July 09, 2010

 July 2010 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Terima kasih. ("Thank you" in Malay.)

I am writing this News Letter as I just left Bario a couple of hours ago, after 5 days in the village. This was my second trip to Bario, and longest stay. The place we stayed this time was located near Bario community hall, where we were going to have the first webcam activity connecting with Kyoto University. The owner of the house we stayed in, we called him Uncle Shep, is a great carpenter in Bario. He built his house with trees from the jungle all by himself in 18 months. Carvings shown on the walls are very lovely. His wife cooks amazing local food with wild boars and antelopes which they caught right by this lodgings with their dogs. Of course it is not a heavenly bed or bath tub, but the beauty of Bario is right in front of my bedroom. Early mornings and late evenings, there are low clouds approaching Bario from surrounding mountains. On some evenings, you see lightning in the clouds in the distance which give very magical views. Time feels much slower, but this may be the natural sense of time.

I woke up when roosters called before the sunrise, then went to sleep when everything got dark. At this remote village, deeply tucked in the jungle of Kelabit Highlands in Borneo, in cooperation with UNIMAS, TTC, SMK Bario, Pangaea Activity has been successfully operated. We had 19 youths in Bario and had a great day.

Koetsuna, our icebreaking activity, was a great success. When I visited Bario for the first time, I was impressed by how well behaved the youths are. With Koetsuna, you must have loud voice to win. So I ran practice with them. They were a bit unsure at first that it was OK to scream. When I assure them that yes, it was ok, they were all terrific, and won over the Kyoto Team. During our Webcam, the internet went down, and we had to restart, which was quite stressful for everyone. But they were very patient to wait and wanted to say 'Konnichiwa' to Japanese children.

I have met a father of a child who just happened to transfer to school in Bario from far away. He said his son disliked his previous school and stopped going to school at around junior high school. Then they learned about this school in Bario where we run activities. Many children live in boarding houses. His son now studies and lives there. The father was worried and came to visit him to see how his son was doing after a week. His son's reply was it is fine. The father smiled at me with shyness, and told me that he can now go home and tell his family that his son is good now. Things like this happen in every country I realized. I hope his son also comes to join our activity, too.

I will now introduce Mr. Hong who volunteers as the technical leader in Korea. He is the Pangaea Ring Writer for this month. He came over to the Kyoto Office this May to take the technical training and now actively engages as the technical leader for Pangaea Activity.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 July 2010 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Mr.Sung Woo, Hong

I will now introduce Mr. Hong who volunteers as the technical leader in Korea. He is the Pangaea Ring Writer for this month. He came over to the Kyoto Office this May to take the technical training and now actively engages as the technical leader for Pangaea Activity.

Hi, my name is Sung Woo, Hong, technical leader of Pangaea Project at the MYCC, Korea. I am at Master Course in Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. My major is MIS (Management Information System) and I am studying under Professor Kyung Jun, Lee.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoung_Jun_Lee).
(* [MYCC] Mapo Youth Culture Center: The youth center in Mapo, Seoul)

When I first received an e-mail from Professor Lee to meet Toshi, I didn't know anything about Pangaea. Professor Lee told me that Mr. Toshi needed a technical help with his work and I just thought it would be helping him with his computer work in Korea. But when I first heard about Pangaea project from Toshi, I was surprised to know about such a great activity. I had an experience of volunteering in my university club and army. But having volunteer with children was first time with me.

After meeting with Toshi and Yumi, they invited me to Japan for technical staff education and experience Pangaea activity in Kyoto University. At May, I visited Kyoto for 5 days. I learned about a Pangaea project, technical issues, and webcam systems. It was a great moment to know that children from other country can communicate each other even though they don't know the language of each other. In Kyoto University activity, I learned that all children are same despite of their nationality and cultural difference. They were same as children in Korea and other country. Those knowing made my think change a lot.

My first activity in MYCC was great. It was fabulous time to know other facilitators and children. At the beginning, children were hostile to Japanese children. They said to the facilitators that they were not willing to have a Webcam Activity with them. But since they played a game and communicate with Japanese children, their view of looking at other country's children changed. They finally realized that they are not different at all.

I thank Toshi and Yumi for giving me a chance of participate in a global activity and I look forward that all children from a world experience Pangaea project.

Sung Woo, Hong
Master Course student
Management Information System
Kyung Hee University

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