April 29, 2007

 Back to Japan

I came back to Kyoto two days ago, then we had an activity in Kyoto yesterday. I reported children and staffs about my trip to Seoul, Dubai, and Nairobi with photos. Also we have got some keyholders from Kenya for little souvenirs. I got Kenyan dress, and was going to wear it, but when I wore it, it didn't look, or I should say, I didn't look right. It looked nice when I tried in Kenya... Maybe eating too much in Kenya. Toshi and I both love Kenyan food, also Korean food. So being busy and always traveling, we should be loosing some weights, but instead, we gain when we go on travel.... Now back to Japan, as soon as I turned my PC on, UK skyped me and we engaged about an hour for information. Well, that was fun! This morning, I get email from Seoul about coming trip. In between, we are preparing new facilitator training program. We have done this over 10 times, and

we now see what need to be added, and what needs to be dropped. Thinking of program with least text messages, and more hands-on, more graphic information are demanded. But this has put us in the situations to come up with quite wonderful program. Well, we plan to have another web cam with Kyoto and Seoul next month. Each time, it is getting better. Volunteers who are college students mostly give us the good news that they got their employments promise from company after their graduation. Oh, by the way, my friend from MIT Media Lab Europe now back in US emailed me recently and we started to correspond again. It is nice to know those who remember me and Pangaea and wish the success of our project. Thanks, Carol!

Posted by: yumi | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

April 25, 2007

 Seoul, Dubai, and Nairobi

I apologize those English readers for not writing in English blog. I confess that after writing in Japanase, I get tired writing again.. So this time, I decided to write in English first, and probably don't get this in Japanese....

Well, any way, in last two weeks, I have been traveling Seoul, Dubai and Nairobi. Seoul was to meet new person in charge for Pangaea activity at Mizy Center, Cathy, and meet with many new volunteers for facilitators, and run an activity with children. This was done in two days.... But meeting with many fresh faces who many of them now come to facilitator training program next month was a great fun! Also YouRi who was a former Mizy person in charge of Pangaea came in to help! It is so nice to see these understanding helping hands. I really enjoy being in Seoul. I wish I learn more Korean words quickly. But little by little, I am learning. Word like Kiyoputa, Cute.

Then we flew to Dubai, meeting professor at new unidersity, who was born in Syria. We got lots of useful information from him and also my highschool friend who now stationed in Dubai. Pangaea definetely want to do activities in Arab. Now, my good friend Greg, English, no he will say Scotish? who has been supporting Pangaea from the very start will help us in this area, too.

Now I am writing this in rainy Nairobi. We have done a small activity last week, and we have been

talking to Broadband provider, UNESCO, school teacher, radio station, etc. So we keep ourselves quite busy. But I must say that this trip turn out to be very fruitful one. I will let all of you know soon!!! I can see you are saying "Oh, Com'mon Yumi, Tell Us.! " Well, be patient, dear.

Posted by: yumi | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

April 24, 2007

 Apr 2007 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

The Japan/Korea Pangaea Web-Cam Activity was held at Mie University, Media Hall, located in Tsu-city, Mie prefecture on March 10th.

Tsu-city is our newest location started in January this year.
I have always taken the directing role for the previous web-cam activity events. This time, I was to be the MC leading the whole event and I was bit nervous. Despite my worries, the event went very well after all. I must thank Heeryon of Kyoto University who has always provided her support for the previous events as well as the volunteer staff from Kyoto who has helped us on the technical side. Thanks to the volunteers including 3 non-Japanese volunteers who works at Tsu City as English teachers, and students of Mie-University as well as the office workers of a Japanese IT venture, our branch in Tsu-city has a very pleasant environment for the participants. Despite the fact that we had some guests from the TV station, news reporters and the officials who head the boards of education at the event, I was able to concentrate on working on the site and the participants were also able to enjoy themselves at the activity.

We have dues to submit the reports for various grants we have been receiving this month. It is also the time to set out our actual plans for the next term. There has been a major change in the budget planning for the 'Kodomo no Ibasho Zukuri' project lead by MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) that is, the grantee needs to hold the activities more than 250 days per year. For us, who hold the activity on once-a-month bases, it is now quite difficult to follow the new rule and we will need to somehow change how we continue to hold our activities. We will do our best to keep it up. For those of you who have received this letter and would be interested in supporting us by becoming the Pangaea members, please contact us through our homepage site which has been renewed recently.

I have business trips to Seoul and Nairobi in April. On my way to Nairobi, Kenya, I will stop by Dubai. It is the time for us to look for the possibility of establishing our overseas branch in the Muslim world. We will also launch fund raising in UK in the spring in order to open up the branch there in the summer. It is like the small bud is now gradually swelling. We will put all our hearts in our mission and keep us going.

Before finishing up this letter, I would like to comment that Andu, who is the volunteering facilitator on Tokyo site, joined us to the simultaneous activity event in Tsu-city, Mie prefecture. Rieppi, who has been helping us as a volunteer since the very early stage of our activity will be going to Seoul as a researcher. Tsubasa and Ricchan who have just graduated from junior high school will join us as new volunteering facilitators starting this May. The circle of Pangaea is growing. Eda-chan, who helps us creating our website says 'Pangaea is challenging to let the children, who cannot physically meet with each other, hold their hands in the heart.'
'Let the children hold their hands in the heart'..
such a beautiful remark

Yumiko Mori

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Apr 2007 Newsletter: Toshi's Monthly Note

I finally finished writing report papers which dues were March and could take time to relax walking the town of Kyoto in the late afternoon the other day. I saw cherry trees in full bloom along a small stream called Takasegawa-river located between the area of Gion, where is famous for traditional district of Kyoto. Actually, it took about fifteen minutes by walking from Pangaea Kyoto R&D center. I appreciated the Japanese Spring season and recalled that this was the season when I moved to Kyoto from Tokyo last year.
A year in Kyoto has flied like an arrow but was filled with lots of progresses.

In March, we had a simultaneous Webcam Activity connecting Mie University, Japan and the Mizy centre, Seoul. I took part in a Korean side as a technical leader. As technical staffs and I were all well-prepared doing rehearsals carefully, the event run smoothly without any problems even though we tried new activity menus for the first time. I was glad to see children play cheerfully and enjoy communicating each other.

We have held these simultaneous activities connecting 2 locations before. And we are planning to have a big event connecting 3 locations via Webcam at the same time within this year. This 3-location Webcam system logic to adjust a timing of audio and video is different from the 2-location one. Pangaea held a big meeting to discuss a network and a system towards its realization in the end of March. It was so nice of Professors and researchers of Kyoto University that they gave us a lot of advices and comments. Utilizing these advices, I will make a plan for enjoyable playground for bonding that can be achieved by a 3-location simultaneous-activity with Yumiko Mori, who is responsible for contents.

In the last week of March in Kyoto, a board member, Mr. Sanada, Yumi and I had a meeting to discuss the future strategy of Pangaea organization. He is a professor who is very knowledgable and active worldwide with international relations background. He is one of the Pangaea's greatest brains. It was so kind of him that he came from Tokyo to Kyoto only to participate the 2 hour-meeting with us and provided us insightful advice as usual. I am much honored to have great supports from many advisers who sympathize with our mission. You are Pangaea's irreplaceable treasure and I wish for your continuous support!

Toshiyuki Takasaki

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Apr 2007 Newsletter: Activity Report- Mariko Yamazaki

Spring came!The temperature sharply rose and cherry blossoms fully bloomed in Tokyo, but yesterday cold weather like February returned(we called it "Hana-bie"). Today it becomes warm suddenly. In this season of cherry blossoms, weather is so changeable. A person who lives in abroad would think what "Hana-bie"means. In this season of cherry blossoms the temperature rose. After blooming cherry blossoms, a cold front returns again and the temperature drops sharply. We call this atmosphere which occurs every year "Hana-bie"in Japan. We don't like cold whether, but watching cherry blossoms at bitterly cold night is so fabulous. It must be tasteful! (You learned a lot!)

In this March, the year-end comes for activity of Tokyo.
We had a closing address for children. We created a commemorative message board for annual activity in the last activity. We took photos by instant camera, cut off a variety of shaped colored drawing paper, wrote impressions and messages for children in other bases and finally pasted them on the board. Children finished to create a cheerful board with their own individual color.
"I'd like to do Pangaean activity"
"Pangaean is great!"
"I'm happy to make friends with other students who I never talked before"
"I'll join Pangaean activity in the next grade. "

Each word and photo reminds me of enjoyable scene so far in my heart. Urm...it's beyond description.

The last day of the activity, I looked at very impressive children's feeling at each base.

"We talk about Pangaean activity everyday even though we don't have an any activity. Therefore I know how much she loves Pangaean activity. Instead of her, I'll write a message on the board! "
(Instead of her friend who was absent from the last activity, she was writing a message at Ogi-kita base. )

"I enjoyed pangaean activity very much. I'll join the Pangaean activity in the next grade."
(He always talks with downcast eyes, but in this time he looked into my eyes unusually at Shibuya base. Then he told slowly as he chooses a word with cleared voice. )

Yes, we can see you the next time. Please look forward to reopening again in May!

Of course some children cannot join activities owing to their personal circumstances. Some children go to cram schools on Saturday for preparing examination of junior high school. Others move out of the ward.

Even though children left from Pangaea, the memory of hands in hands with other children must be a lasting impression in their heart in a lifetime as Eda-chan says. We believe it and continue pangaearing. We think that's all our activity.

Mariko Yamazaki

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Apr 2007 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Mr. Yukimitsu Sanada, Pangaea director

Hello everyone. My name is Sanada, a member of the board of directors of Pangaea.

I have the background of working for the Japanese and the German banks in the field of International Finance. My current job is also related to dealing with the foreign government organizations such as those of Korea, Taiwan, China, Mongolia and Vietnam. I also help the Japanese enterprises with their internationalization strategies.

While doing a job like this, bearing in mind the international ' standards' and 'rules' - applying to the topics such as the global economy and the differing economies of individual countries is crucial.

From the business perspective, some of the international standards and the rules are that of:
* The language-used in communicating and to building the mutual trust
* The currencies-used in showing the loss and the gains in the business
* The law-used in supporting the basics of the business
* The accounting-used in evaluating and grading the enterprises and the organizations
* The environmental quality standards and manufacturing standards-used in creating the products.

It is not difficult to see that most, if not all, have always the power games going on behind the scenes. The Pangaea which we all fare familiar with, on the other hand, should be paid much attention as the new international standard for communication, which will lead the international society to that of more selfless, sublime and ideal one. I do believe that the Pangaea should be penetrated into the international society with the support and the involvement of the large number of people. I would very much like to work together with you so that the world would recognize the Pangaea as the communication standard which will enable us to establish the environment of the world where the people can truly live as 'human beings'.
Thank you very much.

Yukimitsu Sanada, Pangaea director
Professor, Dept. of Business, Aichi Shukutoku University

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter , 4. Pangaea Ring | Permalink

 Apr 2007 Newsletter: March 2007 Events

  • 2007.3.9 Pangaea Activity at Ogikubo-Kita Children's House in Suginami, Tokyo
  • 2007.3.10 Japan/Korea Pangaea Simultaneous Activity at Mie University and Seoul MIZY Center, Korea
  • 2007.3.17 Pangaea Activity at Yoyogi Elementary School, in Shibuya, Tokyo
  • 2007.3.24 Pangaea Activity at COCON Karasuma, Kyoto

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink