Dec 142015
At Willis Tower in Chicago

Jin Dong, Minyeal and Jaeho at Willis Tower in Chicago

This is the first in our series of 12 blog posts leading up to Christmas Day, which we call the “12 Days of KKOOM”. Today’s entry is the beginning of a two-part essay written by Minyeal and Jaeho, two young adults who grew up at Samsungwon, an orphanage in Gumi, South Korea. They visited the United States for two weeks in September and traveled to Chicago, Washington, DC, New York and Detroit with Jin Dong who also grew up at Samsungwon and had been studying in Boston.

This part is written by Minyeal, age 27, and was translated by Jin Dong.


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.

In front of the White House

In front of the White House

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.File_005

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.

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