South Korea - My Family Travels

   I went to South Korea in February 2009. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I went with my hip hop dance team, called DC Tribe. Only nine girls got chosen to go, and I was one of the lucky ones. Me and my teammates were a family, and I couldn’t imagine any group better to go with, then them. Not only were we family before we went to Korea, but once we got back, there was no breaking us up. The trip was $2000, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go. My mother is a single mother, and I have a baby sister, so it is very hard for my mom. I wanted to go to South Korea so bad though, that I fundraised my whole way! Me and my best friend did garage sales, lemonade stands, candy fundraisers, anything you could think of. I was determined to go. I finally raised enough money to go. We got invited to dance at the Fire Festival, on the Jeju island. The Fire Festival is said to be a time when people get to start over, and make wishes. They have everyone write a wish on a piece of paper, and when they have everyone’s paper, they put it on this HUGE hill. Then the ceremony begins! The mayor speaks, and there are many performances,( including DC Tribe!) that are all amazing, and unbelievable. There is many different stands of food, toys, and much more. Everyone goes to the Fire Festival who lives in Jeju. There are also many games you can play. One of the games I played is, I sat on this sled, and slid down a huge hill of hay. In South Korea, they are very risk-taking. Another game we played was you had to build this huge hut out of logs, and straw; and at the end, you just light it on fire. Just because. I also climbed to the top of the Huge hill, with my best friend. The winds were so intense you could barely stand up straight. I was frightened to be honest. However, once you got to the top of the hill you felt so accomplished. You could see the whole festival from up there. At the very end of the festival, whoever wants to participate, gets to hold a torch and light the hill on fire!! You heard correct, everyone just stands there watching the hill on fire. Everyone that is from the Jeju island is crying, because they are so happy. They get to start fresh, until the next Fire Festival. This was by far my most amazing experience of my seventeen years. I will always cherish what I got to be a part of. While I was in Jeju, I also was able to go to the rock museum and see all the amazing sculptures, and the butterfly museum. After Jeju, we flew to Seoul. It is a huge city! We went to a play called Nanta! They cook and do a whole bunch of tricks right in front of you. It is a very famous play around Korea. My overall experience was the best I could ever dream of. I would definitely recommend paying a visit to both cities.

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