Ursula Schweizer, handicraft teacher, spent two weeks in North Korea to teach the technic of wool felting in different schools for handicapped children.
“It was ingenious! This land is so beautiful. The rice paddies are turning yellow just now and I asked my interpreter all about rice growing, the life, the habits and interests of the Korean people. And they in turn asked me all about Switzerland. After a short time, when I was even accompanied to the toilet, I was able to develop a good relationship to my guides.
My core task was to teach the art of wool felting in various schools for handicapped pupils.
It was a true success! In the first school there were only deaf children and they were extremely talented and highly motivated.
At the second school the four teachers joined in too. This had some effect on the creativity of the pupils but I didn’t enjoy the work there any less.
They now know all about the basics and the different technics of felting, how to build plain surfaces and more difficult forms. They were learning so fast! Being deaf and having one sense less means that all the knowledge has to come from exact observation and gifted dexterity. They will do great in the future.
The director of the village shop thinks the same and she already asked if they could produce for her. She is sure the products will sell well.
I enjoyed the weekends too: We went hiking or visited shops where foreigners cannot usually go shopping. On Sunday, I went to the small church.
I am full of impressions of every kind and I have still a lot of questions. All in all I have to say: What I met there was not the image our media moulds.
I do not like the fact that the people in North Korea are misled but they are protected from all the hustle and bustle and the abundance of the western world – and this is not that bad! It seems to me that the Korean people are very well preserved.
Of course, I have lost my heart to North Korea. This is probably natural if one was once there and saw it all. We were all sad when we had to say good-bye at the end.
Communication without words – what only a smile can say …