I was invited to attend a school hiking outing today. I met with the rest of the teachers around 12:30 and we went out to a nice lunch of bibimbap and Korean seafood pancakes. Then we headed for Mt. Gaehwa for a hike planned for all students, friends, and families. There were about a hundred students and family members who attended and I was able to meet many of the students’ parents. In Korea, families do not spend a lot of time together because of their busy schedules. Fathers usually work very long hours to support their families and they typically spend their free time exercising and watching TV. Today there is a huge shift in the role that Korean fathers are playing in their children’s lives. Now they are making much more of an effort to spend their free time with their children. The school intended this event as an effort to get families to spend quality time with one another. Watching all of the children enjoying their time with their families was great to see. The hike was fairly short. It took about 40 minutes to get to the top. At the top, the students were playing the Korean drums and all families were seated having a picnic. During this time I was showered with gifts of coffee, oranges, bananas, and other snacks. Many students were happy to introduce me to their parents and I was thankful I finally mastered how to say “Nice to meet you” (pangopsimnida). The drummers put on an amazing show and the faculty played some games with the students. The weather was amazing and I was glad to have the opportunity spend a beautiful Saturday outdoors on a mountaintop.