July 16: Today is Saturday, but the dojang is not open today because there is a tournament for the inseis. So Om, Chisu Yun, Cho Sun Ah, Masakito and I went sightseeing. We visited an old Korean palace which was really interesting and then we went biking near the lake even though it was raining really hard. There was also an awesome playground over near the river where we went zip-lining. Afterwards we went to the mall to eat and we spent some time inside a Korean music store listening to K-pop albums. When we got home there was a barbecue dedicated to the kids that went to the tournament. I can’t say Korean barbecue is good, but it was a good experience to be a part of a large gathering of celebration in Korea.
July 19: Today is the day I go back to America. It’s sad that I have to leave just when I had just started to settle in. Before leaving I got to say bye to the handful of kids that are there in the morning. It was sad to leave the dojang and Korea. It would’ve been nice if I had got the chance to stay a bit longer and learn more. I got a lot of Korean Go books as gifts when I left. I got a book each on hangmae, pae (ko), and life and death, and a Korean Baduk magazine (which is not really helpful because I don’t understand it). I left the dojang at 12:30PM on an airport bus heading back to the Incheon Airport reading the Baduk magazine that Mr. Oh had given me. One day I look forward to come back to the dojang where I have found many good friends and teachers.
Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which is appeared in the EJ this month (this is the final installment). The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”