Monday, February 04, 2013


Two full weeks later, we once again find ourselves on a red-eye flight, this time heading back to what seems to be an ever more fragile North-East Asia. Despite some rhetorical détente between the two Koreas, the news have still been full of irrational island disputes, preparations for nuclear tests and submarine drills. Meanwhile, in our own baby bubble, Eddie is beginning to crawl and can now stand up for prolonged periods, he has also started to drag objects towards him (water bottles are a favourite) and he has made innumerable friends along our journey. An absolute highlight was our visit to Koh Lanta and his play date with Adrianna.

Yet, as much as Eddie has proven to be an icebreaker between worlds, it is difficult to not echo the sentiments of my last post concerning the future that we are about to create for him. As strong as the integrative, constructive forces may be, there is also so much fragmentation and blatant lack of social trust. We may be wiring Prometheus through an ever thicker web of airlines, ATMs and electronic connections but as long as these things are not matched by a cosmopolitan sensibility, a sense of collective responsibility for our planetary future and an understanding that we are living through a make-it-or-break-it moment for humanity as a species they will do little good.

Later this week, I will have the privilege of welcoming a new batch of students to our UPEACE Dual Master’s degree programme in Seoul.  Over the course of their programme, the students will spend one year in Costa Rica and many will eventually go on to work in international organizations. If ever so little, the programme is a symbol of how Korea is turning towards the world rather than to its past of isolation, an orientation which feels particularly important in times like these.



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