Rainbow Flew From New York
Rainbow Flew From New York
  • Chu Jeongmin
  • 승인 2022.09.02 09:46
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다


Do you know about SIWA, the leadership group of SMWU? It has continued friendship with the Mujigae Camp, the group which mostly consists of Korean adoptees' families in the U.S. Despite the Covid-19 situation, foreign exchange programs have not stopped for SIWA. At first, we were disappointed because we couldn't meet them in person due to the pandemic situation. But it was impossible to stop our passion to meet the Mujigae Camp, so we met them online. How adorable they were! We met more children in the online summer camp than we expected.


A foreign exchange program on our bucket-list

Some people have bucket lists to experience various things in their lifetime. Looking at bucket lists, participating in foreign exchange programs or foreign volunteer programs can be easily found, especially for SIWA members. SIWA is the leadership group that goes to Albany, US every summer to introduce and teach Korean culture to Korean adoptees. Mujigae Camp, in which Korean adoptees' families participate a lot, has been a good friend and partner with SIWA for many years. The reason why we offer the classes for Korean adoptees is because of their curiosity about Korea. Therefore, we have to consider several rules not to present bad images of Korea and not to hurt them. But the most important thing during the classes is to have fun all together. We have taught 5-20-year-olds with their parents in the summer camp by playing games, making crafts, dancing, and watching videos. After the classes we prepared were over, we were supposed to homestay in their houses with beautiful sites nearby. However, we had to admit we couldn't visit them this year as, in the last two years, the COVID-19 situation has intensified. So, we designed an online summer camp as we did for the last two years and filmed an introduction video of SIWA. Furthermore, we added a workshop to cook Korean snacks together. Now I would like to show our wonderful experience with the adorable kids.



Sugar-sweet first meeting

It was a sunny May when we all together met with Mujigae Camp at first for a workshop. We had decided to have a cooking class and make 'dalgona' and 'so-tteok so-tteok' because making 'dalgona' has become famous in other countries these days. Even though the 'dalgona' kit is so expensive in the US, we can be the best teacher to the children as we have experience in making it! And we could make 'so-tteok so-tteok' using rice paper - without a knife which is dangerous for young children - as making it has become a trend in Korea. We were worried before meeting them online, but the children participated so actively in the beginning part that we prepared. So, we even had time to relax with simple games. Also, I was impressed when cooking the Korean snacks, that some children had prepared the traditional Korean sauce, gochujang. Considering their situation that it might be difficult to get 'gochujang,' we told them about some other substitutes in advance, so 'gochujang' was not mandatory. But some children prepared this Korean traditional sauce too, and the other children also enjoyed our snack a lot. I can remember one child telling us that he would make his own Korean snack later. For some reason, the children were better than us at making the snack. This workshop made us more passionate to prepare for the summer camp in July.


Mujigae Camp in the summer night

There are 13 hours of time difference between Albany and Seoul, so we had to do the summer camp around midnight. This year, we prepared four classes. Firstly, the Hangeul class taught Korean with a workbook that we made. The children paid attention so well in the Hangeul class. They loved our workbook so much that they listened and studied all day. Next, in the history class, we not only explained about historical places in Korea but also made crafts related to Korean history together. Giving instructions on making crafts through the screen was really hard work. But proudly, all of the history class members did it and finally, we could see big smiles on the children's faces after making their golden crown piggy bank and 'Cheomseongdae' wind chime. The folktale class was the only class that taught 5-year-old children. It was so adorable to see them concentrate on the folktale video we made. We could also see the adult helpers being interested in our folktale video which we filmed in real Korean-style houses wearing 'hanbok'. The dance and music class was the most active class that the children enjoyed. There were technical problems in the class, so the children had to turn off the TV and watch us on a small phone screen. It was cute and sad at the same time to see them crouching on the floor to follow our dance with K-pop music.
After the summer camp, we felt it was a too short program as we had to meet them online. Thanks to all the SIWA members who put their hard work into preparing the classes in the semester, we were able to finish the program well. I appreciate the Mujigae Camp, and also the board and coordinator too. I hope we could have at least one more opportunity to see the Mujigae Camp children in person soon.

The future of SIWA

We got the confidence to design all the contents for the children and communicate with them despite the language barrier and Covid-19. We could connect ourselves to Mujigae Camp with our sincere hearts to make a friendly relationship. The 19th SIWA is over, but all the members are continuously interested in foreign programs and the 20th SIWA is coming soon!


삭제한 댓글은 다시 복구할 수 없습니다.
그래도 삭제하시겠습니까?
댓글 0
계정을 선택하시면 로그인·계정인증을 통해
댓글을 남기실 수 있습니다.