- Kim Ki Young
One day in July, I saw a recruiting notice for interpretation supporters for the “Second International Youth Martial Arts Camp” on the school bulletin board. Because I already had experience in volunteering as an interpreter before and like meeting foreigners, I signed up immediately. In the application form, there were a spaces for writing martial arts experience and the applicant's specialties. I have learnt Taekwondo for 10 years since I was six years old. I think that is why I wanted to be part of the Martial Arts Camp as a supporter more than anybody else. As a big fan of Taekwondo and other martial arts, I really wanted to see martial arts of other countries in person. I wrote “photography” in the space for specialties because it was one of my famorite and most confident activities.
While working as a camp supporter, I had the chance to talk with almost all of the participants. While taking their pictures, I was able to become closer to them. I continued taking photos during the camp and tried not to leave anyone out. Everyone deserved to be in the photo. As a result, I took roughly 1,000 pictures a day.
Every night after the daily schedule, I went home and transferred the photos in the camera to my laptop computer. I deleted out-of-focus, blurry pictures and selected good ones for the camp album. Then I edited them carefully to make the photos stand out. And finally I uploaded them by date to an online folder which was created to collect and share photos of the camp with the participants. As the folders filled up with photos, I felt proud because I felt as if my photogrphy skills were improving. I did my job more diligently, imagining how the participants would smile looking at themselves in the photos taken during their activities.
The participants in this International Youth Martial Arts Camp had a martial arts training session every morning which I desperately wanted to see. During the session, I was busy pressing the camera shutter. I had to capture the moment when the participants danced together, wearing uniforms of various shapes and colors. The martial arts coaches and youths of each country demonstrated their traditional martial arts on stage and had time to teach it to participants from other countries. This was when my favorite photo, which I'm evening using as my background photo on my laptop, was taken. The Bulgarian team “BULKEMPO” did their demonstration and the other participants all followed their movements. I was very lucky to have the chance to see martial arts of multiple countries. On top of it, I was very happy that I could take picture of the scenes taking place.
After the camp I was very tired. My physical strength was completely depleted and I slept all day. But I couldn't feel happier. I had new experience, new friends, and met adorable children. I worked very hard during the five days. I interpreted for the participants and took numerous photos. However, I didn’t feel tired because my work was interesting and I was excited. Officials of the Camp spoke highly of my passion and their praises energized me. They asked me, if I wasn't tired and I answered, “No, I really enjoy my job.”
I learnt a great lesson from this camp: Wherever I go, whatever I do, if I do my best to get the job done, there is a reward. My rewards from these supporting activities are not only lots of relationships and praises, but valuable memories and a deep feeling of fulfillment. I felt I was growing. I think that I'll not be able to forget the memories at the “Second International Youth Martial Arts Camp” for all my life.