Friday, July 8, 2011

A Few Special Memories

I still owe you a nice, long picture-filled post about Camp Choson and because I volunteered to coordinate outreach to prospective families, you can count on reading one!

But for tonight, the evening of the last day of camp this year, I want to show you just a few reasons why this week is a highlight of our year.

This is Joy with our friend Jin Hee. Jin Hee loves Joy and easily calls her by her birth name, Hee Kyeong, because that was also Jin Hee's birth name. Jin Hee emigrated to the United States from Busan several decades ago and now teaches Korean language and culture to the 4th-6th graders at Camp Choson every year. She has been Faith's teacher for three years now. Yet despite the fact that Jin Hee lives just a few miles from our house, I would never have met her if not for Camp Choson.

This is Hope dressed for and performing a Puppet Dance taught to her by Mrs. Won, Mi Ja (who is giving her a hug in the bottom picture). Mrs. Won travelled to American to teach at Camp Choson with eleven other professionals who work for the Korean Traditional Music Association. Mrs. Won is recognized as such a skilled teacher that her job in Korea is to teach other teachers how to teach traditional dance to children. Yet she gave a week of her summer to come to America and teach Korean children adopted abroad the traditional dances and songs of their homeland.

Faith is a typical 11 year old and after a week with almost no gaming or TV time (personal electronics are banned at camp), I'd think it reasonable if the first thing she did when she got home was check email and pickup her DSI. But, no. After this, her second year of learning drumming from Korean professionals and her second trip to Korea where she again saw real Samulnori performances, after dinner she got out her Buk to accompany Mercy on a small hand drum Mercy made in art class at camp.

Faith performed on the Buk in this afternoon's performance. But she told me she also had memorized the part played by the Janggu (another drum, shaped like an hour glass) and showed us by collecting another stick and playing her Buk like a Janggu. Tomorrow said she would get out our Kkwaenggwari (a small hand-held gong) and teach me the gong part so I could accompany her. On my next trips I will have to bring home a Janggu and a Jing (a large gong); with four children we can have our own little Samulnori troupe.


Three Northern Stars said...

Adorable photos!

Mike and Katie said...

That looks like such a great time for the girls. Do they have to be Korean to go?

Carrie said...


I think you have a future as an editor :). Thanks!

No. Kids do not have to be Korean. But many of the children attending have some tie to Korea like a Korean family member.