Unification News for January 1995
School in Korea
by Malcolm & Suemi Allan, Steve & Jerry Tamayo
By the time you receive this, exams and the school years will be over for our students here in Korea. 1994 was a long year. Some notable occasions were the arrival America of our new dormitory couple, Steve and Jerry Tamayo, and the departure of Mrs. Gertrud Koch, who served the students and staff of this program with sacrificial devotion and a mother's heart for eight years. Replacing Mrs. Koch was Mr. Lee Young Whi, a 430 couple, who began Oct. 1. The main news at school is the requirement that all students graduating our program and entering Middle School must take an arts major. This means additional expenses and workload for all Middle School students. Please pray for them to learn the heavenly language and culture so that they can truly become ambassadors of True Parents.
You should be very proud of your children. They are all growing quickly despite the challenges of living away from home in a very public environment. They are beginning to see that the Principle can change people's lives as well as transform their own. It is with this hope that we march forward into the new year.
Field Trip to Kyongbok Palace and Museums - by HH
On the last day of November, all GOP and PREP students went downtown to visit Kyongbok Palace, the National Museum and the Folklore Museum. These buildings are all beside each other, so we just walked from one to the other. First stop was the palace. Much of it is under reconstruction at the moment but we still gathered at the large assembly area where the king once held court. We all agreed the palace houses and public rooms must have been bitterly cold and drafty in winter! Within the palace grounds is the Folklore Museum. This contains many exhibits of Korean lifestyle, such as food, clothing, pottery, housing and various customs such as wedding traditions, coming of age ceremonies, as well as notable achievements in science such as rain gauges and wooden printing blocks, all of which were invented here before comparable developments in other nations. Of special interest was traditional clothing, which has remained unchanged for 1000 years, and the detailed models of village life with full-size cattle hauling plows. We left with a very good idea of life in ancient Korea.
After lunch we went to the National Museum. This building was built by the Japanese in front of the palace and was for a time their administration building. Now it is a national museum, but is due to be replaced by a new building and torn down, thus restoring the street frontage to the palace. The exhibits here recorded early Korean history from the prehistoric era, as well as some exhibits similar to those in the Folklore Museum. Korea's war torn history is amply recorded with dioramas and relics of many conflicts between China and Japan as well as more recently the Korea War. Also many paintings and sculptures were on display completely informing us of Korean history, culture and religion.
All in all it was a busy day, and one well spent. The exhibits brought to life many aspects of Korean culture that until now we had just spoken about in class.
Thanksgiving in Korea - by KY On Thanksgiving Day all those in the western program, whether American or not, went out for lunch. Instead of turkey and the trimmings, we ate pizza. Turkeys are not so readily available in Korea, especially for 50 people. But we were happy to be doing something different for a change and special for Thanksgiving. As we sat around the table we shared about what we used to do at Thanksgiving and thought about what our families were doing at home. For almost all of us it was the first time away from home for an extended period, so it was natural to talk about what it's like back home. After we were seated we sang "America the Beautiful." The Korean restaurant staff were smiling ear to ear. It's natural in Korea for people to sing wherever they go so it was no surprise for them to hear us, even though it was in English. Unfortunately we didn't have a lot of time, as it was our regular lunch break and we soon had to head back to class. Later at the dormitory we heard Father's speech "God's Hope for America" where Father speaks of the special place in God's heart for America and its people. As Americans we want to take responsibility for our country and enable it to fulfill its providential destiny by becoming one nation under God.
About Prep - by SS & TK
After graduating from GOP, 10 students go to the PREP program. This program is for those who want to attend Middle School in Korea, and lasts six months. Korean language is studied intensively as well as regular school subjects like science and math are taught in Korean language. Sung Hee Seewald from Germany shares: "I personally like this program because there are only blessed children here and I feel more comfortable around them. I am looking forward to going into Middle School after all this preparation. I know it won't be easy but True Parents really want us to learn Korean, so I will stay in Korea until I do." Tamami Kawamura from America says: "I hope to stay in Korea as long as I can. It can sometimes be stressful with all the study, and demands of dormitory life, but I have learned a lot and also had a lot of fun. I feel as if my character has broadened here. This program is a great opportunity and I'm grateful to be here."
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