June 07, 2016


Hello everyone. This is Nomu-Nomu who runs activities at the Tokyo Honest Village.

As we enter into June, it seems like there’s a lot of rain here, so I thought I would like to give you an amazing article for this month!
This month, the current Facilitator at Kyoto Univ. Village gives us an insight from their time as a child when she took part in Mie Univ. Village. She tells us about her experiences in Pangaea as a child, how one girl inspired her, and why she decided to return to Pangaea to help with the activities. It’s a lovely article, please enjoy it.
Also we had the first activity of the year at Honest Village in May. I’ll tell you all about it!
1. Pangaea Ring - Saki Uei -
2. Tokyo Honest Village Activity Report

1. Pangaea Ring - Saki Uei -

Hello. My name is Saki Uei and I’m the Facilitator at Kyoto Univ. Village. It’s been about six months since I started to take part in the activities at Kyoto Univ. Village.

...Although I say that, I first found out about Pangaea about 10 years ago now, and not only six months ago. I actually took part in the activities at Mie Univ. Village when I was in elementary school, although once I entered into middle school, I stopped and haven’t done anything else with Pangaea until now.
There were many things that interested me in Pangaea after having not been a part of it for a long time, but I think the deciding factor has to be when a friend told me that “In the past, I was afraid of foreigners as I didn’t know a lot about them”. This was a shock for me as I never thought like that. When I looked back on my past, I realised that through Pangaea, I was close to lots of people from around the world, and was able to communicate with people from South Korea, Australia and other places via the webcam. I was more privileged to be in such an environment than I had previously thought.
In the news, on the television and in everyday life, people from South Korea are “Korean” and people from Kenya are “Kenyan”. On the webcam though, they became “○○ who is good at drawing” and “○○ who is noisy”. I didn’t fully understand as a child, but it was a really different way of thinking, and I would like to be able to have such an impact with these activities. It was this way of thinking that made me decide to get in touch with Pangaea again.

At first, I wanted to get involved with the field trips and so I took part in such activities; I've been involved with a lot of activities for a while now but there is one particular activity that I found myself jealous of the children for doing. That’s KISSY. The first time I heard about it, I was so surprised and I thought, “Talking to people through the webcam is really just like talking to them face-to-face!” I’d like to become more involved with KISSY from now on.
It’s been 10 years since I first joined Pangaea. Since coming back, the activities are still as lively as ever, and the KISSY Summer School is a growing part of it as well, I really am looking forward to what the future holds!

2. Tokyo Honest Village Activity Report

The Honest Village held its first activities of the year on 21 May! I’ve got some details of it that I’d like to tell you about.

There was a mix of children who were taking part for their first time and those that had taken part before, but for the first time this year, we made up houses in the Honest Village.
On Pangaea Net, with just 4 clicks, you can fly from this world to your own house, this time we worked on making those “house” pages. You make your own house by creating the design, drawing it, and then coloring it in, but the point is to add an individual touch through your interests in the house.
This year, there was a boy who was good at drawing and also liked history, so he designed a castle. As that turned out great, everyone was inspired by it and thinking “What is Japanese style?”, “I wonder what a ninja castle would be like?” and “Would a haunted castle be Japanese?”. We made a lot of Japanese style houses in the Honest Village this year. Everyone’s designs involved some trial and error, but all the children used their interests and were happy with their designs.

Also, during recess, I showed everyone some photographs I took from when I was on vacation in Vietnam.
At first, the children were saying “I know Vietnam is in Asia, but I don’t know what kind of country it is.” However, after they saw the photograph of me holding a snake around my neck, and other pictures of the city and the food, they said “It looks tasty, I’d like to go and try some”, and that changed their minds.
I was happy that the children were able to change their mind about a country they knew nothing to it being somewhere they now know about and are interested in.

Please see below for some comments that I’d like to share from Facilitator Muratama and their first time taking part in the activities.

■My first-time taking part as a Facilitator, Muratama

Since entering university, this the first volunteer activity I’ve taken part in, If I talk about how I felt taking part for the first time, I was honestly jealous.

I was really excited at the idea of making your own house by yourself, but also I wondered how we were going to overcome the language barrier between children from South Korea, Cambodia, Kenya and (of course) Japan. When I saw the children using the naturally system without any problem, I thought ‘Wow, they’re so lucky’. It was impressive how the children would say happily “I want to make lots of international friends”. I would like to find out, as the children continue to take part, if this feeling will get stronger as they get older.
At first, the children spoke to me formally and it felt like there was some distance between us; but in the end, they became quite friendly with me.

I think being positive is the important point. Thank you for reading.

This month it was the school athletic meet so the number of children taking part was small, but next time it looks like it’s going to be busy!

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Posted by: kyotohq | 3. Newsletter