Participating in the 4th Asia-Pacific Rally

Clarence Boutin
President of Federation Quebecoise
de Camping et de Caravaning

After a very long trip from Quebec City to the Seoul Kimpo Airport in Korea, transiting through New York, l was very happy to be surprised by Miss Won-Sun Shin, a beautiful young lady in a Korean dress and Mr. Kyun-Wook Kim, both from Sam Lip Development. We were very happy to be able to count on these two very experienced people because Korean is such a different language and we would have been lost in the big city without them. They offered great help for me and for all of the F.I.C.C. council members.

After a good night sleep in the best hotel of Korea, l was anxious to take the plane to Sokcho where again another charming lady, Mrs. Jeong-Hwa Kim of the National Assembly, was waiting for us. Working as a counselor for the French information, she assisted us throughout the rally which greatly pleased the council members and the French participants. She took care of many things for us.

Arriving in Sokcho, the shuttle was awaiting to take us to the rally site. After 35-minute drive we were at the Highla Sorak Valley Resort. Everybody from K.C.C.F., the volunteered students and all Sam Lip Development employees under Mr. Francisco Her's responsibility, took care of us. We then took another shuttle and arrived at our studio apartments which were very close to the major activities, the restaurant and the services.

At that point, it was time to participate in a special tour which was offered by Mr.Jin-Sun Kim, Provincial Governor. We were at the unification frontier, which was, however strange to say, of a real beauty. As many people I do hope reunification will occur in a short while. We then attended a Welcome dinner also offered by the Kangwon Provincial Governor, which made us realize the emphasis of the Asian hospitality. We were amused to see that Korea has similar weather as Canada. Fortunately for us, the small market place sold umbrellas!

Now l know that Mr. Kyung-Woo Chang, K.C.C.F. President must have visited the temples everyday so that we had the most beautiful sunny day for the opening ceremony. The attractions ended with the amazing military demonstrations, accompanied with an all-you-can-eat buffet for all participants.

All the excursions we underwent were very exciting even if at some times we were tired. The temple visits, the passages with on-cable gondolas went on smoothly. They were all very well organized by the organizers, the volunteered students and our very own personal counselor, Mrs. Jeang-Hwa Kim.

It was very windy at the night of the Japanese reception, We enjoyed tasting different foods and excellent sake. We also took great pleasure in the marvelous Asian evening performance. But our biggest surprise was to realize that because of the violent winds we had that night all the tents went flying and there weren't anymore for the campers. Not to worry, the K.C.C.F. took care of everything.

Under the invitation of Mr.Kyung-Woo Chang, all the participants enjoyed again the exquisite Korean food, drinks, music and magician, particularly Mr.Pereira, F.I.C.C. council member, becoming a great magician himself. All of us appreciated the opportunity given by the K.C.C.F. to participate in an outside Taiwanese party in a beautiful setting with a chilling evening where hot food and drinks were greatly appreciated.

For the closing ceremony under a radiant sun, the K.C.C.F. welcomed everyone with a military band playing the Beethoven's 9th Symphony and thegAuld Lang Syneh. All were gathering under the Asian sun filled with beautiful memories. But it was not finished. Mr.Francisco Her of Sam Lip Development took us to a marvelous temple and for a fast visit of the location for the next rally.

Finally, after shedding a few nostalgic tears, the shuttle drove me to Sokcho airport always very well assisted by the Sam Lip personnel. Arriving in Seoul, a minibus was awaiting to take us on a 4-hour tour of the city on our way to the Novotel as we had requested it. Mr.Yong-Moon Kim, a world-wide renown and very special K.C.C.F. volunteer, was waiting for us at the Novotel for a Korean dinner. This dinner reunited participants of seven countries.

From the beginning to the end, every thing was so marvelously coordinated by K.C.C.F., the Asia-Pacific Commission, Sam-Lip Development, the Government of Korea and the Kangwon province, that we never got the time to feel far away from home.

I will always remember my participation in the excellent 4th Asia-Pacific rally. I enjoyed it so much that I would love to go back.

Many thanks to all of you who had the courtesy of taking care of everything from each of your home places.

February 1999 (Asia-Pacific News No.4)

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

Japanese Site