October 09, 2007

 Oct 2007 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello Everyone,

Just came back from a month long trip. It was an Around-the-World trip heading to west, which usually is better than traveling east. Still I had a terrible jet lag even after one week passed.

After visiting Kenya at the end of August, we visited London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Boston, and Seoul. While in London, we experienced Labor strike of subway traffic system which gave us a headache trying to reach our meetings. Vienna visit was very nice as we discussed 3 location Webcam event planned in November. Then Netherlands was very exciting as we have met founders and presidents of various organizations which are active in new media and social contributions. Waag Society, Media Guild, and V2 were very welcoming and excited to see Pangaea starting its formal European operation from Amsterdam. These people instantly understood what Pangaea is trying and very excited to collaborate, advice and help as we are paving our road into Europe with help of Simon, who was former Media Lab Europe Director and currently holding professor position at University of Amsterdam. Waag, Media Guild, and V2 all are located in very unique building. V2 office is located in renovated space of warehouse, Media Guild in the renovated building facing docking yard, Waag is in old castle like building. I really envy them to be able to work in such creative environment.

Visiting UNESCO HQ in Paris, we gave them updates on the decision we reached in Kenya UNESCO that they decided to make Kisumu Center to be the place for Pangaea Pilot location and preapares its net infrastructure in November, and we will provide facilitator training in January and starts activity there. This is a critical move for us to see our program working at hands of all community people. When this challenge goes well, we will move to start 10 more centers. I will keep you all updated.

Traveling from Paris to Newark, USA, as Toshi and I were ready to check in at the counter, the airport personnel came to us and asked to show tickets and passports. When we did, that led to hundreds of questions...... Why were we in Kenya? Why were we in Dubai? (Because it was Emirates flying from Nagoya to Kenya, and have to stop over there...) What were we doing in Amsterdam? Who paid for your tickets? What is the method of payments???? Questioning went on about 45 minutes while all other passenger in front of us and back of us are all finished checked in. I was getting ready to get angry, but Toshi was cool to stop me as we don't want any trouble going to US. Well... These airport check ins have been such a headache for us as we travel around. It never feels good to be treated as some kind of criminals when we are doing great project!!! I hope these situations improve soon.

Visiting MIT Media lab, we have not visited there over two years. Our friends were all fine, Mitch showing us Scratch, Tod starting Future of Opera, and Walter with OLPC. They all were happy to learn progress we have made and promised collaborations with Pangaea. Walter will send us two PC to test OLPC and we may barter some contents. Well it was very nice to meet our friends at Cape and Inman Square, too.

This month Pangaea Ring writer is Ms. Cathy Song. She leads Pangaea Activity as Facilitator Leader at Mizy Center, Seoul, Korea.

See you next month.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Oct 2007 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Ms. Cathy Song

Pangaea Project in Seoul

Every once in a month on Saturday, about 10-15 students are coming to the Seoul Youth Center for Cultural Exchange(Mizy Center). Our Center is working as a Korean partner of Pangaea Project.

I am Cathy Song and I am working in the Center as a program specialist. Before I got this job, I never heard about the Pangaea project. I still remember when I first met, Yumi and Toshi. They came to Korea to meet me and to have the program in Seoul, Korea. When I heard the purpose of the project, I started feeling excited and I thought it would be really good project for primary school students.

For the primary school students, the cultural exchange programs or international exchange programs would be sound like difficult and impossible. Even if they are interested in another culture and another world, they would find difficulties to communicate with other foreign students.

Thus, my impression on this Pangaea Project was strong and interesting. And I was right, our students have great time while they sent their messages to their new friends and they had extremely funny time while they can really see other students and play games with them on Webcam activity day. It was amazing how fun they could have while they are playing and talking with foreign students using the cute and funny pictons.

I could imagine that our students can communicate with world wide friends without having any difficulties and without having other prejudices about other countries. I think this program will work as a bridge for the young children to move towards the world and meet the global friends.

Cathy Song
Program specialist
Seoul Youth Center for Cultural Exchange
Seoul, Rep. of Korea

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