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Seoul Story – Day 3: September 5, 2007

October 16th, 2007 - Tuesday

We were informed that the shuttle service to KINTEX, the venue of the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly, would leave the hotel at 7.00am. I requested that the front office give us a wake up call at 5.45am. I wanted to go through the morning routine without having to rush through it. We were at the designated stop at 7.00am sharp but the first bus only left the hotel at 7.56am.

The journey to KINTEX took 50 minutes. A team of volunteers were swarming around the bus providing assistance to participants who needed it. As I got into the building, the sight of so many people in wheelchairs overwhelmed me. I have never seen so many wheelchair users congregating in one place before.

There was a long queue of participants waiting to get their identification tags and vouchers for the conference kits. I waited for nearly one hour before mine was issued. We were then quickly ushered into the main hall where the opening ceremony of the World Assembly was to be held. The rest of the day went by in a blur as we moved very quickly from one event to another.

The most memorable event of the entire day was the Qianshou Guan Yin (Thousand Hands Bodhisattva) dance performance by the China Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe. All the dancers had hearing impairment. Their timing was impeccable. Never in my life had I seen such an incredible performance. If I ever have the opportunity, I would love to see them in action again. It was truly an unforgettable experience.

When we got back to the hotel at around 10.45pm. Even though, there was nothing much to do on the first day of the World Assembly except attending the opening ceremony and the welcoming dinner, it was tiring nevertheless. The size of the venue made moving from one location to another strenuous. By the time I finished bathing and got ready for bed, it was already 1.23am.

Non-step bus to ferry participants to the 7th DPI World Assembly from Grand Hilton Seoul to KINTEX
Non-step bus to ferry participants to the 7th DPI World Assembly from Grand Hilton Seoul to KINTEX.

KINTEX - Venue of the 7th DPI World Assembly in Seoul Korea
KINTEX – Venue of the 7th DPI World Assembly in Seoul, South Korea.

Getting down from a lift bus
Getting down from a lift bus.

Peter Tan with Prof. Akiie Ninomiya, Chief Advisor of APCD at KINTEX
With Prof. Akiie Ninomiya, Chief Advisor of APCD at KINTEX.

First view of Exhibition Hall 1 at KINTEX
First view of Exhibition Hall 1 at KINTEX.

Opening ceremony of the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly in progress
Opening ceremony of the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly in progress.

7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly Help Desk
7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly Help Desk.

The 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly still in progress
The 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly opening ceremony still in progress.

Portable accessible toilets at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Portable toilets at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Cleaning lady manning the portable accessible toilet at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Cleaning lady manning the portable toilet at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Cleaning lady assisting me into the portable accessible toilet at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Cleaning lady assisting me into the portable toilet at
the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Hyundai exhibiting a ramp van at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Hyundai exhibiting a ramp van at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

A Hyundai lift van at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
A Hyundai lift van at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Posing with a guide dog at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Posing with a guide dog at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Freshness Burger - one of the few food outlets at KINTEX
Freshness Burger – one of the few food outlets at KINTEX.

7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly Welcoming Dinner - A spectacular performance by the China Disabled Persons Performing Art Troupe
7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly Welcoming Dinner
The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe performing the
impressive Qianshou Guan Yin (Thousand Hands Bodhisattva).

Independent Living Leader Reception at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Independent Living Leader Reception at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Independent Living Leader Reception at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Independent Living Leader Reception at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.

Calling it a day on the first day of the 7th Disabled Peoples' Iinternational World Assembly
Calling it a day on the first day of the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.



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One Response to “Seoul Story – Day 3: September 5, 2007”

  1. GBK says:

    Hi Peter,
    I always enjoy myself reading your blog. Thanks for always sharing your stories. Keep up your good jobs – fighting for your rights, opening our eyes and educating us through your blog (^_^)

    God bless always,
    GBK

    Peter:
    Thank you.