Day 9, Tuesday March 19

Jeju Haenyeo, Woman diver

Every year I am amazed at how quickly the Global Trip seems to fly by.  This year was no different for me, here we are, already at the final official day of the program.  Thanks to our guides Helen and Kim, we were able to adjust the schedule on the final day, giving all of you the option to have our own personal day, or have time to see some of the famous and beautiful sites on Jeju Island. For those who chose to do their own thing, I hope it was wonderful. For those of you who traveled to Manjunggal Caves, Ilchulbang peak (sunrise peak), and watched the Jeju Haenyeo, the women divers, I’m pretty sure it was unforgettable.

We finished the day at our farewell dinner (can you believe the number of dishes that are left over at the end of Korean meals!) and to top it off, a little karaoke on the bus, with Sol leading us off.

Thanks for a wonderful day, an awesome experience, and a beautiful exposure to Korean business practices and cultural implications.  What are your final take-aways and lessons learned from our time in Korea?


29 Responses to “Day 9, Tuesday March 19”

  1. Leili Says:

    This was one of my favorite days. The view from sunrise peak was unbelievable, and to say the Haenyeo were inspiration is an understatement. We also tried some of the tangerines which were delicious. The farewell dinner was also one of my favorite meals, the side dishes and the pork were so good.

  2. Sneha Says:

    Last day was just perfect, from the sunrise peak to the inspirational women divers and an awesome dinner to the best karaoke. We packed so many of the korean experiences in this last day that makes it unforgettable!

  3. Chase Says:

    The farewell dinner (and karaoke!) was the perfect end to a great trip. I have a new appreciation for Korean culture and enjoyed learning more about Korean history, culture, and economy.

    I particularly enjoyed having Sol show us around his hometown. He had really interesting insights and was an invaluable guide and translator!

  4. Chandler Moody Says:

    This was my favorite day of the trip! I was so inspired by the 80 year old divers and their work. When the group of women divers danced and sang together, you got a sense of the community the divers have together. Sunrise Peak was an unforgettable experience, and I hope to go back one day.

  5. Nicholas Says:

    I loved the food in Korea and the community culture around sharing food together. Many of our meals revolved around a shared BBQ grill or massive bowl soup in the center of the table. Not only were these dishes delicious, but this style of eating was also conducive to great conversations and really fun meals together!

  6. Jackie Margol Lewis Says:

    This was my favorite day. Seeing the women divers was such an incredible experience. It was emotional and prideful and just all around a very memorable day. The farewell dinner was a fantastic final meal, and a last hurrah with bus karaoke followed by actual karaoke really rounded out the trip for me. Thank you Orlando, Deidra and Sol for coordinating an unforgettable trip!

  7. Margaret Mauel Says:

    What a perfect day. The women divers song before their dive truly gave me chills. There is a new book that was just published this month by the NYTimes best selling author Lisa See called The Island of Sea Women about the women divers of Jeju- I haven’t read it yet but I immediately put it on hold at the library and will let you all know how it is!

    The farewell dinner was my favorite meal of the trip, and karaoke on the bus and after was the best way to end such a wonderful trip.

  8. Rachel Compton Says:

    I want to echo what many have already said – this was my favorite day. It was full of culture, stunning views, and delicious food. I am still in awe of the women divers and their dedication to their jobs. When we first climbed up Ilchulbang peak, I caught a glimpse of the divers and was astounded to see how far away they were from the shoreline. Then, as we sat closer to watch them dive, I couldn’t believe their fearlessness as one lady grabbed an octopus and flung it into the air.

    This trip was unforgettable, and I am so thankful to have joined with such an incredible group for a once in lifetime experience. Orlando, Deidra and Sol, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. Emma Blumstein Says:

    I had actually heard a little about the women divers prior to this trip but wasn’t aware of the full history behind this profession. I was so impressed by how dedicated and hard-working these women were. As our guide mentioned, the women are clearly proud of these profession now — as they should be! What an incredible part of Jeju culture!

    I couldn’t be more grateful to all the companies that opened their doors to us, the restaurants that graciously served us loud Americans, and to our incredible leaders: Orlando, Deidra, and Sol.

  10. Anna Edelman Says:

    This was by far my favorite day of the whole trip! I had never heard of the women divers before this trip, and it was so amazing to see how the island was supported by this matriarchal culture. It was so heartwarming to see how much pride these women take in their jobs. I still can’t believe that some of these women still dive well into their 80’s.

    The hike on Sunrise Peak was absolutely stunning. The island reminded me a lot of Hawaii. If I ever travel to Korea again, that is the first place I will go!

  11. Laura Greissing Says:

    This was by far one of my favorite days of the trip. Thank god I didn’t sleep in and skip the group outing! The views and climb to sunrise peak was unforgettable. I was blown away by the women divers and couldn’t believe my eyes when we watched one of the divers wrestle an octopus and bring it out of the water. The korean bbq dinner was one of my favorite meals in korea…that pork! And karaoke on the bus was the cherry on top of an unforgettable day.

  12. Anika Urfi Says:

    The farewell dinner was bittersweet. I was enjoying a phenomenal meal with our group and sad that this trip had come to an end. Orlando, Deidra, and Sol – thank you so much for an incredible journey and allowing us to discover and experience the best in South Korea! The pace of the trip was just right and there was a perfect balance of company visits, cultural trips and free time. I only wish we had kicked off this trip knowing about the Karaoke on the bus! 😉

  13. Paula M Says:

    This was one of my favorite days! The lava tunnels were super cool and the coastal hike was awesome (now I understand why it is called the Hawaii of Korea). The highlight had to be the women divers! I still can’t believe they are around 70 years old! I love that the island is encouraging it due to its sustainable fishing practices. #whorunstheworld

    The dinner was delicious — our table was a big fan of the noodles.
    Also wish we knew about the bus karaoke capability earlier!! Thank you again for an unforgettable trip @ Orlando, Deidra, and Sol!!

  14. Cecile Cosby Says:

    This was the most beautiful days of the trip. The view from the top of the volcano was truly stunning and it was great to get some exercise and be outside. All of us were so impressed by the women divers, especially when they caught that octopus!

    Overall, Korea was lovely. I learned a ton about the culture and how giving and open the people are.

    RE: Paula – I WISH we knew about the karaoke before the last day… what a way to end a trip!!

  15. Bryant Buraruk Says:

    From this trip, I gained more insight into how business cultures differ vastly across borders and how that much of that is a direct result from the country’s overall culture. The trip also emphasized just how many opportunities I have as a U.S citizen when it comes to education and career choice. In the U.S., we are pushed to pursue our passions no matter how risky they may seem, and this is simply not the case for many others who must choose the logical, safe path.

    Thank you to Orlando, Deidra, and Sol! The trip would have been exponentially less fun without y’all.

    Lastly, don’t forget to set an alarm the night before you fly to Japan!

  16. Molly Pfister Says:

    I may be the first to admit that I did not participate in this optional free day, and that is okay! I have no doubt that the scheduled events were beyond amazing and clearly these hardcore women divers should be an inspiration to us all. In addition to the laundry, packing, and logistical organization I needed to do to prepare for the second leg of my trip, I needed a little r&r after an incredible eight days exploring Korea. I do not encourage anyone to miss out on anything, but know that it is okay if you need a moment for yourself.

    The bus ride home after our farewell dinner was of my favorite bonding moments with the entire group. We finally realized that the giant TV at the front of the bus could play karaoke and oh how we sang!

  17. Grace Ferguson Says:

    The sunrise peak hike and women diver demonstration was the highlight of my trip! It was quite the trek up stairs to get to the top of the peak but it was surely worth it for the views. We definitely learned that wind is in abundance on Jeju that day. I have pictures from the top of the peak with my hair standing straight up from the wind! I love learning about other cultures through learning about the people that live in them. Meeting the women divers and hearing their stories of diving without equipment everyday for 60 years is so inspiring. I still can’t believe one of them went out and caught a huge octopus within minutes. They are talented and strong women.

  18. Jeffrey Ochfeld Says:

    Ilchulbang Peak and seeing the diver demonstration was a wonderful way to end the trip. We finally got some good weather in Jeju which made the peak experience truly remarkable. Taking in the sights of Jeju and stretching our legs following a long series of bus rides was just what our group needed. The food we ate from the divers was certainly an interesting experience — I think whatever I ate was crawling around a bit — but cleansing the palette with some delicious tangerines made it worth it. Thank you to Orlando and Diedre for making the call to give us this whole day to enjoy the sights and experiences of Jeju!

  19. Waldo Arreola Says:

    The woman diver’s smile means so much to me: from the joy that she’s able to show as she proudly shows off her humble and difficult profession off to tourists from around the globe, to the kindred set of positive emotions I felt about the whole experience. I am so happy I got to experience so much of Korea and I am really grateful for all of the preparation and coordination done by several folks.
    The farewell dinner was probably my favorite meal in Korea, but it also meant that nigh on goodbyes. On a side note, I was really impressed by the smart farm that the restaurant had for the use of their kitchen.
    Thank you, Korea. I can’t wait to go back for the next set of adventures.

  20. Blake Schwartz Says:

    This was a fantastic way to end the trip. I thought our farewell dinner was one of the best meals I had while in South Korea. Throughout the trip, I gained a lot of perspective about how Korean culture is reflected in their business practices. It was interesting to see how each company was addressing the future in an interconnected global marketplace and how this interacted with traditional Korean business practices.

  21. Kat Robinson Says:

    This was a really lovely last day (perhaps the only negative being that I was very incorrectly dressed for what turned out to be quite a hike)! I can’t get over how incredible the women divers were. Unreal. I can’t help but wonder if this tradition will continue to be passed on to new generations. I hope so. Getting to experience the beautiful Jeju Island landscape was one of the highlights of the trip (from the caves, to this hike, to the previous days rainy hike on the Olle trails). Although I don’t think I did a solo karaoke song (forever trying to figure out what my song is), I *loved* that we discovered the bus karaoke and that Sol serenaded us on our last night. Perfect end to the trip.

  22. Ramon Cordova Says:

    This day, I chose to take a personal day and catch up some sleep then wander the inner parts of Jeju. Garrett and I scoured the duty free shops for things to bring home for relatives and loved ones, made a couple chicken and beer stops at local joints, shopped at some boutiques with other classmates, and finally headed back to relax for a while before heading to dinner.

    I could not have asked for a more perfect way to close out Global Connections with all my fellow MBAs and esteemed faculty. The multi-course meal was fabulous, the conversation topics with John, Bryant, and Orlando were captivating, and the sendoff speeches were heartwarming. As an added surprise, the karaoke session on the bus was a blast! it was a fun way to warm up for the final activity of the day: a trip to a local karaoke place with Sol as our fearless leader (and lead singer). Admittedly, after a couple beers I did belt out a few power ballads like nobody was watching, but that was a ridiculously fun last night in Jeju. I’ll cherish that night with friends for the rest of my life.

  23. Clare Lanaux Says:

    This was my favorite day of the trip. The weather was perfect, the caves were unlike anything I’ve seen, and the hike was absolutely beautiful. And to top it off, seeing the Jeju “mermaids” was outstanding — it was so inspirational to see 80 year old women performing a job that many men and women in their 20s would have difficulty doing.

    And finally, finding out our bus had karaoke and hearing Sol sing was the perfect way to end the day and the trip.

    Thank you to Orlando, Sol and Deirdre for putting in so much leg work to allow us to have such an amazing global experience!

  24. M. Ku Says:

    Even though I took a sick day this day and missed the opportunity to see the incredible views / witness the incomparable women divers, it was still such a satisfying day getting to close out the trip together.

    One of the most illuminating things about travel is getting to understand your own country’s culture in a new way– whether that’s how we talk about our jobs, welcome guests, or simply look for a place to eat dinner (as it turns out, South Korea has plenty of bakeries open until midnight, but dinner often stops serving by 9pm). There were times I felt uncomfortably American– loud and obnoxiously visible in a deferential culture– and other times when I strongly identified with the local culture, like bowing to give and receive gifts, a practice I grew up with in a Chinese family. At the end of this trip, I better appreciate both what we value as Americans, like the permission to speak freely about our experiences and failures and the equal participation of women in the workforce, as well as what we saw from our South Korean hosts, like the seriousness with which they approach hosting and taking care of guests.

    At our farewell dinner, I sat with those I’ve known since August and others I met 10 days ago. Yet as we exchanged stories about the trip, we all agreed it exceeded expectations. I came in to the experience expecting some logistical hiccups and maybe some “filler” activities, given that this is a brand-new Global trip. Instead, the entire trip was so well-organized, chock-full of interesting cultural and business visits, and truly unforgettable. Thank you, thank you to Sol, Orlando and Deidra for taking such good care of us.

  25. Jaey Li Says:

    While the day-time items were optional, boy was I glad I didn’t skip them. The lava cave was much larger than the ones I’ve seen before. The scenery at the Sun-rise peak was absolutely stunning! And most importantly, the Haenyo, or Women Divers, were really the most impressive thing for me to see. I was very emotionally touched as they began to sing their fishing/diving song that I believe helps raise the morale before each dive. I could not even imagine the hardship in life that drove them into doing this for live ( I had read that many had joined this career after the men were gone after the Korean war), and the amount of challenges that they have to go through during their earlier days. It was also very inspirational to see their optimism and resilience at such an old age. I hope I can be as physically capable as they are in my 80s!

    The farewell dinner was beyond amazing, as every dish was 10/10 in my opinion. The karaoke on the bus was definitely THE way to end our trip — on a high note!

    I really enjoyed these 10 days in Korea and am super thankful for being able to go on this trip with Orlando, Deirdre, Sol and all my friends.

  26. Garrett Arras Says:

    This trip passed far too quickly! While I took a personal day to rest and explore Jeju city, the day allowed me the opportunity to reflect on all of the cultural sites and businesses we were able to see during our trip, and of course the number of delicious dishes we ate!

    Overall, it was an amazing trip visiting South Korea!! From the metropolitan area of Seoul to the relaxing nature of Jeju island, we were able to see the amazing variety that South Korea has to offer. The food in all of our stops was amazing. It will be very hard to experience South Korean food that good again, unless Sol is cooking it for us! Thank you again Orlando, Sol and Dierdre for all of the planning, coordination, and work it took for us to experience this wonderful country!

  27. jolene wang Says:

    The last day was my favorite day of the entire trip. The case was amazing and once again I was grateful to be able to see and experience such wonders. What touched me the most was the woman divers. Taking on such a tough life but still full of passion and it was also sad to see the special skills they acquired were not inherited by younger generations.

  28. Blair Madole Says:

    The farewell dinner was so bittersweet! It was great to enjoy a last meal with everyone and reflect on the trip, but I was sad to see it end. Finishing things off with bus karaoke may have been my favorite memory of the whole trip!

  29. Neomi S Says:

    I thought we could’ve skipped the lava cave, but the hike and women divers were incredible!! Makes me want to revisit Jeju in the summer. We had beautiful weather! Eating squid waffles and Jeju tangerines for lunch was really memorable too.

    Farewell dinner was one of my favorites – they prepared a delicious fried rice for the vegetarians. Thank you to Orlando, Deirdra and Sol for all the work behind the scenes!

    Bus karaoke was the ultimate high from the trip!! It was such a fun surprise and brought the group together! Great note to end on.

    Unlike some of the other global trips, we were lucky to visit a country small enough to explore in 9-10 days. I feel like we came back with a great sense of the culture, food, people, and business. Can’t wait to visit again!

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