October 2006 Pangaea Newsletter


・General Monthly Report: September 2006
・Yumi, Chief Executive Director's monthly note
・Toshi, Chief Technical Director's monthly note
・Activity Report
・Pangaea-Ring - message from a Pangaean

General Report: September 2006

September 8th, 22nd - Ogi-Kita Activity!

We have resumed the Pangaea Activity at Ogikubo-Kita Children's House in Suginami after the summer break in August. The children were all full of energy, some seemed to have grown even more energetic. All the facilitators enjoyed themselves spending time with the children at the activity.

September 9th, 23rd - Pangaea Activity at COCON Karasuma

We have been holding the Pangaea Activity at Kyoto R&D Center twice every month. Our facilitators, even the first-timers, seem to be having fun being with the children. All of us, the staff, truly wish to get to share even more pleasant time together with all the participants in Kyoto.

September 16th - Pangaea Activity in Shibuya, Tokyo (Uehara Junior School/Yoyogi Elementary School)

In Shibuya-ward, Tokyo, we have been holding the simultaneous Activity at 2 schools, Uehara Junior School and Yoyogi Elementary School. As the children got so used to having the Activity all together when we had 3 joint activities before the venue was split, they seemed to miss each other, however, soon they found out that they were able to communicate via Picton mails almost in real time with their friends at the other location and seemed to be very excited about that.

September 21st - Grant on "Asian Neighbors Network Program" entrusted to NPO Pangaea by Toyota Foundation

The NPO Pangaea has been entrusted with the grant for our research on "Formation of Asian Children Network through Pictogram communication - Constructing Facilitator Network and developing Intercultural Collaboration Training Program -". We will implement the training for the facilitators as well as the project aiming to create the human network in order to promote the communication of the children in the Asian region, in addition to the Pangaea Activity.
* The Toyota Foundation Homepage

September 23rd - Start of the Regular Pangaea Activity at the Mizy Center, Seoul

The regular Pangaea Activity at the Mizy Center, Seoul which we had been working on the preparation has finally kicked-off! The total of 23 children will participate in the monthly activity. We will also host the Simultaneous Activity event in the fall, which will activate the communication between Tokyo and Kyoto via Picton mails.

Hot News: November 25, 2006 - Japan/Korea Simultaneous Activity!

Pangaea will host the Simultaneous Pangaea Activity in Tokyo and Seoul. The Activity will be held at Mizy Center in Seoul, where we have just begun our Activity in September, and at Uehara Junior School in Shibuya, Tokyo. The children will enjoy fun icebreaking activity, then in groups, children will meet via Web Camera and share their dream about what occupation or things they want to do when they grow up.

They will use Pangaea Net, and they get to meet their friends in real time. The Staff will put all energy for the preparation so that the children will be able to feel the "bond" at the Activity.

- For the Press Please contact info*pangaean.org (Please change "*" to "@".) (Attn:Hanada at the Administration Office) for any inquiries/interview appointments concerning the subject activity. Admission will be limited to those who had made inquiry to us prior to the event.

Yumi's Monthly Note

We finally launched the kick-off of the regular Pangaea Activity at the Korea UNESCO Mizy Center. Total of 23 children participated in the activity, keeping 7 facilitators from Kyong Hee University quite busy. The young facilitators were very energetic so we all had a lot of fun and a pleasant time at the activity. Two days before the Activity, we had the second workshop for the facilitators, when we introduced the PangaeaNet. We mainly used English at the lecture and used the machine-aided translation developed by the Language Grid Project. The language barrier still stands very high and it is hard to get over this barrier, however, the tools such as Pictons and the Grid enable to lower the barrier in a great deal. We have been testing and hoping to make the most out of these convenient tools so that we can communicate with each other more smoothly.

At the Activity, the children who participated for the first time tried drawing their own Pangaea House. I was amazed at how well they could draw. Other children who had already participated in the Activity last year and had their House already drawn, got so excited when they received the invitation addressed to them from various places. They were happily sending their replies back right away. As another Activity was being held in Kyoto at about the same hour, they were each other almost in real time.

In mid September, Cecilia from Sweden, who supported the Pangaea Activity in its first phase in Europe, visited us taking the advantage of the holidays on her business trip to Asia.

We happened to sit next to each other on the plane when I was traveling Europe and we hit it off. She is, to me, almost like a soul mate. After our first encounter, I ended up staying at her house for several weeks, which is, looking back, quite unbelievable. At the time we met, Pangaea had little budget for the operation. Cecilia expressed her same concerns about where the world was going. She introduced many wonderful people who share the vision and we traveled all over Europe to seek the Pangaea home in Europe.

Cecilia participated in the Activity held at Yoyogi elementary school and enjoyed herself drawing the Pangaea House. She was pleased to see that the Pangaea had grown to something what it is today from what it had been when we had still been groping in the dark. After the Activity, we had the Gyoza (Mandoo, or Chinese dumplings) party at Uehara Junior school with the Fun-In, community group in Shibuya. She enjoyed talking about the Pangaea Activity and about her country, Sweden, over the Gyoza hand-made by women of Fun-In. I would like to thank Aikawa Sensei, and Hosono san. They were very delicious. I would like to thank you all for letting Cecilia have a special heart-warming experience in Japan which she would have never been able to experience on a regular sightseeing tour.

We will start the Pangaea Activity in Mie-prefecture in December, also we are now entrusted with the grant by Toyota Foundation for our Japan/Korea bonding Activity. Let's move forward, gangs!

Yumiko Mori

Toshi's Monthly Note

The harvest season has come in Japan and I feel like eating a hotpot with seasonal foods. Although autumn is comfortable, the temperature is going down due to the change of the seasons, so we have to take good care of ourselves.

I was traveling over Kyoto, Tokyo and Seoul in September. In Tokyo, I did a survey on a technological environment of a new branch in Shibuya city and I checked an Internet environment of Ogikubo branch. Mr. Ando, a technical volunteer, and Mr. Aoshima, who is also a technical volunteer and is busy writing his master's thesis, took their time and helped me a lot. Thank you so much for your support! They became to play technical leader roles at Pangaea activity so I am counting on their assist.

In the end of September, Yumi and I visited to the MIZY center in Seoul, Korea to have a Pangaea activity. The activity room in MIZY center was packed with 23 children and staffs. 19 of them participated for the first time, so I was a little anxious if I could communicate with children since I don't understand Korean language. But, after all, there was nothing to worry about.

Everyone seemed to enjoy Pangaea activity a lot then. At the activity, I was impressed to see volunteers from Kyung Hee University communicate naturally with children. Also because an IT manager of MIZY center helped us doing a preparation and a cleanup, all of the technical environment and settings went well such as an Internet connection and a PC setting.

By the way, some Korean names sounded very similar. For example at the activity, 2 out of 7 staffs shared a last name and another 2 shared a family name. In addition, their nick names also sounded similar. I got confused and my thirty-year-old mind became a complete blank sometime. As I checked over and over staffs' names and faces the day before the activity, I could make it though.

A stepping stone after the activity at Korea is a Japan/Korea Simultaneous Activity which is to be held in November. By that time, I'm going to learn Hangeul, Korean letters, to be able to read at least Korean names.

Toshiyuki Takasaki

Activity Report - Mariko Yamazaki

The activity of Tokyo in September has rapidly become lively from easygoing atmosphere in August. Ogikita, which had been on summer holiday, restarted again and the number of the base point was increasing to two in Shibuya. We were pursued by work in order to prepare for them. I felt a strain when I met vigorous children again. The biggest event in September was an activity which started at Uehara junior high school of Shibuya ward. Unfortunately very few students were able to join the activity because existing participants joined their own school events; however, we got an opportunity to make a presentation for students on a class for ethics in October. We hope the number of patients could be increasing gradually.

I'm newcomer Facilitator-Leader, therefore I've been so strained at each activity since I prepare for them. I'm sometimes puzzled over how I cope with some tiny happenings. Children who played and got tired are running around, children who had a quarrel soon, children who are devoted to games and comic books and so on... Every time I'm wondering how to manage these conditions and make them come back to Pangaea activity. On second thought, Pangaea activities on track in Shibuya and Suginami are exciting and enjoyable playground every time. Furthermore, I understand these are the place where children can be relaxed and go thoroughly on the loose and children cannot care for adults' eyes on their back. Of course it is necessary for us to prevent children from being injured by slipping down or bopping violently, but I found out it is not necessary for us to force our negative one-sided opinions on children and tell off them.

A good idea hit on me when I talked to a six grade of Yoyogi elementary school. He was devoted to a portable game machine which he brought from his house. I persistently persuaded he should play Pangaea activity because he was able to play games at home. He proposed I should let him play games for another 15minutes. Then he said he would play Pangaea activity. I said it was OK and I ordered he should keep a promise by himself. He answered it was OK. When I saw him after a short time, he enjoyably worked hard with his friends. I understood there was a good way without forcing activity. I felt I got a good reaction of children.

I learned a lot in this first month as a newcomer manager including preparation for new base points. In October, we will start preparing for Japan/Korea Simultaneous Activity. After I experienced volunteer work for 2years, I decided to quit working and I dropped everything and plunged into the world of NPO this spring. Each realization leads a big pleasure. I realized this is the delicious taste of managing Pangaea activity.

Mariko Yamazaki

Pangaea ring Cecilia Lindgren, Sweden

On a recent business trip to Asia I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a weekend in beautiful Tokyo. This was my first ever visit to Japan and Tokyo and I was struck by the sereneness and peacefulness of a city of 11 million people.

Everywhere I went I was met by wonderful, kind and respectful people. This is the perfect environment for an organization like Pangaea to be born and be spread to the rest of the world.

The very essence of Pangaea is based on respect for the individual child and for all the people of the world. This is something I learnt first hand during the Pangaea activity at an elementary school in Shibuya that I attended.

That the children showed up voluntarily to the school on a Saturday amazed me until I learned how much fun it was to be part of the activity. Not only did the children have fun interacting with each other but they could also communicate with others online. They seemed to easily accept the stranger amongst them and were curious about my drawings and I was very impressed of their patience, skills and politeness. In fact they were all so sweet I wished I could bring them home.

I wish that every child around the world will one day encounter Pangaea and through it each other so they can communicate without language barriers, learn, have fun and make friends.

The world is already a better place with Pangaea in it.
I'm very impressed by Yumi, Toshi and the other hard-working Pangaeans for making it a reality.

Arigato for opening the doors to Pangaea to me.

Cecilia Lindgren