet to buy some presents. Actually, I forgot the name of the outlet. It was really huge. The discount rate was also nice. After we bought some presents, we visited a casino. It was worth to experience, I lost 10 dollars, but I didn’t think it is waste. And we visited Aimee’s house and the law firm she works. In the evening, we watched a football game of West Michigan university. I knew a little bit about the rule of the game, so I could enjoy it. We spent the last night in America at a pub called “Bell’s”. We enjoyed various kinds of craft beer.
We returned to Korea by airplane from Chicago to Incheon. Two weeks went too fast. I was kind of sad and also happy to go back to Korea.
Someone said, ‘World is wide and there is a lot to do.’ That’s really true. We have a lot to do. And I hope to visit lots of places in the world. I feel like I can go anywhere I want to go if I just decide. But it is difficult to achieve my dream because life seems so busy now. And now, it’s been two months since I returned from America. I think, “Can I really do all of the things I want to do in this life?”
I appreciate God and all of the supporters who helped me to see and experience the wold. I believe the 2 weeks will be great seed in my life. I expect to have beautiful life. I believe God will lead my life and I will follow him.
AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
The 2nd week of their trip included NYC & Detroit.