Opportunities for 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers and their Families to get out and explore the Korean Peninsula are abundant. One opportunity to spend time with Family members and enjoy the sights of Korea came May 13 during the 2009 Gyeonggi Province Ceramic Expedition in Gwangju.
The participantsAca,!a,,c tour included Family members, wives and female Soldiers from across the division, along with a handful of Warriors escorting family members.
The event started with a stroll through various greenhouses filled with strawberries. Attendees picked and ate strawberries to their heartsAca,!a,,c content.
Aca,!A"It was a very good experience,Aca,!A? said Chief Warrant Officer Javier Gonzalez, who serves with the 17th Ordnance Company on Camp Kwangsa-Ri. Aca,!A"To take the strawberries that we got to pick and take them home was cool.Aca,!A?
Gonzalez didnAca,!a,,ct come alone; he brought along his wife and daughter to get out and have fun.
Aca,!A"We owed it to ourselves,Aca,!A? said Erin Gonzalez. Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cve been here for almost a year and hadnAca,!a,,ct taken any trips like this yet. It was good to take our daughter out to explore KoreaAca,!a,,cs culture.Aca,!A?
Once they finished picking strawberries, the participants went to another area down the road, where they made traditional Korean egg baskets out of straw.
Aca,!A"Farming is a big industry here in Korea,Aca,!A? said Yi, Min Song, the 2nd ID community relations officer. Aca,!A"Most people couldnAca,!a,,ct carry eggs to the market, so they made baskets for the eggs.Aca,!A?
After completing the traditional straw-egg baskets, the participants filled them with four to five eggs. Participants were allowed to take the hard-boiled eggs home with them as a gift and a reminder of the experience.
The group then ate a traditional Korean lunch spread of kimchi, bulgogi and fried rice, to name a few of the items.
The tourists then went over to the Gyeonggi Ceramic Museum, where they took a tour of the museum, went shopping and even created their own ceramics.
Aca,!A"It was satisfying,Aca,!A? said Erin Gonzalez. Aca,!A"It is nice to see a piece of Korean culture and see stuff you wouldnAca,!a,,ct see in the states.Aca,!A?
The tourists chose among making bowels, vases and more. They were allowed to keep what they made, which sparked the creativity of the participants.
Yi said the overall tour was a success and it bought hope that trips like this will strengthen AmericansAca,!a,,c desire to explore everything they can on the Korean Peninsula.
Aca,!A"To enjoy a cultural experience in country is a benefit,Aca,!A? said Yi. Aca,!A"It alleviates the difficulty of living in a foreign country and gives the Soldiers insights into the culture of the Korean Peninsula.Aca,!A?