After I returned from Fiji, my main focus and excitement was towards the trip of a lifetime; a conference trip to Korea. This was going to be my first time travelling to Hawaii and Korea. Surely, this trip was a memorable one not only because I have been to places I’ve never been before, but also the life lessons I picked up on this trip. I learned to do laundry, manage my allowances, and most importantly, taking care of myself in a really big world. During the first part of summer, I attended math classes with Mrs. Park and consistently went to the gym.
There wasn’t much going on at this time of my summer vacation, aside from preparations for the trip to Fiji to get my U. S Visa done. It was at the end of June where excitement came into place. It was the moment I’ve been waiting for because there was nothing else to look forward to in the beginning of the month of June. Aside from math tutor, going to the gym was the other part of my summer program in the beginning of the month. I was always looking forward to go to Korea every time I hear Mrs. Park discussing about the conference. So basically, the first part of my summer was boring and full of excitement at the same time.
I was glad when August came around because it meant that one more week and I’m off to Fiji. The whole first week of August, my mind was already on vacation. Sometimes, I would be sitting in my room, and just dream about all the things I would do in Fiji. I was really excited to go back home because I really wanted to see my family members and close friends. My trip to Fiji was initially planned for one week but due to unavailable slots for interviews that week, I had to stay for another week. During the trip, my Mom and I were able to fit other things we planned to do while we there. We managed to get an interview slot at the U. S Embassy which was the main reason why My mom and I were there.
On the day of my interview, we were informed that the machine that was used to print the visas had some technical difficulties so the Embassy was not able to print any visas at that time. The good thing going was that my visa was approved and all was left was it to be printed. Aside from the main purpose of this trip, I was able to spend time with my Mom’s side of the family because usually, when we go a family trip back home, we always spend time with my Dad’s family. I made use of the opportunity I had and spent most of my time with my Mom’s family.
This trip not only was to get my visa done but it was a time to build a stronger relationship with my Mom’s family. Everyone knows that all good things always come to an end. It was a really sad moment when I bid my family farewell. All that was going through my mind at the time, was of the provision that Our Father in heaven had bestowed upon us and given us the opportunity to have a stronger bond with my family members. But all the excitement didn’t end there. I still had another trip to look forward to. Since my trip to Fiji was extended, I only had one week before I traveled to Korea for the math conferences I was to attend.
My mom and I arrived on a Sunday, which was five days away from the trip to Korea. On that week, I had to get all my traveling documents prepared and all my clothes sort out to pack. It wasn’t that much of a hassle, but boy was it stressful. On the day before our departure, I was informed that there were two tropical cyclones headed for Hawaii. At that moment, all I had in mind and hoped for was that the cyclone will turn around or pass Hawaii. Gladly, I was informed that the cyclone had passed and the flights are not cancelled. From that moment, my mysterious adventure to the big world had begun.
There were six of us who were involved in this trip. Four of us were students, our math teacher, and my classmates’ parent as a chaperone. Three of us came from here and met up with my classmate in Hawaii who was at Arizona for vacation. The two other people took the lead to Korea and waited for us there. We spent one day in Hawaii and headed on our way to Korea. Upon our arrival, we were so captivated and amazed at the sight of buildings and the advancement in technology. Talking about advancements in technology, there was wireless WiFi available everywhere we went.
From a person coming from an island with a population of sixty thousand, Korea was a really big leap. What really captured my attention was how people would be walking on the streets with their phones in front of their faces. To me, it was new because here in Samoa, we barely see anybody walking around and their attention is on the phone. We might think that it’s crazy to do such thing, but it was absolutely normal in Korea. The main purpose of our trip was to attend two math conferences. One was the ICM Conference and the second one was Bridges 2014.
The ICM Conference was mainly for mathematicians and math professors but we sat in lectures from Fields Medalists recipients. It was a great experience to hear about how these mathematicians struggled to achieve their goals. It was inspiring yet challenging to hear people who started from scratch, came from broken homes, but managed to receive the Fields Medal. The second conference however, was a much livelier and a much interactive conference. We also attended lectures and attended a ming session that was all about math. The Bridges had an art gallery that was painted by mathematicians who make art pieces that relate to math somehow.