Plant for the Ocean

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

So, I was part of this trip called Plant for the Ocean. It's somewhat like a nature preservation trip that brought us to the World Cup Park. Even though I've been there at least 3 times, little did I know that the entire place used to be the waste dump for the entire Seoul. This was a landfill in the past where all forms of garbage, from waste disposal to construction disposal, they were all collected here. Anyway, more on that later on. The trip was held on Monday to Tuesday, and since I didn't have classes on Monday, I went just for the first day and had to leave on the night itself.

Gathered at the meeting spot in the morning, put on the shirt and also the banner-type cloth that they gave us as well. Slept on the bus for like a half hour and arrived at our destination. The museum where we learned about the World Cup Park. 

As garbage was collected over years, the decomposition and destruction of them all released toxins in the forms of liquid and gas which harmed the environment more than we know. As such, in order to prevent it from spreading, a campaign was held to contain it. Facilities were built around the landfill to harvest the liquid and the gas, purify it and use it for other purposes. The liquids were collected through drainage systems which prevented the toxins from seeping into the ground, and then purified and used to water other plants. The gases on the other hand, were sucked in through pipes located all around the park and turned into electricity which were provided to neighboring lodging.

Lunchtime! We headed nearby to a market and went up to the second floor where they had a really nice and cozy restaurant for all of us where we had some kind of a tofu soup together with beef strips. Since there were only a few of us foreigners, Koreans who sat next to us tried to talk to us but wasn't able to since their English wasn't that good however we could speak in Korean as well so it was all fine. Turns out they were from different Universities all around Korea, even those located far away from Seoul and were studying in majors that were related to the environment and preservation. Talk about passion!

After lunch, we gathered in our groups and headed up to Haneul Park. I remember the last time I came here, I was with Sophia and her mum and we were looking at the golden reeds, and now 2 years later I'm here learning about the landfill that was right below us all this time! 

Looks so different in the Summer, compared to Autumn

What I initially thought was a cookie, is actually Basil seeds

Went back to the organization to hear a speech

.. and thereafter, DINNER

We had a really healthy meal of rice and vegetables. It was bibimbap, which is basically different types of vegetables (served raw) with rice and red pepper sauce mixed together. I really cannot fathom how Koreans can eat it and love it all the days of their life without meat. I guess that's one of the reasons why I cannot become a vegetarian. After that, we headed to a training facility where we had some time of bonding and team building. Listened to a lady play the Korean instrument while singing and we sang along. After that, we had little skits performed by different teams and then when they left, we had to say goodbye (those who were leaving).

It was a really fun trip and I really enjoyed meeting new people. Though it was short, it was enjoyable and I really had a great time not only learning about the land that I'm living in, but also heartened in the fact that many people are passionate about preserving the environment and integrating nature with society in the best possible way. 

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