East Asia GUE Recreational ITC in Jeju, South Korea

Author: Thomas Jonsson, GUE Instructor, Japan

There are quite a few GUE divers in East Asia at present, and the communities are growing stronger. A year ago we discussed how to further develop our region, and our conclusion was to focus on future leaders and to organize a GUE Recreational ITC. This was probably the best decision we ever could have made.

Planning an ITC turned out to be nothing easy. Suitable dive centers with meeting rooms, nitrox, and double tanks near suitable dive sites were hard to find. We could have made it easy for ourselves and relocated the ITC to a South East Asia resort… but no. We wanted to organize it in our own region. Bang2 Divers Resort in Jeju Island turned out to be a good choice. Mr. Bang, his wife, and his staff worked very hard to make everything go smoothly. Another issue we encountered was how to handle translations into multiple languages. This turned out to become quite time consuming when for example a question was asked in Korean, translated into Japanese before being replied to in English, and then translated back to both languages. Thanks everyone for your patience and hard work with translations!

What really worked out well in this ITC was how everyone helped each other. As Daniel Riordan put it, “During the ITC it was inspiring seeing the candidates helping each other along the way, bringing out what GUE promotes at its base: team work.” I know many of the candidates made good friends with others and many already plan to meet up later on, dive together, and perhaps do projects. This was absolutely true in my case as well.

Personally, I was greatly impressed by how quickly everyone was learning and improving - not only because they were well prepared, but also because they came in with an open mind and the ambition to do their best. Mike DePaula commented on this: “For me the ITC lived up to expectations in terms of being very thorough and demanding, and yet it provided us with a ‘safe zone’ where we could take chances and push boundaries with our presentations to see what worked and what didn't while still receiving helpful and encouraging feedback from the IEs and ITs.” All in all, it was a highly successful ITC, thanks to the whole crew. Now, what could we have improved? Is there anything we should take out? Anything we missed that should be included? The work on making improvements for next years ITC has already started…

IT: Gideon Liew, Richard Lundgren, and Daniel Riordan
IT Candidate: Thomas Jonsson
Instructor Candidates: Ali Fikree, Takashi Tayama, Hyo Young Kim, Seung Chul Oh, Michael DePaula, Greg Anderson, Renato Raseta, Jacob Mellor, Michael Puz, Joakim Hjelm
Translators: Young Cheon Kang, Eriko Jonsson
Dive Center: Bang2 Divers

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