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The South Korean Ferry Tragedy

April 24, 2014

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The following blog post might be a little scatterbrained due to the difficulty of handling this topic. For those of you that don’t know, on April 16th, 2014 while heading to Jeju from Incheon, the Sewol Ferry capsized and sunk while carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School located in Ansan City. Around 150 people managed to escape the ferry, but the rest remained trapped in the ship. Divers are still entering the boat but at this point it is no longer seen as a rescue mission, but instead a mission to retrieve the bodies and bring them back to their grieving families.

We, like most people, feel very helpless about the ferry disaster since all we can do is sit and watch the tragic events unfold. We’ve felt hope that people could be rescued at first, and then we lost that hope with every passing day. The families, schools, and friends of all those on the ferry will never be the same again, and this giant loss of life will continue to negatively affect all those touched by this event even after the bodies are found and laid to rest.

We also know this horrible loss has affected many people around the world, not just those living in Korea. Martina and her mom have been exchanging emails and text messages everyday, and even though Martina’s mom isn’t in Korea she, along with Martina, have shed many tears over this tragic loss of life. We mentioned briefly in the video that we have two close friends that lived in Ansan and taught students at those schools, and they are total emotional wrecks. They’ve already attended over three funerals in one day and as we talk to them on the phone it’s clear how helpless they feel as well.

Even though we’re geographically closer than most people are to the scene of the incident, we are in many ways still in the dark. I’ve even heard it said from some people that international coverage of the event is more accurate and have been given examples of such. We’ve been reading a lot of the news about what’s happening. Different news portals, even different forums, all are posting about what’s happening. And every day, some nugget of info we got from the day before dissipates, and new morsels of info are given to us, but we’re a lot more skeptical to bite.

For us, we can read about it and think about it all we want, but we can’t really talk about it publicly. Why? Because we don’t want to be spreading false information. We’re not a news channel. They can easily get their stories wrong and then just go back on air and apologize, rinse and repeat, but us posting videos on YouTube isn’t the same. Once our video’s out there, there’s no Ctrl+Z button. It’s really difficult to undo. And we’re aware that our audience is a bit bigger than that of an online forum, so we’d rather be really careful about something as sensitive as this. Does that make sense? I’m not sure. I just really don’t want to do what the media’s doing, but I want to be able to talk about what’s happening as well, and to explain how serious it is here in South Korea now as a result.

If any of you do know a good charity or something we can donate to, please let us know. We’ve been looking on our end, but it’s really difficult to vet an organization for this. There are bad people out there, some of whom are taking advantage of this situation. I’m not saying not to trust anyone. I’m just asking to be a bit more cautious. We’ll keep you updated if we find any way that anyone can help.

Tomorrow we’re posting a happier video. It’s not of us being silly and goofing around and being insensitive at this time. It’s actually a very big announcement we’re going to make. Perhaps the biggest of our YouTube lives. I know at this time it’s tough to be happy, but hopefully tomorrow we can make some people smile, which is – really – all we hope to do with these videos. If we pass on bits of information along the way as well, fantastic. Most of the time, though, we just want to have fun and make you guise laugh with us as well.

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