Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Songtan Delivery: 2 Week Beta Test

At South of Seoul our volunteers are truly dedicated to listening to the community and finding solutions for issues people are having while living in Pyeongtaek. Over the past three years we have had regular requests for the following:
  • access to online menus in one central location.
  • an English language app for ordering delivery or pickup from restaurants. 
Up until now, we have tried to find another service to fill this void, however, there never has been anyone or anything that did it quite right. So we finally took it upon ourselves to build a simple solution that we hope will fill this niche. The Beta Test for this new pickup and delivery ordering system begins today. We are testing with three businesses in Songtan: Wings and Things, Happy Teriyaki, and Sawatdee Thai. Here is where you can find it in the app:

As always, we run on no budget and we don't like to get between businesses and their money so we were creative in how we put this together. It absolutely wont be as flawless as something built by Google or funded startup. Instead, it's going to be a simple solution that addresses the unique needs of our community built as simply as possible. That means we all still might need to learn a few tricks to make it work as smoothly as possible. Go slow, click all the buttons, discover how it works and let us know if anything is so confusing you can't figure it out. This is the Beta Test to make sure it's feasible and helpful so feedback is important.

Even though we are nervous as heck about launching this we are also VERY excited about the new Pickup and Delivery system! It's way cooler than we ever dreamed we could create for you guys. It's especially good because it gives each business control over their menus, store hours, delivery fees, and more.  That means it's a sustainable system for us and them. Here is how we are handling two of the most sensitive aspects of building a system like this: 
  • PAYMENT: Although you will order through South of Seoul, you will not pay through the app. Just like with the Ride-share Reservations, money will be COD or handled through each individual restaurant. If everything goes well for users, for us, and for businesses we may try to add payment integration later, but for now, it's outside our comfort zone.
  • DELIVERY FEES: Each business will have their own delivery fees which will be added after checkout. We have placed these in the banners so that you can clearly see what they will be. Some businesses may charge more if you are further than 2km from their shop.
The app will make it easy for you to get delivery because you pre-load your address and phone number into your profile. When you enter the Delivery area click on the three lines with a down arrow. This is going to allow you to access your orders and your account information. You can get your address all pre-loaded here so that it automatically sends when you place your order. Pretty awesome! Make sure this is accurately filled out to make this as easy as possible. Ask your realtor to enter your physical address if you don't know it.

In addition to having your address loaded in your profile, there is also a white field in check-out where you can add more specific information about your location.

This system is for Pickup AND Delivery! That means you need to clarify which you need when you check out. When we built this addition to the app we realized that there is as much need for pickup ordering as delivery. Lot's of us want to order ahead when we are in the area. Please let the business know if it's pickup or delivery when you check out. Just write it in the white box (the grey area always says pickup IGNORE THAT FOR NOW!lol) :

We have based the structure off of how reserving your ride-share bus works:
  • To add to your cart you hit the plus sign.
  • To check-out, you tap the cart in the top right.

Once you have put in your order to might get a call to clarify payment options if they have any questions, so once again, make sure your profile information is all updated and accurate. 

FINGER COSSED THIS ALL GOES WELL!!! Easy pickup and delivery ordering is soooo needed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

June 2018 Summer Camp is a blast for the Kids!

Author: Christi Cline
Editor: Jessica Lister

In case you haven't heard, Pyeongtaek Youth Rock!

Earlier this year I had heard about a couple different camps being offered. As a mother of four, who is deeply invested in their children’s well-being, I was worried about what kind of experience was offered. I also worried if my kids would be safe. I talked to the parents of the kids who attended last year’s camps and found that the Pyeongtaek Youth Center group received consistently high praise. One parent said it was one of the most memorable moments of their time in Korea. In my heart, I believe kids need good opportunities and challenges to develop and grow, and this camp sounded like the right kind of opportunity. I signed them up and crossed my fingers that I was doing the right thing. After all, it does no good to live life as a worry rat. But for good measure, I volunteered to attend as a camp counselor. You know, so I could see for myself what really goes on at camp. 

Let's go to camp!

The day came to pack our bags and get on the bus. My twin daughters were excited to attend their first camp. I was anxious because I wanted to do my part to help make camp an enjoyable experience for everyone. I would soon learn I had nothing to worry about. Our first event was the rope course. I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to join the difficult level course. I kind of consider myself out of shape. I seriously started to rethink my choices and wonder if the kid I saw who stayed on the ground was the smart one. But then I was hooked in and it was time to start. It was too late to run away. I may or may not have screamed a time or two, but I did the course and found myself enjoying it! 

Our adventure continued with no thought of slowing down! 

Take a look at this video to see some of the fun stuff we were up to!

I have no clue how some of the kids still had the energy to stay up until midnight giggling and playing games. I consider myself a night owl and I was ready to hit the sack. When it was time to say goodbye I thought it was pretty cool that the kids could take home pictures of their camp experience!

I admit that I am a little sad that our fun has come to an end! 

It was a memorable experience but more importantly, I discovered the truth about the Pyeongtaek Youth Center. As a parent, I can say confidently that your kids are in good hands. I was able to see first hand the counselors treating the kids fairly and with kindness. As a volunteer, I was able to see the leaders and counselors in action working hard to make this a good experience for the kids. Their efforts showed they truly care about the community. The theme of this camp is "Better Life in Harmony" and I think that sums it up nicely. Because of this, I look forward to helping out at the next camp! If you have kids that are interested in this kind of experience, then you don't want your kids missing out on the next one!

Mark your calendars! The next one is in August and you can sign up HERE!

Pyeongtaek Local News reports https://blog.naver.com/seo8587/221306224836
News & News reports https://blog.naver.com/newsnnewsn/221296269601
Kilhoilbo reports http://www.kihoilbo.co.kr/?mod=news&act=articleView&idxno=757126