On April 25th, 2018, the 9th graders of Korea International School (KIS) went to a farm in the Dasarong area to obtain the experience of working and learning from the disabled people. Each grade goes to two Experiential Education (EE) trips every year, once in the fall and once in the spring. The learning opportunities from these EE trips are considered to be an essential component of the High School curriculum in KIS.
[Dasarang Farm, picture taken by Claire Min]
The farm was established by Pastor San 14 years ago to grow healthy and fresh vegetables for his family of disabled people (a.k.a. residents). It has been around 20 years since he met the residents at a disability center. Pastor San suffers from paralysis in the lower body which makes daily walking very difficult for him. In his early life, Pastor San thought he was too much of a burden to his single mother, so one day, he attempted to end his life. However, at the very minute of this tragic act, he believed that he received a call from God in heaven, which is why he refers to himself as “Pastor San.” There are roughly 14 other people that work with him, who all have some sort of mental or physical disabilities. Pastor San loves each individual like his own family, and truly wants to help every one of them to live a happy life.
[KIS students plucking the greenery in the fields, photo taken by Violet Hyun]
When the 9th graders arrived at the farm, we split into two groups: one group plucked the unnecessary greenery; so the next group can plant the potatoes. And the other group wiped out the weeds. I was originally in the plucking group, when a teacher asked me to translate an interview with Pastor San. This is when Pastor San shared many of his stories and about farming and his life. He stated that it takes a much longer time for the residents to do the amount of workload KIS students are doing in one school day due to their physical limitations. Pastor San also explained that he started this farm because in earlier days he and his residents could not afford to buy decent food. They used to eat scraps or foods near the expiration date. Therefore his residents started to grow their own vegetables, potatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, wheat, and many more for their own consumption and now they sell their products at the market for a bit of profit as well. He received much help from the South Korean Seongnam-si Disability center, which made him capable of maintaining his own farm.
The freshman class had a great time helping people with disabilities in a classroom with no walls. Pastor San is a great inspiration to the students and is someone never to forget. All the hard work was worth the muscle pains and tiredness, because the students knew that it is for a good deed.
Korea International School
Claire Min email@example.com
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