Monday May 7 is a holiday in South Korea. For most normal people, that meant many people went traveling over the weekend to take advantage of the three-day weekend. But for TNKR, a three-day weekend meant a weekend of work!

  • Speech by an NK refugee
  • 3 hour discussion with a group visiting from the USA.
  • Magazine interview with TNKR Special Ambassador Ken Eom.
  • Meeting forming an Event Planning Team.
  • Interview with a refugee joining TNKR.
  • Visit from an NK refugee.
  • NK refugee starting her first day in the TNKR office.
  • Tutoring session.
  • Visit from a model who loves TNKR.
  • Visit from a TNKR fan.
  •  Went to pick up four boxes of books from a TNKR fan.

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THEY KNOW TNKR

The highlight of the weekend was a visit by a group visiting from the USA. They admitted at the start, middle and end of the session that they were Casey Lartigue fans. Flattery definitely worked, I talked with them for about 3 and a half hours. And why not? They watched TNKR videos, read my articles, and were eager to learn more. It meant that I didn’t have to waste time on the basics of TNKR, because they already knew and had questions about it. We were then able to examine questions more deeply. It is joyful talking to people who prepare in advance, have great questions, and approach issues from a variety of viewpoints.


3 1/2 hours of discussion about North Korean refugee adjustment to start the day!

I also told them about Hwang In-Cheol’s campaign to have his father released from North Korea.

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Refugees Raising Awareness

TNKR Special Ambassador Ken Eom was interviewed by a reporter for a magazine. I listened for a few minutes, he was engaging and analytical.

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Another refugee who has been improving her English and engaging in public speaking had a great session on Saturday with a group visiting from the USA. She gave her speech in English, then had a translator help her during Q&A. The audience was really engaging, they had many questions and several of them pledged to make donations to TNKR after they returned to the USA.

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Gentle Tutoring

I had planned to take the weekend off, but I came into the office when a tutor and student wanted to study at our office. Laura Ranieri tutors so patiently, making sure her student understands everything before moving on to the next learning target. I felt like I was watching a tutor from the Mrs. Rogers Neighborhood academy teaching a class. Laura is a monthly donor to TNKR, meaning she is helping to build TNKR in addition to giving her time as a tutor.

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TNKR IEP

We had a new student applicant visit the TNKR office for her Individual Education Plan interview. We don’t expect refugees to have perfect answers to all of the questions we ask, but we do want them thinking about the way they can have a good experience in TNKR and also have them thinking about the kind of class they want. TNKR is about self-directed education, we try to develop that kind of mindset from the initial interview. She became a monthly donor.

Another refugee who visited our office also donated to TNKR. It is great that refugees who can do so are donating to TNKR. She spoke briefly to the college students from the USA, she called us “heroes” for North Korean refugees.

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Event Planning

As part of the Volunteer Leadership Academy, TNKR is creating an event planning team. Today is a holiday in South Korea, but we had several volunteers show up, prepared to help us with future events!

Jason West, visiting from the USA, also joined the meeting.

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TNKR fans

In addition to other visitors, several TNKR fans also dropped by the office today. One of the fans has really helped us behind-the-scenes. We even had a model drop by yesterday to encourage us. I also took a break to pick up four boxes of books being donated to us by a fan. We are now planning to have a book sale on May 26, so if you have any books you’d like to donate, contact us.

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