Visits to Seoul
OK, I’m doing it again: putting things out of order on my blog. It’s Sunday,
the 19th of March here in Beijing and I’ve returned this afternoon from my
second visit to Seoul in the past month. MSF has an office there where we’ve provided psychological support for refugees from North Korea. Since the situation has changed a great deal since we first started this work, MSF has
decided to close this office and leave local actors to serve the needs of this population in the future. Due to the luck of the draw, it’s fallen to our office to manage the last several weeks of this office until we close it, and especially to me as administrator to manage all the legal and HR
aspects of shutting down our office. The downside, of course, is more work for me just as I prepare for my blessed seven week holiday in the US and Europe…the upside, of course, is a chance to meet some great colleagues (two of our four national staff colleagues there have applied to become MSF expats in the field in the future, and the one expatriate still working there, a psychologist from Italy, is a pleasure to know and work with) and get to know another city and another office a bit.
This last visit was a week long, so I could really make a lot of headway on what needed to be done. I added a Sunday at the beginning and a Saturday at the end so I could explore the city a bit: I’ve not been since I visited it during my Jr. year abroad, back in 1984. Naturally, it’s changed a great deal since then. Here’s a good shot taken from atop Namsan, next door to the huge US military base and site of Seoul Tower, one of the major landmarks in town (I assume it’s a TV broadcast tower, but I dont’ really know — it looks like it), but I didn’t think to take any pictures of it, itself – just shots from its hilltop. Sorry. Enjoy!