Thursday, August 14, 2008

현지학습2 - 원골마을

Finally out of Seoul. We were in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do.

Schedule for our 2nd field trip to Chungcheongnam-do.

I was quite excited that we are getting out of the crowded Seoul to the rural area (시골). It was almost a 3-hours bus ride from Seoul to Gonju (공주, 公州) in Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도, 忠淸南道). For those who know some history of Korea, Gongju was once the capital of the state Baekje (백제, 白濟). But, we weren't there for some history field trip. It was intended to be some sort of a farm experience trip for us. Since it was a long ride, we had a stop-over at Gi-Heung Rest Area (기흥휴게소) for a short toilet break just one hour after departing Kyunghee. For the rest of the journey, we were entertained by this Korean movie "2 Faces of My Girlfriend" (두 얼굴의 여친).

Weongol Village (원골마을, 員谷村) is also known as the Art Village (예술마을) because many artists come here to create their art of nature. There is a gallery in the village that displays works on nature and agricultural life. Besides that, visitors can get to experience farm life first hand. In the village, they can come up close to farm animals, insects, fruit trees and agricultural crops at the various farms. There are also chalets for visitors to stay. It is quite a good get-away from the stressful city life.

Let's go to Weongol Village. It turned out to be a 15mins uphill walk.

Our purpose of visiting Weongol Village - to make 허수아비.

When our buses arrived at the Weongol Village, we still need to walk for another 15mins before arriving at a huge tree. It was under the cool shade of that tree which we made our scarecrow (허수아비). The village head was there to welcome us and to give a brief introduction about the village. Just to show how connected Korea is, the village also has its own homepage ( After the brief, we were divided into teams of four and each team was to make a scarecrow. The hardest part of making the scarecrow was the making its wooden body frame. Long and thick nails had to be hammered into adjacent wooden blocks just to make the frame robust. The rest of works like making the face and dressing up the scarecrow were comparatively easier. Once every team was done with their scarecrows, there was a group photo taking session. After that, we left the village on trucks and that saved us the gruelling pain of having to walk all the way out to the carpark.

We were welcomed by the village head of the Weongol Village.

Tools to make 허수아비. Hammer, saw, spray paint etc.

Not forgetting the straw and clothings.

Start to get down to work. The first step is to construct the wooden frame.

Next, form the face by nailing together two water ladles front to front.

Four persons to a team. Each team is required to make one scarecrow.

Photo-taking time with all the completed scarecrows.

Scarecrow family made possible by Kyunghee students.

We walked into the village by foot but went out by truck.

For the time when we were in the Weongol Village, it seemed like we have woken up an otherwise quiet village. We are now off to our next stop, which is the Independence Hall in Cheonan (천안, 天安). The bus journey from the city of Gongju to Cheonan took about 1 hour.