Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Recycling Poet

Yesterday was recycling day. Now, in America, we talk a good talk about recycling. We even paint things green to let people know that they ... are green ... which is synonymous with environmentally friendly. (Along with being bad at recycling, we're bad at differentiating between synonyms. Honestly, just because the Hummer is painted green does not mean that it is environmentally friendly.) But here in Korea they walk the recycling walk.

Because the country is so small, land is very expensive. There's no space for landfills. So everything is recycled. My roomates and I are just starting to grasp the reality of these facts. This Tuesday was the first night we remembered to do our recycling. This special event only happens once a week, and the whole community is involved. All 500+ apartments in our complex are represented in this special celebration. Food waste, plastics, glass, cardboard, etc. are collected. There are different collection bins for different containers. Some bins are reserved for one type of bottle exclusively. It's very confusing. The buildings security guards are omni-present to make sure you don't mess up the system.

So this was also our first time to meet all of the neighbors. We met one woman named Linda. Well, her real name is Kim Something Something, but Koreans who speak English usually have an American name they use. Linda invited us over to her home. She gave us her business card, which claims she is the president of a multi-national company with offices in China, the Phillipines, and Korea. Her husband was very nice. Their home was beautiful and packed full of exciting souveniers from all around the world. She cooked some food for us and made fresh Tomato juice. She showed us books of poetry she had written and her poetic contributions to other books of Korean poetry.

She was super fun and Molly and I will return shortly for another visit. She has invited us to climb the mountain with her to retrieve fresh spring water. Oh, did I mention that she's 71? Making friends of any age is good when you're in a new country.

In other news, some pastor friends from Russia were ordained. The Shishkins are the two on the left in the picture. Hearing good news from Russia is always nice.

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