[FOK Welcoming Remarks]
Mr. Gerard Krizic, President of Friends of Korea
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
and Family members,
Returned World Friends Korea Volunteers,
and ladies and gentlemen,
I welcome all of you to the headquarter of KOICA this morning.
Every single person who visits KOICA says
the very same thing to me :
“Wow, KOICA must be very rich.
Look at this vast and rich landscape KOICA is standing on”
Frankly speaking, KOICA is actually not that rich.
I mean money wise.
However, although we are not rich economically,
we feel rich by all the trees and flowers
that are surrounding us,
and more by our good friends who are with us today,
Peace Corps Volunteers.
Thank you President Gerard for coming back
with our Peace Corps friends.
I know today is the last day of your trip to Korea.
I hope you had a wonderful time meeting people and
seeing places that you are familiar with.
I can also guess that you would have been surprised and
felt some pride about the change that happened
during the past 50 years.
Quite a development isn’t it?
Truly, Korea achieved economic and
social development in a rapid pace.
And we are more than thankful about
the United States and its citizens for lending hand
when we were desperate for development.
When we were poor and needy,
we dreamed of an American dream through Peace Corps.
A dream for economic and democratic development.
Today, like Korea to the U.S.,
many developing countries are dreaming a Korean dream.
When we mention Korea’s development,
Economic development is widely taken as a synonym.
However, Korea’s development wasn’t achieved
single handedly by economic growth.
It was available because democratization that puts
people at the center developed hand in hand.
To this end, we are more than thankful to
Peace Corps for letting us know about the value of democracy.
Sustaining peace and development would not be available
without those values.
Koica will fully utilize the lessons learnt from Peace Corps
when delivering our development experience to
Not only economic development experience,
but democratic values as well.
There is one more thing that I want to thank you.
To better understand about the U.S.,
we were eager to become more fluent in English.
Thanks to Peace Corps being a perfect English teacher,
we were able to obtain English skills perfectly, just like me.
Like us in the past,
developing countries are eager to learn Korean.
Although Korean is a difficult language to learn,
Nowadays, there are many youngsters
who are fluent more than I am.
Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.
I have more than a mountain to say,
But I think it is time to stop here.
It requires great skill and courage to finish a welcoming speech.
More difficult than learning Korean.
I would like to thank you once again for your hard work
and dedication for Korea, and for visiting us today.
You are welcome here anytime, anywhere.
I also extend my appreciation for
Director 최현수 from Korea Foundation
and WFK volunteers for your valuable time.