May 2, 2013 by rkpcs
Today saw the team embark on their first full day of activities within the district of Jeollanum-Do. The team are currently based in Yeosu city and the first visit of the day was to Yousu Police Station (the largest police station in Jeollanum-Do). The team were given a guided tour by the station chief became aware that officer welfare is high on the list of priorities with a dormitory available to officers who finish work late, a specialist officer welfare department, fitness and exercise equipment for staff use and an annual fitness test. The structure of the different departments within the organisation was very similar to that of an English police service and the station chief explained how important it was for the police to respect the citizens and work with them to keep the society safe and happy – although he did say that they had seen a recent increase in the rate of serious crime.
The station chief also seemed delighted when presented with the gift of a Devon and Cornwall Police helmet.
From the police station the team travelled to the local NBC television studio based in Yeosu City. The team were given a very interesting guided tour around the facility including the news studio where local news and information programmes for the region are recorded. This was followed by a delicious traditional Korean which included a beef soup, rice, kimchi, fish and other vegetables.
After lunch the team were taken to the area of Yeosu used for the Expo 2012 – a World Fair with a focus on balancing the preservation of the ocean and coastal areas with economic development. The area is now being used to transform the once declining port area of Yeosu into a new space for business and environmental awareness. The corporate pavilion boasts one of the largest ceiling screens in the world whilst the nearby Sky Tower (a reclaimed concrete storage tower) is not only a fantastic visitor attraction (affording visitors with stunning views of the surrounding coast from the observation deck) but also a cutting edge water desalination plant – turning salt water into drinking water. A visit to the nearby Aquarium meant the team could learn of the fantastic and diverse creatures living in the nearby waters whilst also being treated to a display of trained Beluga whales!
After all this there was still time for the team to experience “rail cycling” (on a nearby stretch of disused train track) and take a walk across Turtle Bridge both of which only stood to further enhance the appeal of this beautiful area.
The day was rounded off by another traditional Korean meal in a nearby restaurant although this time, it would seem, something was definitely lost in translation! The food on offer was, as always, excellent and the team happily ate their way through the various offerings of soup, fish, beef, pork, noodles and vegetables cooked in a variety of styles. After the meal Sally, with the help of the interpreter, thanked our hosts for their tremendous hospitality and handed out some small gifts as our token of our appreciation. The team were just getting ready to leave when……..the main course arrived! Although we were all shocked by this development (and were all feeling rather full by this point) I’m pleased to say that we managed to persevere and eat the main course as well!
So there you have it – a very busy and very interesting first full day in Jeollanam Do. We have certainly learnt a lot and the hospitality of our Korean hosts has been second to none!