A world in common | VailDaily.com

A world in common

CVR Korean Exchange PB 9-19-12

EAGLE, Colorado – A group of South Korean Rotarians are learning a little about Western Colorado, and local Rotarians are learning volumes about them.

The five South Korea Rotarians has been touring Western Colorado businesses as part of a Rotary Group Study Exchange.

Wednesday they toured local industries to get a fix on how we do it – whatever it is – around here.

“They’re coming to learn a little about Eagle,” said Bert Roy with the Western Eagle Valley Rotary Club.

Kwon-Ha Kim, for example, is a pharmacist. He’ll hang around with John Geddes at the City Market pharmacy Thursday.

Seon-ok Kim and Hyun A Im are in the floral industry and will tour the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

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Woo-seok Park is a bolt and nut manufacture wholesaling for the South Korean ship building industry and will take a look at the American Gypsum wallboard plant in Gypsum.

Zip lining tops the South Koreans’ agenda for Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a great experience for them and us,” said Bob Westfall with the Western Eagle Valley Rotary Club.

Wednesday afternoon they brought a little South Korea to Eagle.

Group leader Seon-ok Kim has 35 years experience as a flower designer, and was joined by other members of the group in presenting a traditional fan dance and flower arranging demonstration.

Preparation is everything and they spent two hours setting up for Wednesday’s show.

Seon-ok Kim is the president in the Rotary Club in South Korea. She’s a renowned and award winning floral designer whose business makes her a regular visitor to the U.S.

Sun is a renowned floral designer.

They started their local tour Wednesday afternoon with a look at what we’ll call the local industrial arts – the county’s recycling center at the landfill in Wolcott, and the U.S. Post Office in Eagle.

“They have a totally different perspective,” Westfall said.

They appreciated the local recycling center is a remarkable piece of engineering, Westfall said.

The post office was another matter for Sun Ok Kim.

“She couldn’t believe we don’t have mail delivery to our homes,” Westfall said.

Rotary District 5470 covers most of Western Colorado. The South Koreans arrived in the district Sept. 1 and have been riding around looking at the West.

The young professionals from South Korea have visited businesses in Colorado Springs, Durango, Montrose and arrived in Eagle from a stop in Carbondale. From here they head to Buena Vista on Friday.

The businesses they’re visiting are as varied as the South Koreans themselves.

In Grand Junction, for example, they visited Carlson Vineyards, Enstrom Candies and The Daily Sentinel newspaper.

Eventually they’ll make their way to the regional Rotary meeting in Colorado Springs.

The five members were selected from South Korea’s District 3720 in Ulsan, located east of the Kyung Sang Nam Do Province, in South Korea.

The Rotary Group Study Exchange’s goal is to help promote peace through cultural understanding, Roy said.

Toward that end, the regional Rotary District 5470 is planning to send a Group Study Exchange team to South Korea for a month next spring, beginning March 22.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.