Korean visitor says good-bye to ITD friends,
Soon Jae Yoo and his family will miss beautiful summer weather, extra free time for the children, Boise’s Greenbelt and the city’s libraries when they return to Korea mid-July.
Most of all, Yoo must say good-bye to many friends he’s made since coming to ITD to observe the department’s business and procurement practices as part of The Korean Government Fellowship for Overseas Study.
Before leaving ITD, Yoo and his wife Mi Nyang Nam prepared what he called “a cultural experience” and served a “humble” luncheon of Korean foods to ITD staff members he worked with while in Boise.
People were treated to Bibimbap, a popular Korean dish featuring warm white rice mixed well with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, beef, fried egg and gochujang (chili pepper paste). Also on the menu were Miyeokguk (seaweed soup, a Korean staple) and Soojunggwa, a cinnamon and ginger drink served very cold and offered at special occasions.
“I met a lot of people who have done their duties passionately during the training period . . . who have played a great role in realizing the ITD mission of ‘Your Mobility,’” Yoo said. “It was lucky for me to meet them.”
Citing innovative efforts at work throughout the department, Yoo said, “I’m sure that ITD will be the best transportation department in the country in the near future.
“ITD’s innovative efforts will be an example to my organization to become a world-class professional procurement agency,” he said. “I believe that my organization will be receptive to the new ideas for procurement and purchasing.”
In Korea, Yoo serves as deputy director for the International Cooperation Division of the Public Procurement Service, an agency housed in the Daejeon Government Complex.
Michelle George, senior human resources specialist at ITD, said her correspondence with Yoo began in May 2008. When he arrived at ITD in January, he presented her a miniature gayageum, a traditional Korean zither-like, 12-string musical instrument as a thank-you gift. It is displayed on her office wall as a “wonderful reminder.”
“Now, when I pass by Soon Jae’s cube – that’s what we call it now – I’m surprised not to see him,” George said. “He was great to work with and learn from.”
Human Resources Services will host an international potluck for Yoo before he returns to Korea.
“We want to also share our cultural traditions with him,” explained HRS Manager Mary Harker.