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EXPERIENCE THE WORLD THROUGH TRAVEL Incredible Travels in Korea Gear Up for a Safari Family Vacation Memories

Moments shared at the SIWA Spring Lunch Meet SIWA Leaders Behind the Scenes 2016-2017 Year

Spotlight on Community Service Giving Back in Seoul



discovery Magazine SIWA NEWS


Editor’s Letter

On the Cover

President’s Letter


Calling Enrichment Instructors

Mark Your Calendar

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Incredible Travels in Korea

Gear Up for a Safari

Family Vacation Memories 

Spring Lunch Shared Moments

Meet the 2016-17 SIWA Managers

Spotlight on Community Service

8 12 14 16 18 20




Interest Groups

Get Smart with Korean Proverbs

22 24 26


Seoul International Women’s Association Mailbox Seoul Finance Center Level 21, 136 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul Korea 04520

August / September 2016 Discovery



Letter from the Editor


Summer is a wonderful time to unwind, spend time with friends and family and generally recharge and renew yourself! I had the pleasure of preparing this issue of Discovery from my home in Portugal, on the windswept, beautiful west coast of Europe. It is harder to get back here often, now that our family lives most of the year in Seoul, but it is a real pleasure to spend the summer here and watch my children surf, paint Portuguese azulejos (tiles) and enjoy this special country where they were born. This issue is dedicated to travel, which many of us will be enjoying this summer. Through the contributions of SIWA members, we will discover some amazing travel destinations in Korea, learn how to plan for a Safari adventure, and enjoy one writer’s reminiscence of a past family vacation. I hope you enjoy the travel stories of our contributors and maybe pick up some ideas for travels of your own! Please enjoy this issue of Discovery and feel free to submit your ideas for future issues. Wishing you a wonderful summer, whether you are traveling or taking this opportunity to explore Seoul, the amazing city we are lucky enough to call home for a while.

Robin Carney VP Brand Communications

August / September 2016 Discovery

On the Cover


Cover Photo Photo courtesy of Doria Garms-Sotelo Editorial Team Mhyla Borkowski, Robin Carney, Sonali Rao , Greta Tonnon, Monica Williams Graphic Designer Andrew Meany Published by 10 Magazine Advertising Coordinator Kyoko Kawaguchi Contributors Anne Choe, Doria Garms-Sotelo, Sung-Ye (Gabrielle) Kim, Amy Millican, Sandhya Ramabadran, Chiara Sakuwa

Discovery Photo Files

All photos used by Discovery Magazine, unless otherwise stated, have been provided by SIWA vendors or volunteers and are the property of SIWA. Photographers who donate photos for SIWA’s use retain the rights to their photos.

Contributions Welcome!

Discovery is published bi-monthly (six issues per year) by SIWA, with articles and content written by our members and associates. It is distributed exclusively for SIWA members. All opinions expressed in these articles are those of the respective authors and may not reflect the official position of SIWA. All rights reserved SIWA 2016. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent of SIWA. For submissions and questions, contact or go to

President’s Message


Air travel. I’m certain SIWA members will agree that there is no better way to travel for business or pleasure. I’m certain all SIWA members will agree with me that there is no better way to travel for business or pleasure. The incredible appropriateness of an enormous aircraft branded “Airbus” is in itself a compelling indication of how we reach point B from point A. Like a bus stop, and just like that, I am at my stop a few hours later. Unless I intentionally vacation on a cruise, I most definitely want to reach my destination as fast as possible. I cannot exclude airline tickets from most of my vacation plans, and as such, I also cannot exclude the occasional unpleasant scenario that comes with flying. I think about delayed flights and countless hours spent in lines at different airports -- from customs and security lines that were quick and fastmoving to those that took too long and required special assistance to make my flight. Sometimes, it is difficult to keep my cool; too many elements are out of my control. Once, on a return home with my family from the Cayman Islands, our flight was extremely delayed and reached Miami International Airport with 30 minutes before our connecting flight to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Consequently, many people missed their next flight; lucky for us, however, a very nice TSA agent helped us go through customs quickly and took us to our gate. But by the time we reached the gate, the airline had given away MY seat to another passenger. I was bumped from the flight because my last name is different from the other three members of my family! Gate agents had separated our reservation while accommodating stand-by passengers for the flight. They apologized and offered to put all of us on another flight; it was almost 8pm. I was tired and perturbed to say the least, but my husband talked to the agents and a couple minutes later, someone, i.e., someone who gave up their seat, came out of the jet bridge. Needless to say, all four of us boarded the flight to D.C. thanks to the generosity of a kind passenger.

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Moral of the story: change my last name to that of my husband’s to avoid getting bumped from a flight? Nah. Aside from occasional hiccups, I still enjoy flying and appreciate the ease with which I can travel quite freely, thanks to over 50,000 airline routes with over 100,000 flights per day around the world. Now, that is impressive!

Anne Choe

SIWA President

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August / September 2016 Discovery To learn about the benefits of becoming a SIWA Sponsor, please contact



Call for

Enrichment Instructors! What is the Enrichment Class Program? SIWA Enrichment Classes promote cultural exchanges, sharing of skills and multicultural friendships between members. Teachers are SIWA members that want to share their talent or skill with interested students! The classes open doors to unique hobbies and truly enriched times in Korea. Above all, our members have lots of fun! Classes range from languages, art, crafts, music, culture, cooking, fitness and much more! Enrichment classes are offered twice each year - Fall and Spring. When is Enrichment Day Sign up? Enrichment Day Fall 2016 sign up will be held on September 28th at Conrad Hotel. How can I get involved? Share your skills or talents by becoming a SIWA Enrichment Class Instructor! We are offering an Early Bird Discount to all instructors who register before August 15, 2016. Instructor registration for September Enrichment Classes is now open at: events/enrichment-class-instructor-application-fall-201609/.

August / September 2016 Discovery

As a non-profit organization, SIWA collects a small table participation fee that goes towards the SIWA Welfare Fund, while all class fees are paid directly from the student to the instructor. For more information about the instructor registration process, contact:


All SIWA members are invited to attend the Enrichment Class Sign Up Event on September 28th. All classes will be posted online in advance and an e-catalog of classes will be delivered via the e-Newsletter. Class enrollment starts at the sign up event day (Sept 28th) where you can meet instructors in person. Payments for classes will be arranged with the instructors at the sign up event. Stay tuned for updates via the e-Newsetter and on our website: See photos from the last Enrichment Day on our Flickr page.



Calendar For more details on any of these and many other amazing events, please visit our website:

August 12, 2016

Newcomers Meeting If you are new to Seoul or new to SIWA, we encourage you to join our Newcomers Meeting. It’s a great chance to get to know a little more about our organization, including membership benefits, and the city of Seoul.

August 17, 2016

Tour: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibition Last year’s SIWA tour to the Frida Kahlo exhibition was so popular, we’ve provided another chance to see her revolutionary work. This exhibit is a joint show with her husband and painter, Diego Rivera.

August 24, 2016 August 18, 2016

Moms & Tots Let’s meet up at the Lilliput Premium Kids Cafe location in Hannam-dong. This kids cafe has something for every age, even babies!

International Culinary Experience Turkmenistan A nomadic lifestyle, severe conditions of living in the desert – all these factors affected the culinary traditions of the Turkmen. One of the national Turkmen cuisine main features is simplicity and affordability in terms of both products choice and cooking methods.

September 1, 2016

September 9, 2016

Photo Club The SIWA Photo Club is open to members who desire a more artistic and structured approach to creating photographs. The activities consist of an annual exhibition, technique workshop, critiques of each other’s works, gallery tour, and photo shoots.

Book Club The Joke was Milan Kundera’s first novel. He began writing it in 1962, it was completed in 1965, first published in 1967 as Žert and first translated into English in 1969. The novel is composed of many jokes, which have strong effects on the characters.

August 18, 2016

Transition Group Lunch Every change in our lives results in challenging our old ways, going through chaos and finally adopting new ways. Transition Group is a forum for members to support each other in making sense of their life transitions and finding adaptive strategies.

August 31, 2016

SIWA Coffee Morning Our August welcome back speaker is Gabriel Dye. He will be speak about “Managing your Mindset” and use his personal experience as a hypnotist to help you find and create drive, focus and control in your life.

September 13, 2016

Korean-English Conversation If you would like to practice speaking Korean or English, please join our conversation group. We will teach and encourage each other through our conversations. Anyone who is willing to practice Korean and English is welcome.

September 28, 2016

SIWA Enrichment Day provides the opportunity twice per year (Fall and Spring) for SIWA members with expertise to offer classes to other SIWA members in English. Typical offerings include classes in Language, Arts & Crafts, Cooking, and Health & Fitness. Also represented at the event will be various SIWA committees and other community and educational organizations.

August / September 2016 Discovery

Enrichment Classes Sign-Up Event



Travel in K rea

The Road to the West: Gang-Hwa Island & Seok-Mo Island

August / September 2016 Discovery

Among the most visited touristic spots by Seoul and Gyeonggi citizens, Gang-Hwa and Seok-Mo islands are the closest to the peninsula geographically and include the fourth biggest island of South Korea. They are well known for diverse touristic attractions such as mountains, lakes, sea, mud shores, sea water hot springs, religious monuments and significant historic areas.


Since Gang-Hwa island is located on the junction of the Han River & the western sea, it was the gate to the old Korea but also the important defense line against the enemies who pushed into the land of Korea. That’s the reason we can find many fortifications with gun ports which actually rounded the east coast of the Island. Once the haven of the Korean dynasty (918-1392) when invaded by Mongol empire, we still can find there the site and the vestige of the palace of the Korean dynasty. In fact, I didn’t expect too much from my trip to Gang-Hwa and Seok-Mo islands. I thought it would be a simple one-day short trip, but it didn’t take long for me to find those small islands were full of surprises. People are welcoming and hospitable, and it is an interesting place with various outdoor activities but also sightseeing opportunities. I saw there the unique mixed Basilican style / Traditional Korean style Anglican Church, the first in Korea and designated by Dolmens as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. I also enjoyed seeing an unforgettable sunset

from Jeok-Seok temple, Asia’s biggest tidal flat and children who had fun with their families there, and more.

My tour itinerary began on the first fortification on the east coast named Gapgot Don Dae (Don Dea means the gun fire post) and then moved south along the shoreline to the famous tidal flat Dong Mak beach. I then continued to Seok-Mo island to appreciate the peaceful island’s nature. The next day, I took a trip into the mountains to visit temples: there are 8 temples in GangHwa island area, and 3 of them are designated as national cultural assets. This afforded the opportunity for some time to myself. Have you ever heard about the birth myth of Korea? There were important 3 characters who contributed to commence the history of Korea. In the myth, “Ungnyeo” is a bear who became a woman, married divine king “ Hwanung”, and gave a birth to a son “Dangun”, who founded Go-Joseon (ancient Joseon), the first country in Korean history in 2333 B.C.


Dangun practiced a worshipping rite to God, and the place for this performance was actually on Mani mountain on Gang-Hwa island. Like other Korean kids, I’ve known this legend from my childhood, but it’s the first time of my life that I’ve seen the altar in the story. I was so touched. I felt like that place was just the starting point of actual Korea and very sacred.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware” –Martin Buber That’s true. We discover amazing things even when we expect less, in travel journeys and in our life as well.

I finished this trip by shopping for local products as many other tourists do. Once Gang-Hwa island was Korea’s largest Ginseng farm. It was especially very popular among the Japanese during the colonization period. Though we farm Ginseng in many other places in Korea nowadays, Gang-Hwa Ginseng is one of the most reputable local products. If you have a chance to visit these islands sometime in the future, I strongly would like to recommend you to have a look at Hwamunseok, a famous local product. It is a craft which made with dyed Wanggol (Cyperus Extaltatus). In fact we can find them easily in street markets in Korea these days especially for summer, but we can buy the best quality only on Gang-Hwa island.

Proud SIWA Member since 2016

Gang-Hwa and Seok-Mo islands are close to Seoul but not yet very well known among foreigners because of poor public transport. I feel very sorry for this. This place is not yet known enough in spite of its high potential as an attractive tourist destination.

Sung-Ye (Gabrielle) Kim is a Korean architect and project manager in the real estate development business. She is working on the Korean Food & Culture Complex development in Gyeonggi-do at present. Photos courtesy of Sung-Ye Kim

August / September 2016 Discovery

Sung-Ye (Gabrielle) Kim


SIWA SPOTLIGHT August / September 2016 Discovery


Travel in K rea Keeping Cool at Sanjeonghosu Lake


Staying in Korea this summer? Sanjeonghosu Lake may be your ticket to cool down. In Pocheon there is a resort town called Sanjeonghosu Lake that is nestled between some mountains. This area is not only very picturesque, but has an abundance of activities for the whole family. The legend says that Myeongseongsan Mountain (923 meters) is where Maui, the last crowned prince of the Silla Dynasty, cried after the fall of his kingdom. One weekend, my husband and I were looking for an area where we could practice taking waterfall photos. We also didn’t want to travel too far from where we live and wanted to see a different area of Korea. We looked at the map on our GPS and discovered this big lake surrounded by mountains. This was our ticket! We typed “Sanjeonghosu Lake” into our GPS and off we went. Activities Make sure you do spend some time walking around to enjoy the scenery as there is a large variety of flowers, butterflies, and a number of different waterfalls. More activities include: • Hiking trails (easy, hard, and advanced) • Swimming • A museum dedicated to Korean sweets • A botanical garden that hosts the largest amount of alpine plants in Asia • An amusement park, and • Boating on the lake Getting there Located just 84 kilometers northeast of Seoul is this paradise. Spend the day or the weekend at this picturesque lakeside resort with an ample amount of activities to enjoy.

You can also take the express bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or bus 133 from Suyu station. Travel time is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Seoul. For more information and detailed directions, visit the Pocheon City website.

Doria Garms-Sotelo

Proud SIWA Member since 2013 Doria is a Third Culture Kid who has been living in different countries in Asia most of her life. She has been living in Korea almost 10 years and is always on the lookout for an adventure. Her hobbies include traveling, photography, and hiking. She lives in Uijeongbu with her husband and two fox terriers.

August / September 2016 Discovery

Once you are close in the vicinity, you will notice a lot of places to stay at and restaurants. Once you get to the guard gate you will know you have reached your destination. Pay 2,000 won to park (for a small car) and park your car in the number of different parking lots.

Photos courtesy of Doria Garms-Sotelo


Gear Up!



Fun Essentials To Pack In Your Safari Kit they are lightweight, especially as these are one of the items you will want to place in your carryon luggage and you may be carrying them on a walking Safari. Hat & Sunglasses These items aren’t on the list just to make you look “Safari Chic.” Rather, on Safari in SubSaharan Africa you will be at/near the Equator. The sun is deceptively strong and especially fair eyed people run the risk of eye damage. © Airports_BeyondTours

Part of the fun of planning an African Safari is preparing for the trip. While there are obvious items you need to pack, such as your passport and inoculation cards, there are other essential gear items key to your Safari Kit. Here are seven you don’t want to overlook for a great African Safari. Camera

August / September 2016 Discovery

This might seem like a “well, of course” item. But, thanks to excellent telephone technology, many young people view their phones as their camera. In 2014 I was escorting a 19 year old college freshman on his first trip to Africa and his first Safari. I made sure he was given my complete Safari Guide & Packing List.


Well...he showed up for the trip with his iPhone. When I asked him how he was going to store all the pictures he took, he said he’d just upload them to “his Cloud.” Knowing this was his first trip, I asked him how sure he was that he would have internet access throughout the trip. Fortunately, we had time to get him a proper camera and back-up devices with copious storage space for his photographs and videos. Binoculars Not all Safari Companies provide binoculars. I have been on a water Safari in Uganda where I was the only person with binoculars. These are fun to shop for, with my favorite brand being Bushnell™. My main suggestion is to make sure

I can’t stress this enough. While working with the Wildlife Conservation Society in South Sudan, one of our consultants went on a project which placed her in a small boat on the Nile for over five hours one day. She returned to our headquarters in Juba with a severe case of Sun Blindness. You don’t want to ruin your Safari suffering a similar fate. Soft Sided Luggage This is an item you can pack in your regular luggage. The reason you may need soft sided luggage? If you plan on using small airplanes for transport between Safari lodges or National Parks, every pound/kilo counts. And, with space at a premium, the hard sided luggage often will not fit for all the passengers. My advice is to check with your Tour Operator. Many will store your “international travel” luggage for you. This is actually a fairly common practice. In Nairobi, Kenya, a key transit point for Safaris in East Africa, many of the hotels simply assume that if the guest is staying at the hotel after Safari that they may wish to leave luggage behind. This is helpful so that you also may leave souvenirs you’ve already purchased and don’t have to carry them along from Safari Camp to Safari Camp. Safari Appropriate Clothing This is one of my favorite essentials. Who doesn’t love to shop for clothes? While I have seen everything from girls in flips-flops and

There are multiple reasons for this. The first and foremost, is that while on Safari you are in the wild. What is referred to as “Safari colored” clothing is designed to help you blend into the bushveld. In addition, the clothing is designed to protect you from the most dangerous animal in Africa, the mosquito and its cousin, the tsetse. The word tsetse means “fly” in Tswana, a language of Southern Africa and has been proven to be intensely attracted to the color blue. The Safari colors of khaki, light brown or green are all meant to make you part of the bush. Appropriate shoes are a must. While strong walking shoes are ok, boots are preferable. I suggest these from a firsthand experience which could have been fatal. In 2012, I was in a remote camp in Boma, South Sudan. Since I was working in the main tent most of the day, I had worn my Reef™ flip-flops to and from my sleeping tented banda to the main tent. One day I decided to put on my Camp/Work Boots, to visit the local Murle Village. That evening when I got back to my tented banda and stepped up on the platform. I noticed a leaf on the ground and stuck out my foot to whisk it away – like any person would do, right?


short shorts to women in Saris on Safari, it is imperative to your health and safety that you wear appropriate clothing.

Personal Stationery This last one may seem odd. But, you will be expected to give a tip to your Guide and Driver. I find it nice to include a note of appreciation for all their hard work. Everyone likes to be thanked and making it personal is all the better. Planning and preparing for a Safari is part of the adventure. Shopping for the proper gear to put into your kit ensures you have a safe and fun Safari.

Ug an d


Then, I heard this cute little sound and when I looked up there was this beautiful Eastern Green Mamba in full hood, coiled up, hissing at me. Fortunately, Eastern Green Mambas are less aggressive and more difficult to provoke than Black Mambas. So, she kindly didn’t follow me as I ran to get help. Wear your boots! LC

Small Bag for Game Drives

If you are into “Safari Chic” there is nothing wrong with bringing your favorite Louis Vuitton™ - as you may notice most come in “Safari Colors.”

g wi aT g y l ©F


Amy Millican

Proud SIWA Member since 2014 Amy Millican is a member of The Explorers Club and owner of Flyga Twiga LLC, a Personal Safari Service and Consultancy. She can be reached at

August / September 2016 Discovery

These will be the place to store your binoculars, water, fleeces for evening Game Drives, and any items you might want out on Safari. I suggest an open-topped bag, so you can quickly reach in to grab items. As the Safari Savannah is a dusty place, it should be a bag you can clean.

Photos courtesy of Amy Millican


SIWA SPOTLIGHT August / September 2016 Discovery


Family Vacation Memories At Walt Disney World, There is Something for Everyone One of our last memories before moving to Korea was a family trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando. And as recent tragedies have taken place both in the parks and in the surrounding area, I wanted to touch upon the beauties of humanity and nature I experienced while at the Happiest Place on Earth. I have to say, it is called that for a reason. As a child, I had always wanted to go to Disney World, but never quite got around to it. I saw all the TV commercials about Disney World, with the Flying Dumbo ride, roller coaster rides with Roger Rabbit and pictures with Mickey and Minnie in front of Cinderella’s Castle. But the strange thing was, I did not really care about what to do there, although I was always a huge fan of Cinderella. I just wanted to be there—at Disney World. It was a special kind of magic that had a lure of its own. So I determined, as sort of a parenting bucket list item, that my children will visit Disney World during their childhood. Fortunately, my brother helped me cross that off the list, as he obtained employment there, and we were able to visit the parks free of charge, which helped immensely, as a trip with three kids would have cost a considerable sum.

On our drive down to Orlando, I found the natural environment in Florida to be beautiful, unique and intriguing. The palmettos, the Spanish moss hanging like beards from ancient trees, snowy egrets and blue herons stalking the shallow lakes like pond ornaments. I even kept my eyes on lookout for gators by the roadside everyone I knew seemed to keep fussing about. I actually wanted to see one; but anytime we stopped, and I looked, I did not find one. Even inside the parks we visited, including Epcot and Magic Kingdom, nature seemed to overlap with Disney infrastructure, which resulted in grave consequences at a particular resort this past year.

However, the man-made lakes throughout Epcot teemed with numerous ducks and egrets, completely at ease and unafraid of the usual crowds. It was as though, despite the loud attractions and throngs of tourists, people and nature coexisted in harmony, which was very moving to me.

After a few hours of huffing around after my kids, I found myself dying for a Starbucks (Downtown Disney has one now) as I craved both refreshment and caffeine. And I knew I could not have been alone in this as a parent strolling the expansive grounds of Disney World. This is when my brother took us inside the big Golf Ball, and showed us an International Food and Wine Festival—which, to me, seemed very un-Disney. But it was such a relief to be able to sit down in a cool terraced auditorium and take in a coffee demonstration, covering different ways to brew, drip and press different types of coffees to get different types of flavors. And the best part were the free samples, which just about satisfied my Starbucks itch! I also snagged an adorable Remy the Rat doll with my brother’s 30% cast member discount. And we were also able to get one-stop shopping indoor photo ops with different Disney characters without the ghastly outdoor lines necessary to score commercial-grade Mickey pics in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Although for some, those are worth the hassle. We then strolled through Magic Kingdom, we visited several cultural exhibits like Bavaria, Polynesia and Mexico; but the attraction we spent the most time in, one that was correlative to our children’s roots, was the Japan exhibit. Inside was like a Little Tokyo, with Sanrio, Pokemon,

But the most memorable event of all, which, I believe to be the highlight of a Disney trip is the late-night parade in Magic Kingdom, right in front of Cinderella’s Castle. This is where Tinkerbell “flies” across the sky waving her wand between the tallest turret of Cinderella’s Castle and Tomorrowland Terrace to signal the beginning of the fireworks display and the parade, featuring floats from all the different Disney movies and characters—my favorite was Captain Hook’s pirate ship float.

All in all, Disney, and Orlando’s surrounding natural environment, possess an unexplainable magic, much of which I have yet to discover, even after three previous trips. At Disney World, there is something for everyone; and the Disney dream continues to bring all ages, races, creeds and ethnicities together to celebrate one big party, and proves that it really is a small world, after all.

Chiara Sakuwa

Proud SIWA Member since 2016 Chiara Sakuwa is an American freelance writer and editor based in Seoul. She is the author of three novels, “The Lady Leathernecks,” “The Solitaire Diaries” and the upcoming “Silver Soul.”

August / September 2016 Discovery

What intrigued me the most, perhaps, was a few of the people who surrounded us—the faces in the crowd that often disappear when it gets dark and the attractions light up. I noticed a little girl in a wheelchair who was dressed in an Ariel costume from “The Little Mermaid.” I complimented her costume, and her mother said she had the full Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover, which includes the costume dress, a glitter-gel princess bun up-do, topped off with a tiara comb and a signature rhinestone Mickey barrette. Her father mentioned that they were from Mexico, and that it was their daughter’s dream to go to Disney World just one time in her young life. They mentioned she did not have very long, and I knew not to ask any questions. All I could say is that I had the same dream for my own children, and that I was happy she could make it—and that I absolutely loved her costume.


Beyblade, Transformers merchandise colorfully displayed with “testers” for demonstration purposes. But what stood out the most was the oyster tank, where for about $15, you could select a pearl bearing oyster and keep the pearl as a souvenir, or pay a little extra to have it set into jewelry, which my brother did to make a ring for his girlfriend. The Japan exhibit also boasted an onsite candy artist, who could fashion a sort of lollipop into any creature you ask for. My sons asked for dragons, but I also saw how skillfully and exquisitely the lady crafted a parrot, even tweaking the candy with extra pleats for feathers!

Photos courtesy of Chiara Sakuwa.


SIWA SPOTLIGHT August / September 2016 Discovery


SIWA Spring

SIWA members kicked off the summer holidays with a d

delicious lunch at the Conrad Zest restaurant on June 1


Lunch 2016

August / September 2016 Discovery

Photos courtesy of Mhyla Borkowski



Meet the

2016-2017 SIWA Managers We would like to introduce the amazing volunteers managing these critical SIWA roles. Constanze Britz, Justesse Gomis, Robbie Schuldt and Kathryn Wallace are new to their roles, so please give them a warm welcome! Our other volunteers are graciously continuing in their roles from 2015-16. Thank you, Team SIWA!

Constanze Britz Membership Manager

Constanze is a native of Germany and moved with her husband to Seoul in August 2014. She joined SIWA in October 2014 and served an integral role in the 2015 SIWA Annual Charity Gala. She spends her time with her lovely son, enjoying social networks, learning the Korean language and hiking.

Vicki arrived in Seoul from Michigan, USA in August 2013, accompanied by her husband and 2 of their children. She enjoyed several years employed at EDS, and then worked for her local county government’s business development department. In addition to SIWA, she volunteers at the Eastern Social Welfare Society and at Seoul Foreign School. Vicki loves being outside, and enjoys Seoul’s culture, mountains and mild winters.

Theresa Kang

Special Events Chair & Bazaar Manager

Invitations Manager

Kyoko Kawaguchi Marketing Manager

Kyoko is Japanese and arrived in Seoul in April 2014. She has worked as a Nurse in an advanced emergency medical service center and ICU in Japan and as an educator of Nursing at a University. She is learning Korean to know Korean culture and enjoy living in Korea. As Marketing Manager, she aims to make the SIWA supporters and clients feel happy.

Augsut / September 2016 Discovery

Invitations Manager

Justesse Gomis Justesse is a native of Brazzaville, Congo and grew up in France. After business studies, she worked as the Deputy Manager for a famous French brand. Then, she created her own fashion company and became an Image Consultant. A newcomer in Seoul, she joined SIWA in May 2016. Nowadays, she shares her time between her family, working on her cooking skills and her finance studies.


Vicki Frame

Irene Nuutila Graphic Designer

Irene is a Finn who has also worked in England and studied in Germany. She came to Korea in September 2014. She studied Media Engineering and worked first in client service and then 3,5 years as Account Manager at Konica Minolta. She is passionate about travelling, foreign cultures, photography, sports and animals. In her free time in Korea she is also teaching English and Finnish, and learning Korean in return.

Theresa is Korean, and has been involved with SIWA for 10 years. She has been especially active in the Lucky Draw event at the Bazaar. She enjoys being part of SIWA to share many different types of cultures, interests, and knowledge with wonderful ladies from around the world. She previously worked for an import/export business. Her hobbies include walking, travelling and visiting art galleries.

Raheela Khan Diplomatic Liaison

Raheela arrived in Seoul in December 2013 with her husband, the ambassador of Pakistan. She assumed the duties of Vice President and Diplomatic Liaison of the Ambassadors’ Spouses Association in Seoul (ASAS) in 2015. She holds a masters degree in Economics and has taught in many countries. She is especially fond of foreign cultures and cuisines, and enjoys spending time with her family and her Persian cat.

Jessica Raeside Social Media Manager

Jessica is an international school teacher from Sydney, who moved to Seoul 2.5 years ago. She has 20 years experience teaching school children across the UK, Australia and Korea. Recently, she was employed at SFS as the ‘Tech Integration Specialist’. Through SIWA, she volunteers at ‘Eastern Social Welfare Society’ with fellow members caring for orphaned newborn babies.

Neeti Virmani

Vendor Manager

Blog Manager

Robbie arrived in Seoul in 2012. She was Tours Chair 2013-2015 and VP Activities 2014-2015, and has been involved in many areas of SIWA. Robbie has two daughters. The Schuldt family spent six years in Japan where she worked for AT&T as Marketing Director. She previously worked in Hispanic and fitness marketing in New York and Los Angeles. She holds a Master’s degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

An INSEAD alumna, Neeti has 15 years experience with leading Indian brands in Telecom, FMCG, Media & Entertainment. She moved to Korea with her husband in September 2015 and volunteered for the Bazaar. A technology freak, she draws her energy from yoga, travelling, music, reading, adventure sports, writing & photography. She aspires to teach underprivileged kids and also serves as SIWA Welfare Chair.


Robbie Schuldt

Kathryn Wallace Webiste Content Manager

A British citizen, Kat relocated to Seoul with her husband in October 2013 and became a SIWA member in December that year. Kat has worked in Marketing for 10 years, based in London for a global home furnishing company. Her baby daughter keeps her busy these days, as well as her love of yoga, baking and exploring Asia.

If you are interested in volunteering to fill one of our vacant positions, we would love to have you join our team! Please visit:

2016-2017 SIWA Leaders Directory COMMITTEE

President: Anne Choe Vice President, Fundraising: Amy Lee Vice President, Brand Communications: Robin Carney Vice President, Operations: Mhyla Borkowski Board Administrator: Ariane Amiot Treasurer: Sandhya Ramabadran

Bazaar Manager: Justesse Gomis Blog Manager: Neeti Virmani Diplomatic Liaison: Raheela Khan Enrichment Class Coordinator: (vacant) Gala Manager: (vacant) Graphic Designer: Irene Nuutila Invitations Manager: Theresa Kang Invitations Manager: Vicki Frame Marketing Manager: Kyoko Kawaguchi Membership Manager: Constanze Britz Membership Representative: Kelly Yoon Newsletter Manager: (vacant) Social Media Manager: Jessica Raeside Website Content Manager: Kathryn Wallace Website Manager: (vacant)

STANDING COMMITTEE Discovery Editor: (vacant) Hospitality Chair: Sonali Rao Newcomers Chair: Michelle Morrison Public Relations Chair: Fitri Rahayuni Isenbeck Special Events Chair: Justesse Gomis Sponsorship Chair: (vacant) Tours & Interest Groups Chair: Greta Tonnon, Welfare Chair: Neeti Virmani

August / September 2016 Discovery




Spotlight on Community Service

Eastern Babies’ Home Eastern Babies’ Home of Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS) is an orphanage with about 35 babies aged 1 to 6 months, all awaiting adoption. Children’s doctors, nurses and caregivers care for them but they still need volunteers who are able to hold them, talk to them and feed them. If you would like to volunteer at the orphanage, please contact “Few would argue that living in Korea can be a fun and exciting experience, since there is so much to see and experience no matter where you live. However, one can easily get wrapped up in all the fun and overlook one activity which I have found to be one of the most rewarding parts about living here, and that is volunteering. I began my volunteer work at the Eastern Babies’ Home about 3 months ago and it has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. Each week for a few hours I get to escape my hectic school life and enjoy playing with the adorable babies at the Eastern Babies’ Home. As volunteers, we are able to look after and take care of babies awaiting adoption. We feed them, change diapers, wash and of course play with the babies. Which, without saying, always brings a smile to my face. Volunteering in orphanage is a fulfilling way to experience Korean life and meet wonderful like-minded people, both Korean and expats. This opportunity has definitely opened my eyes to volunteering in Korea and brings me such joy each week knowing I am a part of a such a caring community. At times it can be hard and pulls at the heart strings, but seeing each of their smiling faces makes it all worthwhile.

August / September 2016 Discovery

Sophie Grange


SIWA SPOTLIGHT “When I first got to know about the new volunteer program of SIWA in Eastern Babies’ Home – back in February this year – I got interested immediately. As a PhD student whose research is about domestic adoption in South Korea, that looked like a priceless opportunity to get to know more about the children that are given up for adoption, and the circumstances and people that surround them. Little I knew that, besides being an immensely interesting experience in that sense, it would be also incredibly enriching in a more personal level as well! Since March we, the SIWA volunteers, every Tuesday go to the Babies’ Home, located in Hongdae, and take care of the babies there for three hours. To put it simply, we hold them, feed them, play with them and clean them. To make it more realistic, we melt down in cuteness while holding them every time! Personally speaking, every visit to the Home is amazing. Not only I am getting to know more and more about babies and what I was initially interested in (how adoption works in Korea) but also I enjoy the opportunity to meet other volunteers and have a good time talking about a million different things.

When I first started this volunteer program, I never imagined that I would learn so much from such tiny little people!! And I never thought as well that I would meet such nice workers and fellow volunteers, who make the experience even richer. That is why I really hope that SIWA continues this program for a long, long time, and that I can be part of it for many more months. I can only say thank you all for letting me be a part of this incredible experience, and of course, that I will keep on doing my best!

Elisa Romero Moreno

August / September 2016 Discovery

The workers of Eastern Babies’ Home deserve a special mention as well. With endless patience (as many volunteers like me started off clueless about babies), they always help us to take care of the babies in the best way possible, showing us the best position to feed them or how to comfort them. Because, at the same time that every visit is full of beautiful moments with the little ones, it is also true that sometimes I wish I had eight arms to take care of more crying babies. On those occasions and as a joke, we usually compare the room with the Opera as we have tiny baritones and sopranos who “sing” to us in search of their attention! However, everything pays off when I see the babies smile, laugh, discover new things, or simply, when they fall asleep peacefully in my arms.

PhD. Student at Seoul National University, Social Anthropology Department



Past Tour Comments Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition at DDP 17th May

“It was an unique experience; thank you Ines for leading the tour. I am very grateful to SIWA Tours Team for always organizing interesting and fun activities for its members. Thank you, ladies!”

Anne Choe, USA

Hiking Baegundae Park (836.6m) 19th May

“It was perhaps my favorite day in Seoul since we arrived in August 2015! The hike was challenging, but our cheerful leader, Karin Stangeland, knew the route well, was sensitive to the need to take water breaks and even brought homemade chocolate chip cookies to celebrate our successful ascent of this 836 meter peak! The views atop Baegundae are truly spectacular and well worth the effort. Most of the trail is shaded alongside a mountain stream which gurgles soothingly and provides refreshment to the hikers trekking by. Near the end of the hike, some of us decided to visit the Guknyeong Grand Buddha Statue which is 24 meters high and the largest seated Buddha in Korea and all of East Asia. Nestled in the mountains, this temple and Buddha is at once majestic and serene...a detour that is well worth the extra steps!”

Amanda Stanton, USA

Dalmasa, the Lovely Temple of Bodhidharma in Dongjakgu 26th May

“I really enjoyed the tour to Dalmasa and Prof. Mason’s detailed explanations. I had taken my parents on this tour and all three of us learned many new things about Korean Buddhism.”

Nadia Jolling, Belgium

Walking Seoul Tour 28th May

August / September 2016 Discovery

“The tour was an excellent idea to know more about the history of Korea in a fun and healthy way. Besides, we could get to know people from the other communities as well.”

Fitri Isenbeck, Indonesia “It was a great experience to share the historical buildings and beautiful scenery of Seoul with senior group and young generation.” Mi Kyung Yu, Korea “I enjoyed meeting the students and the diplomacy officials. Thank you, Lissa, for organizing!” Amy Millican, USA

Spectacular Yeongsan-jae Buddhist Ceremony 6th June

“I think the way the tour was structured was just right: lecture before entering the temple and optional segments while in the temple and during the ceremony.”

Rita Sahu, India


For more information about SIWA tours, visit

Tours Team Members SIWA would like to thank the Tours Team members Fitri Isenbeck, Mary Ann Fischbach, and Nadia Jolling, who are leaving Seoul, for their dedicated service.


Farewell to

Fitri Isenbeck Fitri Isenbeck was a SIWA Tour Coordinator for four years, coordinated several tours and was always joyful and smiling. Fitri also served as Public Relations Chair for SIWA. Thank you, Fitri!

Mary Ann Fischbach As Tour Leader, Mary Ann Fischbach organized the Christmas Market Tour, led the series of City Wall hikes three times, and took us to several museums. Thank you, Mary Ann!

Nadia Jolling compiled the comments and photos from SIWA members attending the tours, for publication in Discovery Magazine. She was an active tour participant and did a lot ‘behind the scenes’ to help the whole Tours Team. Thank you, Nadia!

They will be missed by all! We wish them well in their future endeavours.

August / September 2016 Discovery

Nadia Jolling



Interest Groups Book Club In June, some Book Club members attended a conference given by JM Le Clezio, a French author, who received the Nobel Prize in literature in 2008 and taught French language and literature at Ewha Womans University in Seoul during the 2007 academic year. JM Le Clezio spoke about “desire”. Not romantic desire, but the desire of the infinite, desire of liberty, desire of another world, desire that is linked to nostalgia, desire that becomes an obsession, an obstinacy. This was presented in the perspective of women looking for independence, the Korean civil war, the violence of urban society where individuals have no more place. JM Le Clezio referred to contemporary Korean authors and books, like Kim YuJong, Lee SeungU, Han Kang, Kim AeRan. Those translated in English are “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang, and “The Private Lives of Plants” by Lee SeungU. The Book Club will choose one of these as an upcoming selection.

“As I return to India after four years in South Korea, one of the many wonderful memories I will take back is of the SIWA Book Club it was my pleasure to lead. Books have been my friend since childhood and in Seoul, they helped me find and connect to so many wonderful women who I can count among my friends today. We have discussed 36 books in the last three years chosen by members of our group. I must admit, some proved to be easier reads than others. There were books set in countries all over the world, including the home countries of many of our members, who provided unique insights into plots and thought processes we would otherwise never have understood. Similarly, there were books about people of different religions, financial and educational backgrounds. Men and women like ourselves dealing with situations just as we do on a daily basis. Somehow the books helped open doors, gave us the ability to share feelings that usually takes years of bonding to achieve. As temporary guests in this wonderful country, finding other women with a common ground has been precious. I feel grateful for the opportunities the book club gave me and I will always treasure the moments.” Shubha Maudgal

August / September 2016 Discovery

Book Club Coordinator June 2013 - May 2016

Photo Club “Inyoung is a great leader, and we have a lot of diversity in the group. We learn from each other’s experiences and get new ideas to improve our photography every time. We are a young group, there is still a lot to do and explore; Inyoung is doing a great job there, and it feels like soon we will have more and more members!” Erika Fuentes, Mexico

Photo courtesy of Doria Garms-Sotelo

Cultural Connection “Very interesting introduction of the country of Turkmenistan! !! I loved the countryside, the traditional cloth, the movie about handmade carpets - I didn’t expect to even taste the traditional food. Thanks for organizing and special thanks to the host!!” Brigitte, Germany


International Culinary Exchange (ICE) Past Event

Upcoming Event

In June, ICE members learned about Royal Court Cuisine. Royal cuisine is the essence of Korean food culture. It has been passed down by the word of mouth of court cooks and royal descendants, as well as written records of royal feasts. Chef Jongsook Park showed us how to make 2 dishes from the Korean royal court cuisine: 원추리꽃 , a day lily salad and 월과채 , Wolgwachae, a variety of japchae or mixed vegetable dish.

On August 24, we will focus on the cuisine of Turkmenistan, and learn how to make the Turkmen Samsa. The dessert will be a typical cheesecake. Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia. More than 80% of Turkmenistan’s land is covered by the Karakum Desert. It is well known that culinary traditions of various nations develop under the influence of two conditions: historical and geographical. A nomadic lifestyle, severe conditions of living in the desert – all these factors affected the culinary traditions of the Turkmen. One of the national Turkmen cuisine main features is simplicity and affordability in terms of both products choice and cooking methods. Turkmen national cuisine has a lot in common with cuisines of other Central Asian countries. However, it differs from them in a number of features. The most common snack of the Turkmen is samsa : a baked dish with beef and onion filling.

To register, visit: international-culinary-exchange-ice-cuisine-of-turkmenistan-201608/

August / September 2016 Discovery

Registration ends: August 17 Cost: SIWA Members : W20,000 per person - the hostess will graciously donate the participation fee to the SIWA Welfare Fund Participants: Minimum 10 – maximum 15 Coordinator: Michelle Morrison Hostess: Gulia Mamedaliyeva Gulia Mamedaliyeva, born in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, is the spouse of the Ambassador of Turkmenistan. She studied at the Turkmen State University and is now a scientific researcher in the field of law. In 2014 the family arrived in the Republic of Korea with their 2 children. Gulia is interested in law, foreign languages and literature. Since 2015 she is the Executive Secretary of ASAS (Ambassadors Spouses Association in Seoul).

Credit: Sabrina Park


Interest Groups



Korean Proverbs

August / September 2016 Discovery

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Membership Renewal Have you renewed your SIWA Membership?

SIWA Membership Year: May 1, 2016 – April 30, 2017 Registration and payment guarantees a full year of membership benefits and your new personalized SIWA card. SIWA members gain access to these benefits and more: A world of networking with international women, including a members-only Facebook Group SIWA Discount Program which gives retail discounts exclusively for SIWA members at local merchants Special member discounts for popular social and cultural events throughout the year (usually KRW 5,000 – 10,000) Exclusive access to members-only enrichment classes and interest groups activities, including community service projects Opportunities to volunteer in a leadership role or on a SIWA Team to learn new skills or sharpen existing ones Access to exclusive members-only content, including a weekly e-newsletter and bi-monthly magazine delivered to your inbox Exclusive SIWA bag With your SIWA membership renewal, receive your new personalized SIWA card which you can save on your phone or print and cut to carry around: The online form and payment instructions can be found at For any questions regarding our membership program, please email



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2016 08 09 SIWA Discovery  

In this issue, we explore two Korean destinations which you may not yet have discovered: Gang-Hwa and Seok-Mo Islands, and Sanjeonghosu Lake...

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