December 06, 2010

 December 2010 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello Everybody!

Beautiful autumn has come to Kyoto. I came back from Kuching, Malaysia two days ago. We held a Webcam activity between Seoul and Kuching last Saturday ( Nov.20 ). As we informed 33 participants in Malaysia, size of Seoul and its population gave a big surprise to Malaysia youths. Exchange of greetings and "Koetsuna" gave a big lift to exciting activity. Having Sophia and Hong at Seoul side, then Jennifer and Adam at Malaysia side, it was smooth operation. I would very much like to increase opportunities for webcam activities in future, and want to make always-on connection-activity where youths can communicate more casually.

Good news at HQ is that we have two new members for our staffs. Tamiko, as our administration staff, who used to run that task for Pangaea 7 years ago in Tokyo. Another staff is from Sweden. Erik recently graduated from Japanese language school. He graduated university in Sweden majored in design. When I first saw his portfolio, it impressed me very much. We applied working visa, and he has gotten it, and joined this office. His design is very warm, and makes people happy. Please look forward to see his work soon.

We are set to move forward with more speed with new members. At local activity, Chubo and Yoshio are now working as FL and TL at Kyoto International School. Yoyopan, Tokyo FL Circle, seems to enjoy newcoming members to their community. Yamamari, Tokyo Activity Manager,a mother of two month old baby, is steering from internet and even showed up at last Saturday's activity as Kotaro, her huband, former Pangaea Intern, looked after Aoi-chan at home. Well, so these happy news we hear make us all happy, too.

Well, now I introduce Pei the volunteer at Mie, as the Pangaea Ring ring writer for this month.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 December 2010 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Ms. Pei-Hsuan Kan

Well, now I introduce Pei the volunteer at Mie, as the Pangaea ring writer for this month.

Hi there, my name is Pei-Hsuan Kan. I was born in Taiwan, but I grew up down under in Australia. I am now on my third year as an assistant language teacher working in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture. To be able to work and live in Japan has been one of my goals in life ever since I became interesting in all things to do with this country and started studying its language. I have been to Japan on a number of occasions in the past. A holiday with family and friends, a couple of studying on exchange and host family experiences, and as well as month long tours. However, while all these different trips to Japan has each given me a unique experience and look at this beautiful country, my stay here as an assistant language teacher has let me enjoy many things that a mere trip or holiday could not satisfy. One of those many things is Pangaea.

The first time that I ever heard about Pangaea was during my first year as an assistant language teacher. In the second month of coming to Tsu City, my supervisor from the Tsu Board of Education asked me to join and help out with some activities at Mie University as a volunteer. At the time, all I knew was that I was simply going to go participate in some activities where I was asked to just join the children and just have some fun. I had also thought that it would be a great way for me to learn how to interact with kids and gain some valuable experience. Especially since my work required me to be around children every day. After I started going and during my first year with Pangaea, I saw it as just something where kids came together for a day to have fun and drew pictures or made things for whatever project that was on the agenda that day.

However, I have now come to understand that Pangaea is so much more than just simply having kids draw pictures or make things. Through taking part and been a facilitator for the Pangaea activities for the past two years, I now know that Pangaea is an organisation that works towards bringing the children of this world closer together through the use and assistance of the internet, regardless of race or cultural differences. An organisation that wants to show the kids of the world today that while they may live in different countries, speak different languages, and have various beliefs, there are still things that they can use to relate to each other. That there are still ways to communicate even without spoken words. Like sending a message to someone in Korea with just pictures and artworks that the kids themselves have created. Not to mention, the special occasions where there are link ups with another country through the internet and the web camera. The children of the two countries can actually see each other on large screens and play games that need no words or spoken languages. It's quite amazing to see how well the kids can play games together with pictures and noises made from instruments. I have found that through the Pangaea activities, the kids not only just have the chance to communicate with others overseas, they also learn to interact and communicate with children that are simply from different schools but within their own city. I also believe that the subtle communication and interaction skills they pick up from doing activities and playing around with the adult volunteer facilitators is and will be very important for them. Especially when there are facilitators like myself, someone from a different country that can show them a different view and idea to that of what they are used to.

Pangaea has definitely helped me acquire my personal goal to gaining many useful tips for working with children, but more importantly it has shown me that it is a program with a purpose and aim that is worth passing on and spreading around. To have our children of today learn how to communicate and interact with others around the world, could perhaps mean that in our future we could be a more peaceful and understanding society. Therefore, I hope to someday be able to see or hear the news of Pangaea branching out and spreading into every country around the world, to connect the children and pass on the value and importance of communication and understanding.

Pei-Hsuan Kan
ALT(Assistant Language Teacher),
Tsu City, Mie Prefecture

Posted by: kumakinoko | 4. Pangaea Ring | Permalink