Short Trip, Long Lasting Memories
From eating weird dishes like silkworms to learning about modern, environment improving ideas, PAVA World's trip to Korea was a trip that greatly impacted the lives of all of its participants. Partnering with many other organizations, the Pacific American Volunteer Association organized a trip that combined the environment, culture, history, entertainment, and friendship.This trip,as PAVA's president, Mr. Myung stated,was to "create long lasting friendships" and "show students about their own heritage and culture." In the summer of 2016, PAVA World initiated a new plan for its yearly Korea trip. Instead of going to Dokdo, the organization decided to go to different tourist spots and areas with environmental, cultural, and social opportunities. Two specific areas that stood out were the Saemangeum Seawall and the Cheonggyecheon River. Students were able to look at the Saemangeum Seawall in an aerial perspective. They were also able to watch videos that explained not only the benefits of this particular place, but also the problems it had as well. For the Cheonggyecheon River, located in Seoul, students were able to walk around viewing the wildlife in the river while enjoying the different buildings nearby. The Demilitarized Zone had different attractions that piqued the interests of both children and adults. The DMZ had a tunnel that was previously dug by North Koreans. It also had an area with binoculars that allowed tourists to see some areas of North Korea. Despite all the interesting areas PAVA World visited, the most valuable part of this trip was the friendships and bonds that were created. Traveling to different places in a bus gave students time to interact with one another and eventually become friends. They were also able to inter act with a group of South Korean high school students who were just as sociable as the members in PAVA World.

The Pacific American Volunteer Association was able to accomplish its goals during this trip. It was able to in spire members to think of the purpose, drawbacks, and benefits of environment improving ideas like the Saemangeum Seawall and the Cheonggyecheon River. PAVA World was also able to spark cultural interest in its members by visiting museums and temples, to not only see the past, but also to experience it. It also allowed members experience visiting modern controversial areas like the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. All these things brought together with friend ships and bonds made this trip unforgettable.

Written by: Victor Kim (Apple Valley HS 12th grade)