Eun-soo and Seung-woo in Episode 10

Apology to Eun-soo and Seung-woo for my humble capturing skill. If I had to explain why I would want to relocate to Gombaeryeong, I’d admit that it was to see more of Seung-woo AND mingle with the great people of Gombaeryeong. When Grandpa Bu-shik makes sleds for the most amazing kid Eun-soo, unconventional thinker Hyeon-soo, Oscar-deserving Byeong-do, Monica who’s actually really pretty and Monica’s cute twin brothers, I’d volunteer myself to sand all of your sleds and even apply some combination of turpentine and linseed oil. If you guys wanted, I’d even take up lessons at a wood shop and seek help from Herman Miller’s ergonomic department to build you anything you wanted.

Although the chaos of comprehensive programming channels and media labs seems to have stemmed viewer interest in jongpyeon dramas in Korea, Heaven’s Garden-Gombaeryeong carried by Channel A has been very meaningful to me. The image above is of Eun-soo and Seung-woo munching at a rest area in Episode 10. (Rest areas in Korea, referred to as “hyugeso” (휴게소) sell amazing street food that I probably should quit thinking about.) The kids are on their way back to Gombaeryeong after spending time with their birth mother and birth father in Seoul. While this show may not appear to have a glamorous cast or a sensational synopsis, in reality, it is replete with stories of agony and sorrow that we or those around us may have experienced or may encounter. But instead of brooding over their misfortune, I am deeply encouraged by their power to turn unfortunate events into opportunities to soothe each other’s ache. I wish more villages like Gombaeryeong and more shows like Gombaeryeong come around this year. Happy new year! 

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