A Midsummer’s Dream in Laos
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A Midsummer’s Dream in Laos
  • GLOBE
  • 승인 2012.09.04 13:18
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overseas volunteer

We two reporters went to Laos as members of a team this summer from July 9th to 25th. Thanks to the support of the university, we qualified for volunteer work, so we did volunteering and we also had a good time in Laos.

 Labor Service
We divided into two groups: a cultural exchange group and labor service group.

Labor service was to remodel a dormitory cafeteria in the college of education of Souphanouvong University. It was very dirty and filthy. Incredibly, Laotian students used it before we cleaned there. First, we dusted off a restaurant filled with dust. After we cleaned the dust, we suffered from dust allergies in spite of carefully wearing raincoats. Then, we painted there. The Laotian students helped with remodeling work. The weather was too hot and remodeling was such hard work, but working together made us friends. We hope that the remodeled restaurant will be useful to them.


 Korean Education
In the Laos overseas volunteering program, Korean education was the most important part. The students in Laos didn’t even know “hello” in Korean, but we taught them, and finally we saw two Laotian students talk to each other in Korean. We were really delighted and moved. We were very proud of the Laotian students because they had studied really hard. They didn’t miss any words the teacher said, and in break times they came and asked questions of us. They were very diligent. We made a textbook before we went there. The textbook ended up in shreds because they wrote a lot of Korean words in it they wanted to know. We appreciated the Laotian students coping with us well. We should study more to teach them more. The Laotian students studied hard in such a poor situation, while we don’t study hard even in a good situation. We regretted that we had a lot of excuses not to study. We promised to do our best, thinking of Laotian students.

 Cultural Exchange
After two p.m. we made a program for cultural exchange. In that program, Laotian students and Korean students collaborated all together. First we made gliders. When we bought materials for the gliders, we worried a lot because it looked difficult to make and fly them. But all of the students could make them very well and it took only one or two minutes to fly them. All people cheered under the hot sunlight.

We also made ‘dalgona’(a Korean sweet composed of baking soda and melted sugar), which we made a lot of when we were young, and we made a colored candle using crayons. These two projects were very hard work under the hot sunlight because we used fire. Still, we saw all students gathered around working together, so we helped students to have success. Every time we saw students go back home holding their works carefully, we forgot all the hard things.
They divided into two groups and did line dancing and Taekwondo. They didn’t perform perfectly, but we regarded it as meaningful to participate and play together. The Laotian students became a family with us and danced all together, and we put Taekwondo clothes on the Laos students. We were very moved by them wearing our clothes and doing Taekwondo in a modest way.


 Performance
We prepared three performances: Samulnori, giving really funny sounds in Korean; taekwondo, showing the spirit and power of Korea; and Korean fan dancing, showing grace and beauty. We showed the performance two times. First, we showed our performance to university officials on July 23rd in the morning. Although we made a mistake on the stage, due to the good response and helping hand of our Laotian friends, we showed everything that we had prepared over two weeks. In the afternoon, we had a performance time with them in the college of education of Souphanouvong University. We watched a video that was filled with our two weeks’ time and danced cheerfully together.


 Waterfalls
We went to two waterfalls in Laos every Sunday. First, we went to Kouangxi Waterfall. To see the waterfall, we walked in the park. There was a very fantastic landscape like a scene from the movie Avatar. Trees shot up to the clouds and water falling from small waterfalls was a fantastic sapphire color. Second, we went to Tadsae Waterfall. To go to Tadsae Waterfall, we rode a small boat for 20 minutes. It was like paradise. By playing in the water together, we got rid of the stress that was built up through hard work for weeks.

We learned a lot of things and got enlightened as Laos overseas volunteers as we never could in Korea. Their pure, warm hearts bound together strongly. All people said we should do the overseas volunteer program for our specs. However, overseas volunteer work contains more important things. Overseas volunteer work changes your mind. If you want to reform your mind and feel new things, I recommend overseas volunteering.


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