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Seoul Story – Day 4: September 6, 2007

October 17th, 2007 - Wednesday

The Korean Organising Committee for the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly had arranged to ferry participants to KINTEX in 3 types of vehicles – lift vans, non-step buses and lift buses. Lift buses took the longest time to board. This morning, I was in line to board to a non-step bus. I wheeled into it from the walkway with little effort. My wheelchair was secured by an electrical wheel clamp and a safety belt. There was also a foldable grab bar for me to hold on to.

The journey was uneventful. The sky was overcast. It has been like that since the day we arrived at Seoul. We arrived at KINTEX early. Peter and I had sandwiches for breakfast at one of the food outlets at KINTEX. We still had some time left after breakfast and before the programme of the day began and took that opportunity to visit the Korea Senior Life Expo 2007 that was being held at the adjacent exhibition hall. Many of the booths showcased items such as wheelchairs, adjustable beds and assistive devices that can make life easier for senior citizens and those with mobility impairments.

Throughout the day, I attended workshops by leaders of the Independent Living Centres from the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan. It was an eye opener to listen to the speakers talking about the activities of their respective Independent Living Centres. The Independent Living Movement has just begun in Malaysia. Through those talks I learnt about the development in other countries and how those examples can be best applied in Malaysia.

On the same day in the afternoon, I presented a paper on the Independent Living Movement in Malaysia. I talked about the challenges that we face here as we work on supporting severely disabled persons living in the community. My focus was on disabled people in the Klang Valley who needed such services. I was also glad that I made a few friends who generously offered to assist us here in Malaysia.

The schedule for the day ran smoothly and ended right on the dot. Vivek and I shared the same bus on the way back. We decided to get the bus driver to drop us off at the shops near to the hotel for us to have our dinner and buy some groceries. There were six shops there and all served only bulgogi which is a popular cuisine in Korea.

Bulgogi is beef slices grilled over a charcoal stove and then wrapped in lettuce together with raw garlic, sliced onion, kimchi and other pickled vegetables. As I could not take beef, we also ordered pork and ate it with rice. It was nice but not something that I would want to eat everyday. Having filled our tummies, we went back to the hotel for a well deserved rest.

Peter enjoying his breakfast at the Messe Snackbar at KINTEX
Peter having his breakfast at the Messe Snackbar at KINTEX.

Mammo Bus offering free breast cancer test at the Korea Senior Life Expo 2007 at KINTEX
The unmistakable pink coloured Mammo Bus offering breast cancer tests
at the Korea Senior Life Expo 2007 at KINTEX.

Exhibits at the Korea Senior Life Expo 2007
Exhibits at the Korea Senior Life Expo 2007.

Posing before the floral tribute with fellow participants
Posing before the congratulatory floral arrangement with fellow participants.
(L-R) Vo Thi Hoang Yen, Director of Disability Resource And Development, Vietnam;
Dr. Glen White, Director of Research & Training Center on Independent Living, University of Kansas;
Peter Tan; Sainbayar Samdanjamts, Chairman of Mongolian Federation of Disabled Persons, Mongolia.
(Standing) Assistant of Mr. Sainbayar.

eter and Peter posing before the floral tributes
Peter and Peter posing before the floral tributes at 7th DPI World Assembly.

Peter Tan speaking at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Peter Tan speaking at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.
The other panelists at the workshop were Marica Miric, Manda Knezivic and Ljubica Lukacic
of the Croatian Union of Associations of Persons with Disabilities; Udomchok Churut,
Chairperson of Thailand Council for Independent Living;
and Sang Ho Lee of the People Love Yangchoen Center for Independent Living.

Peter Tan speaking at the 7th Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly
Peter Tan speaking at the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly.
(L-R) Shoji Nakanishi, Executive Director of Japan Council on Independent Living Centers;
Peter Tan and Udomchok Churut.

Dr. Glen White, Park Chano, Director of Seoul Center for Independent Living, Korea and Peter Tan
Dr. Glen White, Park Chano, Director of Seoul Center for Independent Living, Korea; Peter Tan; and
John Lancaster, Executive Director of National Council of Independent Living, USA after the workshop.

Bulgogi
Dinner – Bulgogi – Korean beef BBQ.



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One Response to “Seoul Story – Day 4: September 6, 2007”

  1. seeds says:

    As always, I look forward to reading updates on your travels and the important work that you are involved with as a leader and activist.