Tag Archives: health

Korea adventure – day #2: some university facilities


Orientation day was on Monday July 2nd and for me, unquestionably, was interesting. The Office of International Affairs at Ajou University (AISS, photo below) has put a considerable effort into organising this summer school. Below is the photo of AISS team.


At the time of the speeches I was touched by the following facts:

  • How Korea has transformed itself in a short period of time (more on this later)
  • AISS goal to have personalized attention (100% accurate!)
  • AISS goal to support learning, networking and an unforgettable summer together

AISS is looking forward to support the tomorrow leaders. All this increases the honour that I have to teach in this summer school!

The building where we had our orientation session, Jonghap Hall, besides to be pleasant, it has a new furniture system for me. Pay attention to the photos below:


korea_post02_04The chairs are secure to the floor, and you can only pull them backwards, as due to springs the chairs are pushed forward automatically. New system for me.

Today I had my first korean food in Korea. The photo was taken once we all have our serving and it was delicious!

korea_post02_02 korea_post02B_1 korea_post02B_2 korea_post02B_3Also we tour the University Campus, and in this post I want to stress particularly on the Ajou University Hospital.

Today has been raining and before getting into the hospital those who have umbrellas should wrap them with plastic bags. In the next photo a student is placing the umbrella inside a device and then pull it so that the umbrella is wrapped with plastic. There are two sizes as umbrellas, concequently the device handles both: small or large umbrellas.


Next photo you can see the student’s umbrella perfectly wrap. No dropping water from umbrellas inside the building!


It was interesting to notice that the student who was giving us the tour got surprised that all of us, international guests, were amazed with the this new umbrella system for our eyes.

There are more new things for me in here. In this hospital patients can shop! There are stores, as if  it is a small mall at the underground level of the hospital.  In the following photo, which unfortunately is blurry, one can even find a Burger King (in the photo is the store on the far left with the sign in red).


The following photos are at the lobby of the hospital. There is  a cafeteria and you can see patients with their serum walking around. I try to highlight that with a read circle in these blurry photos.


On the right is the “front” desk or informs.


Outside the hospital are considerable amount of wheelchairs. What a contrast with other locations where infrastructure is lacking, as I remember on some of my previous  hospital adventures.


Summarising, the facilities of the hospital are impressive.


And no all is digital! 😉 but still impressive.


One cannot read the next photo, but it was taken to illustrate the different facilities inside the hospital building, including restaurants.


Inside the campus all have a name, and that is how one offer directions.



More tomorrow….

beyond games…

My research is in Hypercontextualized Games (HCG), and this blog is mainly finding myself within my research that, in itself, is a challenge. But after the last two weeks, I saw how my PhD education is influencing my daily perception of things…. let me explain.

So far I have lived in four complete different countries, and visited over 25 more (I am a lucky one, I know). I refer to live in a country when I have been a minimum of two years without interruptions in the same city. Two years, in my opinion, gives an opportunity to start to merge with the host culture. Actually it is needed more time to merge, but in two years one goes beyond the novelty of the first year to find oneself in a context that is not “new” anymore in the second year.

Now, I do not consider myself an ethnographer, because I get involved with my new country, with the locals, I make empathy with them, I make friends, I join their culture, I make roots.  I do not compare my host country in anyway with a previous one, because each place is unique. Each of my countries is part of me. I am not in a country to analyze it with an “objective” reference point or research agenda; instead I live my new country and I merge with its culture as much as I can. It is my country too, I grow with it. Nevertheless, I admit that to have roots in different locations allow me to perceive similar things from different perspectives. I give a value to it, and for me that is a gift of discovery.

Perhaps due to my recent research training, in the last weeks while I was in Mexico (due to an emergency), and after 10 continuous years to be out of the country, I documented events and things with an ethnographic influence. One example is a reflection of the ICT system in the Mexican health system.

In México we have very good medical doctors. For example the hospital I was “working” the first days of November,  Hospital Juarez carries different types of medical research. The hospital has an ICT infrastructure. From my perspective, according of what I notice,  it is used for charging the fees and host the website. The clinical data is handle on paper (hard copy). Perhaps, under an official visit at a directive level I would have seen a wider use of the ICT, but I was a patient’s family member, hence my perception of the ICT system is from the bottom-up.

Hospital's shelves of clinic histories

Hospital's shelves of clinic histories

On Dec 11, while waiting for some medical information, I confirm that ICT by itself will not help to develop a person, or organization or a country. I waited for HOURS (literal), the secretary did not have a PC and all her work was convey on paper. At some moment she decided that it was time for a break and left a note that she will be out for an hour for breakfast. Then, I started to wonder (I had enough time for that) how a PC would have changed that behavior? How ICT would help to improve the situation? (you know be involved in a research group of Educational Technologies with strong influence in ICT4D, well invite you to think in this stuff)

Secretary desk. It says: Lunch break from 10 to 11

Secretary desk. It says: Lunch break from 10 to 11

Honestly, the ICT alone would not have changed a thing. I can imagine the  same desk with a PC instead of her notebooks and still making me wait per hours, and still a note saying: “breakfast time from 10 to 11”.  Perhaps the paper work system could be done more efficiently if it is in a digital format, assuming that the program matches and hopefully improves the actual administrative system.  Hence, a probability to reduce waiting time could be present. But honestly, it is needed to improve the attitude of the public servants even before the ICT implementation. Increasing their education and attitude before, during and after an ICT implementation is mandatory.

Still, I am thankful with this specific secretary,  because thanks to her my issue was solved on the same day instead to wait several days. Even though I was only picking up one paper which should have been ready even a day earlier.

However the hours of waiting made me realized and confirm that the technology by itself will not trigger “development”, “innovation”  or change things anywhere. It does not matter if it is Mexico, USA, Finland or Timbuktu. From my perspective, to promote development, innovation and changes we need to observe and understand things from two perspectives: from a top-bottom level AND from the bottom-up level too. The task is not simple.

One step at the time!

each day can be a celebration day – it is up to us

Hmmm…. for me “New Years” is like the earth’s birthday. Humans made it up, as we have no idea when our planet born but anyway humans celebrate together this day. Most of the people in this season are happy and with good energy, however it is possible to find depression too, which is understandable. However, what it is common and easy to see in this period is: the reflection of  what people did on the year that is finalizing and thinking in their personal wishes and/or new intentions for next one. Example of this is at the beginning of each year exponential amount of promises about: lose weight, finalizing things, do sports, etc. are present.

My “New Years Celebration” or my way to celebrate our planet’s birthday, as many cultural things and events  has been mutating. This is understandable as I am moving around in our western hemisphere, adapting and merging with different special persons and traditions, then for me it is not a unique way to celebrate and I enjoy a moment.  But this “New Years”, as in my 2009 birthday (yes I am THAT old 😉  ) had not a visible party, and still it offered me a magical moment of existence. Writing about this makes me remember about the book of Marlo Morgan, “Las voces del desierto“, highly recommended.

In brief, few hours after I reached Joensuu on  Dec. 31st I hurt my eye with my contact lenses. Oh man!!!! It hurts!!!  On the 010110 = the first day of 2010, I went to the hospital. Thanks to the life was nothing serious just a small “erosion” or scratch in my eye due to my lack of care. Gina was taking care of me, from the distance, and actually she sent me to the hospital since the 31st. I was stubborn to do not go, but I paid my dues for that decision.

The right eye is healthy but connected to the sick one, thus the perception of any light was VERY painful, even to look the hour on my phone was a challenge.  Any movement of the eye hurt.  As a result my both eyes must keep closed and still. I realize how dependant I am of my eyes.

In this process I was able to listen more carefully.  That was interesting, rich and enjoyable. I knew my eyes will be back, and I truly trust in Mikko who took me to the hospital, therefore I had no worry  just experiencing my “sick” state and focusing in recovering ASAP! .

Then, my “New Years” was not a noisily party, instead it was a  discovery-celebration of all what I have.  We live in a magical planet that we do not observe and less listen to, very sad indeed. And I am blessed to have my wonderful chassis 😉  I will not win a beauty contest, which it is fine with me as long as  I am healthy, complete and my body cope with my exploring craziness. I am blessed 😉

Without a doubt, I can celebrate every single day! 😉 and I think all of us could! 🙂

calm full of life

PS3 and Wii sequel…

Continue with the phenomena produced by these new products.

From the side of PS3, it seems the lovers from the belonging of others, were also in a hurry to get some devices at any price, as you can see in this article.

And from Wii’s side, well you just should be careful with your TV when playing with it. However, it seems it will be a special bonus for the one who finds a good video of an accidental punch between players, it is up to you guys!!! here is the call