This past weekend, Hanppuri, the international Korean student organization on campus, had its annual picnic. Hanppuri, meaning “one root,” is an organization that gives international students at Yale a sense of home and community. With the start of the new school year, we had a bunch of new first years, so I was really excited to meet so many new people.
The picnic was held at Lighthouse Point Park, which is actually a really nice park that is right next to a beach. Though it’s not a beach where you can surf the waves, it has a really nice panoramic view of New Haven. The sunsets are amazing. I’m a board member of Hanppuri, which means we are in charge of planning all the events. To prepare for the picnic, I went with another board member, Andy, to get materials at a local grocery store and started setting up the grill. The rest of the group gathered a few minutes later. While the grill got set up, we went to the beach and played capture the flag. It was a great photo opportunity, too, as the sun was just beginning to set.
After we cooked our patties and our bacon, we all chatted among each other, and it was really nice to meet people I hadn’t met before. For example, I had a conversation with Moses, who had served in the US Marines for four years and had come to Yale as a sophomore through the Eli Whitney program. I also met an exchange student, Danny, from Waseda Universtiy in Japan, who promised to make the best Japanese ramen in New Haven.
After the meal, we realized that sunset was in 10 minutes, so we ran to the lighthouse to catch a glimpse. Unfortunately, clouds were covering up the sun, so we sadly missed it. Interestingly, there was a wedding that had taken place there, and all the chairs were still there, so we decided to have our little photo shoot there, which made for some really nice photos.
After, we all decided to move to a “second round” at my friend Katie’s apartment. These “second rounds” are always my favorite because you get to learn so much about each other and it’s really where conversations take place. Katie also treated us with some ramen at the end - a delicious finish to the night.
Every time Hanppuri holds an event, I get a sense of gratitude and happiness knowing that we have a community of people I can connect with on a deeper level. The people of Hanppuri has become one of my sources of energy when I feel down, and I can always count on them to have my back on campus. I can’t wait to hold our next event soon.