There is a famous Korean saying “You will lose a little when you lose money, you will lose a lot when you use your reputation, but you will lose everything if you lose your health”. Likewise, if we lose our nature where we breathe and were nurtured, presence of human beings will no longer meaningful. Mankind attained a high standard of living. That is, technological advancements have made the impossible possible, and made the unrealistic realistic at the expense of the environment. However, currently, people are experiencing unprecedented abnormal climate change, and frequent and stronger natural disasters due to environmental destruction. Therefore, the need for conserving the environment is critical. In this sense, ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop motivated and taught me new insights on how we can achieve sustainable development while maintaining harmony with the nature. Time really flies. It is still hard to believe that I’m in Korea now and writing an article about this workshop, because I still cannot wake up from sweet dreams of this workshop.
I’m a really hard working person…
On July 9th, when I was mentally exhausted from intensive summer courses in Ljubljana, Slovenia, I got an e-mail from the ASEAN-Korea Centre saying that I was accepted for the workshop. After I got news, I really wanted to do my best, because I believe that it was such an amazing opportunity to me and I really wanted to make this chance a turning point in my life. However, Internet speed in Slovenia was too slow to load online lectures, so I had difficulties coping up with it regularly, but I really did my best to accomplish all of them given the situation: keep searching while downloading online materials for 5hours. As time goes on, I really felt so fruitful for my hardwork. It really helped me to better understand lectures given by forest experts.
To be honest, as a management major, I didn’t have much background knowledge of forestry. Had the ASEAN-Korea Centre not provided online education in advance, I would not have earned any prior knowledge before attending workshop. ACU cyber lecture was very helpful. Though forestry sector is too broad, they clearly divided into 5 sub categories depending on student’s personal interest. I really admire their sincere consideration of us.
Soopchewon ?? Where is it ??
(3 days inbound program in Gangwon-do)
Our official program officially commenced from ASEAN-Korea Centre in Seoul in August 10th in 2015. Around 100 participants from Korea and ASEAN students joined the program. The In-bound program was held in Korea from August 10th to 12th.
We all were full of excitement and heading to Soopchewon in Gangwon province with full of curiosities, because no one had any idea of it. Despite our concerns, Soopchewon was an ideal place for all of us to fully enjoy and feel the nature and escape thr hustle and bustle busy life in the city. Since our theme for this year was about forest conservation, the program had been organized to include the following activities: lectures from forestry experts, UCC making (forestry), Five Senses Forest Experience, Mission impossible at mountain near Soopchewon and ASEAN music party.
To briefly explain about my team, I was assigned to a group composed of 7 beautiful ladies. Since I was the only guy among 7 ladies, we decided to name our team called one dwarf and seven snow white princesses, and luckily I was chosen as a leader of the team unanimously. To be honest, our team showed a high standard of performance in terms of efficiency and cooperation. All the members were so enthusiastic and responsible for their tasks, so there were totally no discords among us.
UCC making activity was the most memorable event to me. That is, because of this activity, we all became real friends. Every effort we put into UCC making is still vivid in my heart, we squeezed our lunch time to think of idea and ran throughout Soopchewon to find best place to shoot. While filming, we laughed a lot and made lots of good memories. In order to finish video filming in a short period of time to finish, it was inevitable for us to have a high level of cooperation. Without their sincere and passionate help, we would not draw satisfactory results.
Five senses forest experience was also very unique. Forestry may seem a little tedious to some people. However, this program involved direct experience of forests with a detailed yet interesting explanation from a forest experts. Many foreign friends were satisfied with the program especially when they were given a top and a pipe made from trees.
ASEAN music party was a culminating event of In-bound program. Many foreign friends wore their own traditional costumes and had an amazing performance. Thanks to them, the stage was full of excitement and smiles. Personally, I really cannot forget after party. Everyone danced joyfully with full of happiness at the stage. It was a sleepless night for all of us. After the party, I started become a sentimental what made us united as a one. That is, we totally have different language, culture and life background, but we got along each other so well just like an old buddy.
3 days short but intense In-bound program has ended at ASEAN-KOREA Centre where we had started our journey.
Finally, are we going to Indonesia???
(5 days out bound program in Jakarta and Yogyakarta)
August 13th Wednesday was a touching day for me, because I had dreamed of visiting Indonesia for a long time. I was so thrilled to explore unknown world and Wanagama Educational and Experimental Forest.
After 7 hours long flight to Jakarta, finally our dreams came true. Though hot and humid weather were waiting for us, no one complained of it. Their facial expression was full of joy and curiosities. We spent our unforgettable first night in Jakarta at high standard restaurant and cozy accommodations. Though it is quite late, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude toward ASEAN-Korea Centre and AFoCO for providing us such warm hospitality.
Second day in Jakarta started with visiting the ASEAN secretariat. It was an honorable event for all of us. Though we are all busy for taking pictures, we were able to feel that they are doing valuable work under the mission of achieving better future and eternal prosperity in ASEAN countries.
Also, a short visit of Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia was meaningful time for me too, because we had a chance to ask about a lot of ongoing environmental issues to Dr. Henry Bastaman, Director General of Forestry and Environment Research Development and Innovation Agency. Thankfully, He responded our questions with full of sincerity. Since the workshop’s main theme was about youth in the forefront of Forest Conservation in ASEAN & KOREA, it seems that he had a high expectation of us as a young leader who can lead the world eco-friendly.
Finally, We are heading to Wanagama forest !!
Yogyakarta ~ see you soon !
On the second day of our program in Indonesia, we headed to Yogyakarta where Wanagama forest is located. Visiting Wanagama Educational Forest was symbolic to me. It was previously a 10 hectare deserted forest, but became a dense forest with full of diverse flora and fauna through thorough rehabilitation process. Considering that 20 percent of global forest is clustered throughout ASEAN countries and many of their ecosystem is under the threat of development, Wanagama is a good example to show how human beings can coexist with the nature.
Wanagama Dormitory…..?????? Er……..
There was one funny episodes while staying at Wanagama dormitory. Since this dormitory is situated in the middle of the forest, the whole facility was not modern and clean as we expected. So, some students showed his or her worries and unpleasant feelings of an accommodation. Generally, it is nearly impossible to fully satisfy all the members when we work as a group. However, the staff members considered this matter seriously, so they promptly arranged new and modern Hotel for all of us. I was really deeply touched by their professionalism and deep consideration of us. Let me take this opportunity again to express my sincere appreciation to Ms. Monica, Ms. Shannon, Ms. Song jung-en, ASEAN-KOREA Centre and AFoCO.
Batik cultural activity was also memorable cultural experience. I could feel Indonesian people’s delicate sense, craftsmanship and concentration to make Batik.
As the last activity of the workshop, visiting Prambanan Temple and Borobudur Temple were touching. We had lots of fun and made lots of cherished memories. I had mixed feelings there, because time went so fast and I did not want to wake up from that sweet dream. That’s why I tried to take lots of photos and enjoy the moments with them.
Though this workshop mainly focuses on educating students, it also brought us lots of historically meaningful place to fully grasp whole Indonesia. I could say the whole program was well organized.
I had mixed feelings there because time went so fast and I don’t want wake up from that sweet dream.
Guys… Its time to say good Bye….
Being a participant of the 9-day long 2015 ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop feels like a sweet dream. Still, every memory is vivid in my heart.
I felt sense of accomplishment at the completion of the workshop. First of all, I am proud of myself as a participant of this honorable workshop. Second, this workshop allowed me to mature. Through this workshop, I was able to deepen my knowledge about the forestry sector and get new perspectives by communicating with a lot of students from all over the world. Other than studies, I also got treasures such as good memories and valued new friends. If I were in Korea, I would never experience and earn such cherished memories. It was my biggest fortune in my life that I can reminisce something vividly deep in my heart and soul….
There goes a saying that…. “Time flies and never returns, but memory stays and never departs”. I’m so happy now that I have good memories to reminisce forever.
In conclusion, as a young leader in the Forefront of Forest Conservation, I think we all have heavy responsibilities to keep the promise. We should bear in mind this at all times.
Nam Woo-jung, ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop 2015 participant