June 2006 Pangaea Newsletter
- Monthly General Report - May, 2006
- Yumi, Chief Executive Director's monthly note
- Toshi, Chief Technical Director's monthly note
- Pangaea Ring (Message from a Pangaean)
General Report: May 2006
May.19-20 Participated the Conference at MIZY Center in Seoul
Pangaea was invited to give a keynote speech at the 'Training Workshop of Activists for activating Youth International Cultural Exchange.' held at MIZY center in Seoul. On the first day, we gave a keynote speech on the current situation of NGO/NPO management with the theme of 'The Role and Professionalism of the Activists for Youth International Cultural Exchange' On the second day, we had an opportunity to make a speech on the Pangaea workshop with the theme of 'International Cultural Practice beyond Language, Time and Place'
* MIZY center HomePage :http://www.mizy.net/eng/default.asp
May.20 Attended signing ceremony at MIZY center
At the reception after the above mentioned conference, Pangaea was offered to set up the second Pangaea activity branch at MIZY center after Kyung Hee University in Seoul, thanks to the proposal made by the head of the MIZY center. The prompt signing ceremony was held there. MIZY center, a facility of UNESCO Korea, funded also by Seoul city, is a place where many children and the youth gather together. This opportunity would further broaden the possibility of Pangaea activity in Korea in many aspects including technical development and fund-raising.
May.14 Press Release ? Kodomo Times by Chunichi Newspaper(18th page)PangaeaNet was introduced under the article title of 'PangaeaNet Enables You to Play with Friends All around the World' in Kodomo Times, published every Sunday by Chunichi newspaper. This article written especially for the children included the history of the Pangaea project, the guideline of the PangeaNet as well as the pictures taken at the Japan-Korean synchronous activity held on November 20, 2005.
Yumi's Monthly NoteWe have kept ourselves busy preparing the Pangaea packages to take with us to Korea, Austria and Kenya in May, in spite of the Japanese holiday week called Golden Week. The number of our full-time staff is rather small, however, thanks to so many volunteers who gave us a hand, we were able to complete the task. The volunteers come to us in reply to our continuous call for help and they receive something from their experience with us no matter what it may be..even if it were a simple task. This experience creates a new bond between the volunteers by their being 'there' for us. I think that is the good advantage of NPO. I am truly grateful for all of you who have gathered together to help us.
We flew to Seoul in the middle of the month and participated in the conference held at MIZY center in Myong Dong area. We first received a fax in March with an offer for us to make a keynote speech. I wondered why. I found out later, it all started out from one of the students who had participated in the Pangaea workshop for the facilitators held at Kyung Hee University in March. He mentioned about us to his acquaintance who happened to have read an article on us on weekly-Toa magazine. I was pleased to realize that a bond like this was also formed in Korea..
At the conference, the Director General of UNESCO Korea first made a keynote speech on the importance of groping for the possibility of co-existence of different cultures. The purpose of this conference was to share the opinions and views on the specific activities introduced by numerous activists of intercultural exchange. I felt so honored that Pangaea was picked as one of the specific activities and that we had an offer to make a speech there. Furthermore, an added bonus was given to us, which was the offer by MIZY center to use the center as a new Pangaea activity branch. We had a signing ceremony with a photo session one day before our departure day from Korea. The letter of consent was prepared and the head of the center and I both signed on the letter. We were welcome by the big hand of the staffs at the MIZY center.
On the very morning of our departure from Seoul, we heard from the activity coordinator on-site that a boy who had always participated in the Pangaea activity in Seoul from the very first time, was turning 19 this year and that he would have to miss Pangaea activities to go into military service for two years. I happened to be there then, so we set up an appointment to meet up for lunch.
Well, we stopped and thought for a while..we couldn't communicate, because we didn't understand each other's language. Now what should we do? Our concerns proved unfounded thanks to Picton. We communicated using picton cards and our body language. He taught me that Kamen-rider ('Masked rider'- Japanese TV hero) was very popular in Korea, then. He also said that he would be a Pangaea facilitator when he returns from his military service in good health. We had a great time and great lunch together. I received so many wonderful gifts, as well. I felt a little obliged because I thought I should have given him something, but then I was truly happy. Our conversation ended with my favorite 'To mannnayo' (see you again!)
After coming back from Seoul, I worked on the activity planning in Tokyo, preparation of the application for the grants, I also gave a presentation in Mie prefecture, in Western Japan. Guess where I am now? I am now writing this draft in Vienna. It is three o'clock in the morning and I am checking out the hotel to head for the airport to fly out to Nairobi in an hour and a half.
On wheels, I still move on, as always..I suppose I like myself this way..Next issue will carry the report from Vienna and Nairobi. See you then.!
Toshi's monthly NoteWith little time to breathe after our office relocation to Kyoto, we have put all our energy into preparing the Pangaea packages for the first half of this month, to take them with us to our business trip to Seoul, Nairobi and Vienna in the middle of May. First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has visited the Kyoto R&D center. During the holiday week of May (Golden Week) there were many people who came to reach out their hands to help us. Not only the people around Kyoto area but also, some, even came all the way from Tokyo. I am very pleased to see the Pangaea community has formed itself here in Kyoto already. We are to hold the Pangaea activity in Kyoto in July. I just cannot wait for the day to come!
As mentioned above, Mori and myself flew to Seoul with the new Pangaea package (the PangaeaNet-system, the manual and the staff- training kit). Having delivered the package to Kyung Hee University, we discussed our future plan with the staff there. The biggest event in Seoul was, though, the speech we made at the MIZY center operated by UNESCO Korea. Mori gave a speech on 'The Role and Professionalism of the Activists for Youth International cultural Exchange' and I gave a workshop lecture on 'International Cultural Practice Beyond Language, Time and Place'.
I do believe that we were able to develop the interest among the audience . Furthermore, we concluded a partnership with the MIZY center, thanks to the generous offer by the Director-General UNESCO Korea, as well as the head of the MIZY center and the staffs who emphasized with our activity. We gained a significant result with only 2 days of our stay there. I do believe, what motivates our prospective partners most is not just the information that we provide regarding our goals and activities but the fact that our daily activities are supported by each and every one of you, the Pangaeans. I am truly grateful for all your support and would like to ask for your continuous help and guidance on our activity.
Leaving Seoul, we flew to Vienna in the end of May. The destination is the Vienna Youth Center. It was the first time for the children in Vienna to operate the PangaeaNet. I was a little anxious in the beginning whether or not the system would work properly at the activity, however, thanks to the great help by Daniel, the leader of Vienna's technical staffs, we have successful completed our PangaeaNet activity without any problem. I was very impressed to see the children sending Picton messages with their eyes shining with joy, staring the housing of the children in other countries and trying to pronounce their friends' names and listening to each other's voice through the PangaeaNet. Leaving Vienna, our next destination is Nairobi. This trip has been a great opportunity for me to gain a lot of feedback on the PangaeaNet both from the children as well as the staffs. All the comments are very helpful in order to improve the contents of the system. I will bring them back to Kyoto R&D center and reflect them to evolve our research and development activity at Pangaea.
Pangaea Ring - Message from a PangaeanHello. My name is Saeko Ikeda. I am in charge of developing html for the PangaeaNet. Hello. My name is Saeko Ikeda. I am in charge of developing html for the PangaeaNet.
It was around October 2005 when I first got involved in Pangaea. Through the lab at my university, I received an offer to work part-time to develop 'html' under Mr. Takasaki, the Chief Technical Director of Pangaea. My lab staff introduced him to me as' someone superexcellent'.
At that time, I was teaching html to my junior students as a SA (student assistant) at my lab at the university and there was somehow unspoken concurrence that they would come to me for anything regarding html. I do find that embarrassing now, because, I realized soon after I started working for Pangaea that the knowledge that I had gained through self-study was not sufficient at all. I feel regretful for my university that I was in the teaching position as a SA back then with that limited knowledge. Having gentle chiding by my manager, Mr. Ito, from time to time, the experience I have gained through developing the PangaeaNet, has further developed my skills.
Not only the technical skills, but I do feel that I have gained so much more by being involved in Pangaea. Trying to put that into 'words' is very hard but if I dared, there existed a particular' atmosphere' in Pangaea.
It may well be rooted to the aspiring staffs, sense of common purposefulness of the staffs. Mrs. Mori, as well as other staffs is so devoted to achieving the vision of Pangaea. Looking them ponder into deep thoughts in order to come up with the best solution to the problems, hold hard-hitting debates has been truly exhilarating to me. I myself was gradually drawn into the 'atmosphere' after a while. I had my hands full with my duty in the beginning, however, little by little, I got devoted to the vision of Pangaea as to how best we could make a bond between the children. I even found myself speaking out my opinions at the meetings from time to time.
It has been less than a year since I first joined Pangaea, however I do hope that I would be a part of 'atmosphere' of Pangaea through working on the development of the PangeaNet and the activities.