November 14, 2009

 Korean Exchange, Big Success!

20091114_webcam_kyoto.jpg Today we carried out activities via Webcam with Kyoto University and Korea!
A total of 32 kids and 20 local volunteer staff participated.

"Nazoren", which we tried for the first time previously, was well received by both Japan and Korea. Nazoren is a word association game where you guess the answer from 5 hints.
It's a very simple game, using the "Language Grid Project" Language Grid Toolbox's machine translation system we can check whether each other are being understood and enter hints and answers in the chat.
"Passport", "baseball" etc. the groups tried their hardest to think which hints would convey this. One team answered "Pangaea" with the first hint "friendship".
Yumi was deeply moved, saying that "I want to give them bonus points". ("Friend" was the answer to the second hint "Best friend").
In the second half we asked each other questions we wanted to know by machine translation chat.
On the post-event survey there were comments like, "I learned a lot about Japan", "Korea seems fun, I want to visit" and "I want to meet and play in person", telling of a fun day.

Volunteer Guts gave the comment, saying that "For the first time in ages I felt happy".

"Guts" seems to have got this name from the kids.
Furthermore, he said that one of the kids that drew an angry mark next to the Korean flag on the pre-event questionnaire, on the post event questionnaire put an "&" between Korea and Japan's flags.
I'm glad that after only 3 hours of activities the kids' feelings can change.
Kadoppe, who has participated 10 times up to now as Technical leader, said that today was the most fun Webcam activity so far. The network was disconnected twice but without anyone being made to feel it, he got us through without incident with calm handling. Kadoppe, participating in this year's prize for attendance, feels a close connection to the kids' development.
Hearing this after the activities, I became tearful. Returning to the office, chatting with Toshi who had participated in Korea, I cried.

Actually, today was the first time that even Pangaea has had an event in 4 different locations on the same day. (Japan – Kyoto, Mie, Korea and Malaysia)
Mie University's FL Spike, in co-operation with Mie's staff carried out the activities very well. I heard that he arranged things while speaking so that it would become an activity the kids could concentrate on and enjoy. He is incredibly reliable.

Pangaea is progressing everyday with the support of the kids and all of the staff.
I am very happy that I am able to be involved in these activities.

Takekazu Hanada a.k.a Hana-pooh
Chief Administrative Officer

Posted by: kumakinoko | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

November 04, 2009

 November 2009 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello, everyone!

We are recently enjoying the clear autumn sky in Kansai, the Japanese western part where Kyoto is located in. The last month, very before starting the meeting, I caught the phone call from Guam where my mom was staying for the vacation and it said my mom slipped and fell down at the entrance of a shopping mall and she seemed injured and was transported to the hospital! I was extremely frightened at that time and immediately headed off to Guam from Aoyama, Tokyo, via Kyoto to get the passport from Hana-pooh. After 12 hours passed, I got to the hospital around 2 am. When I met her, she said 'I had too much fun and I was punished.' Fortunately, she spent just one day for treatment in the hospital but unfortunately it cost more than 400,000 Japanese Yen (almost USD 4,000)! That's a painful experience. Extra loads of work had to be put on staffs due to my absense from office.

Now we are preparing for upcoming Webcam activity in November. Recently I have many opportunities to give lectures at various places and I am getting used to compiling a presentation very quickly. Before Webcam activity, I will attend the Beppuwan-Conference. At the end of October, I gave the presentation to JICA. This was the multilateral-connecting conference via videoconferencing system with Jordan, Ghana, Hokkaido and JICA Head Quarters in Tokyo. It's going to be good opportunities for letting participants know Pangaea!

On 24th of October, Pangaea holds activities in Kyoto and Malaysia. We will get four sites doing activities on 14 November; Webcam activity for Kyoto & Korea and Local activities in Mie and Malaysia. Currently, Greeting Panels are being in the process of production by children. Seoul friends write messages in the Japanese 'Hiragana' to Japanese friends. Everyone also works for Calendar of the next year. The last year's one has been getting good reputation and those who bought it are using them favorably. If you are interested, we accept your order as many as you like for value (not free of charge though). I strongly recommend you to have it, for instance, as season's greetings to your friends or colleagues. In fact, my mom who bothered Pangaea members by causing trouble ordered 10 of those Calendars.

Well, it's time to introduce Su Yeon Choi as the Pangaea Ring writer for this month. She has been participating in Pangaea for two years and she works for FL nowadays. She wrote about what she was feeling during activities as the FL honestly.

So see you next month!


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 November 2009 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Ms. Su Yeon Choi

Well, it's time to introduce Su Yeon Choi as the Pangaea Ring writer for this month. She has been participating in Pangaea for two years and she works for FL nowadays. She wrote about what she was feeling during activities as the FL honestly.

Hi, I am Su Yeon Choi, facilitator of Pangaea Project at the MIZY Center. I am now a senior at a university in Seoul and majoring in Family & Child Studies and Psychology. Since I was sophomore, I have participated in Pangaea Project. Pangaea has taken a large part of memories in my university life. It is worth of experiencing it.

With the request of Sophia Ji-hye Yoon of the MIZY Center, I played a role as a facilitator leader (FL) on October 10, 2009. I always get nervous even though this activity was my third time as a FL. I made large and small mistakes, but I could finish well the activity with the help of other facilitators and Sophia.

As a FL, I have to manage a lot of things throughout the program, so I don't have enough chance to interact directly with children. Besides children who I should take care, there are also other tasks that I should observe overall activity. However, it would help me to understand children's characteristics more.

Korean facilitators had discussed last month the issue that children are shy for showing their works during last circle time. So, we organized more group activities this time and fortunately, children presented more actively than before. I think group activities gave less pressure to children than individual work on their presentation. Many Korean children tend to hesitate and have difficulties during presentation in front of lots people alone. If we relieve the burden that children could feel, then the circle time would be more interesting.

I am pleased to hear that the MIZY Center has struggled to open the 2nd Pangaea Project site next year in Seoul. At that time, I hope many facilitators to complete the Pangaea Facilitator Leader Training Program, and then they could participate to offer far better various programs to children as facilitator leaders. I would ask all facilitators to participate continuously and to be always concerned about Pangaea.

Thank you.

Su Yeon Choi (Sue)

Korean Facilitator, MIZY Center

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