Our Last Full Day in Korea

We had another good day in Korea today.  On the way to the campus of Daegu Haany University, we stopped by Gyeonsan stadium.  The university’s main campus is in Geonsan, while the medical college is in Daegu.  Miss Kim, who took very good care of Joanne and me during our stay, agreed to pose with us for this photo.

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When we got to the campus, the first order of business was the speech they had asked me to deliver.   I spoke to a group of about 100 students and faculty on the subject “Globalization and the Stewardship of Place.”  I had a prepared text (unusual for me) but could not resist going off script to describe the striking similarities in EKU and DHU.  After the speech, we posed with the DHU students who will be coming to EKU later this month to participate in the EELI program.   The sign above us gave me pause when we entered the lecture hall.

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Following the speech we visited the English Department (where Dan Robinette teaches) and sat in on an English class.   After lunch, we took off for the Gyeongjoo area about 55 kilometers east of Daegu near the coast.   This was the center of the Silla Kingdom, a period of Korean history that began about 250 years b.c. and ended during the 8th century.   This was one of three major kingdoms in Korea during that era.  We visited two Buddhist temples (both certified by UNESCO in 1995 as among the world’s finest.   Following that, we toured a park-like setting in Gyeongjoo that featured the burial mounds of Silla royalty, including a number of kings.   These mounds were formed by soil being built up over a mound of rocks that covered a central wooden chamber in which the dead were placed with artifacts to help them in the afterlife.  We were able to enter one of the tombs, but photographs were not permitted.

Here are two shots from the Seokgulam Grotto.  The first is of a structure near the entrance that houses a huge bronze bell.  The other is a photograph with many Korean school children in the foreground.  The structure on the hillside houses a grotto with a magnificent statue of Buddha, carved from the local granite.   I am sorry photos were not allowed in the structure.

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From this temple, we went to an even more magnificent one called the Bulguksa Temple.   Like the grotto, it dates back some 15 centuries.  This is just one of dozens of photographs I took.  Once again, no interior pictures were allowed.

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As the afternoon wore down we came to the mound tombs of leaders of the Silla Kingdom.

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We leave here in the morning and will be in Richmond Wedneday evening after about 26 hours of airplanes and airports.  No rest for the weary, however, as we leave on Thurday for an alumni/development trip.  This has been a very worthwhile trip, during which we have continued to build a new relationship (Rikkyo), and strengthened two established partnerships (University of Yamanashi and Daegu Haany University.)  I am very glad we came, especially since it provided an opportunity for a visit to Korea for the first time by an EKU president.  I come away with an even greater appreciation for the quality of the institutions with which we partner and for the one with which we want to partner.   There are rich oppotunities both in Japan and Korea for Eastern students and faculty.   We cannot let these opportunities pass without taking advantage of them.

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