September 01, 2015

 Pangaea News Letter September

Hello everyone, this is Jyoko from Kenya.
When KISSY was over last month, my desire to visit Kenya peaked. So now, I am actually on my way to Kenya (I'm writing this letter at Doha during the transit).

This month, I share with you the letter of the girl from Cambodia and some notes of myself.

1.Kyoto Newspaper covered KISSY
2.KISSY Impression -Nuna―
3.Look back on KISSY− Jyoko−

1.Kyoto newspaper covered KISSY
 Kyoto newspaper covered our KISSY activity. There is the image of the children discussing using the multi-language translation software. Please visit the site!

(the article has been written in Japanese)

2.KISSY Impression -Kazuki―
On 31st July 2015, I went to Japan to join Pangaea KISSY program. There were a lot of kids participate in this program, they were from Korea, Japan, Kenya, USA and Cambodia. I was very happy because I always dream about visiting Japan and now my dream came true.

First day of my arrival, I was instructed to complete a Passport KISSY and met with other kids.

Second day, Ms. Yumi told us about what to do in this program, and then she lent us laptops to use during program. With those laptops, we could chat with each other, especially our group members. The laptop was so amazing because when I typed in Khmer but my partners received my messages in their languages.

Third day, there were two people join our group, they were designers. They showed us about how to connect some strange devices which I didn’t know, to a laptop. Suddenly, that bunch of devices could move, I was very surprised and I was so enthusiastic to learn how to connect it too. As I had strong passion to do it, I could learn to do it quickly.

Forth day, it was the funniest day, there were many items on a few tables such as papers, small woods and other small stuffs and we could choose any items we want to make a thing as our plan.

For my group, after a short discussion through our laptops, we decided to use those stuffs to make an Earth with many small people, animals and trees around it. This work took many hours to complete it because we could complete it in the next evening day. In spite of difficulties, we enjoyed working together, we laughed and we got more and more familiar with each other.

Fifth day, it was a great day ever, we had field trip in Kyoto. The first place is a temple, it was so beautiful, and there were mountains, waterfall, and sand status and so on. I felt fantastic and I wished I could stay at that place a bit longer because despite hot weather, it was cool over there. The second place is a zoo, I had never visited a zoo before. The zoo was very big and there were many animals. In addition, there were many kinds of animals that I didn’t know. The seventh day, we went to a museum for a whole day.

In conclusion, this program is a very great activities that provided me many awesome experiences.

3.KISSY review –Jyoko−
This year, we had 28 children participating in our summer school from Japan, Kenya, Cambodia and UK held in Kyoto. I enjoyed observing children’s emotional changes from the operators perspectives. Let me share some of my findings with you.

■ Do not do anything that is uncomfortable for others.
At KISSY, I found there had been more chances that children had to come across with the situations that are believed to be “things that make others uncomfortable”.

I think it is due to various reasons such as the each individual’s standard which may not be universal, the communication problem which caused misunderstandings and the cultural barrier which was the challenge that come after going over the language barrier.

Under such situation, some children started to think about what to do in order not to do things that others become uncomfortable. There were also children who struggled if it was OK to say to the others to stop acting because what they were doing made others uncomfortable.

Some children even came and asked me what to do. I think there is no simple answer. I believe what is important here is to make them think about what are the behaviors that would make people uncomfortable. So, I had repeatedly asked them “what would you like to do?”, “Why do you think so?” etc. I hope that they do not simply conclude that “I shall eliminate someone who I hate or cannot understand” but struggle to find the answer how to live together.

■ Pangaea team is different from culture and language grouping.
 At KISSY, children followed their activities in 4 different teams, namely, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. The purpose was to build the friendship in the team. Some may think that it is too luxury to have only 7 people in one team.

Let me share what I had felt about this teamwork in this activity.
We all belong to groups, such as family, school friends, etc. May be there is a strong belief among Japanese citizens that we are under the “Japanese” group. It is off cause OK. However, if such group consciousness becomes too strong, it is difficult to create a new group.

Even if we try to gather children to solicit international communication, when such consciousness is too strong, it is difficult to build the group with people who speak different languages and live in the different cultures. They will probably communicate with others within the context that they are in “different group”.

Through the creative activities and field trip to Kyoto and Nara, the KISSY members had become the real team members not “someone in different group”.

I felt this very strongly as I observed their changes from Day one when they still aloof to the last day of good by with tears. I believe that they had learned how to appreciate each other by positively competing each other.

I hope that children participated in KISSY to keep the “Pangaea” group as one of their groups. I believe that this group does not regard the country borderlines just like the Pangaea continent when 7 continents were connected as one.

■"National Flag"
One team had the design of 5 country-flags from where they are from. However, when 5 countries were aligned tougher to create a circle, there was a space in the middle. The members judged that it was not good to have such space in between countries, and designed the “Pangaea” flag and placed it in the middle to fill the space.

If people were generous enough to concede each other, such problem could be solved immediately. If it was a diplomatic issue, it would have taken months and years. Gosh, I really got the goose bumps.

What made me more impressed was the fact that they did not take their solution material. They did not articulate it in their presentation. It remained as a subtle history of our work, which again impressed me yet quietly.

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