A parade of dignitaries

The past few days have witnessed a parade of dignitaries streaming through Seoul.  Last night I went to a reception honoring the Washington State trade delegation, a group of 86 government and business leaders now in Korea on a trade mission.  Governor Christine Gregoire and University of Washington President Mark Emmert were in attendance.  Unfortunately, neither stayed long at the reception, apparently committed to appear at another function.  They departed before we could exchange words.  Nevertheless, it was fun to meet some fellow Washingtonians as well as Koreans who attended school in Washington State. 
Tomorrow a very important visitor will be in town for a one-day visit with Korean leaders.  I’m busy getting ready for the visit, as are many of my colleagues.  This weekend, yet another U.S. official will arrive in Seoul, and I will pick them up at the airport.  It feels like a veritable who’s who among American political and business leaders.  It’s definitely a happening time to be in Seoul right now.  I’m glad I’m here right now, despite having interviewed my 26,500th individual today.  It is a mental gride interviewing that many people, to be sure, but times when the dignitaries roll in and you play a part in planning and executing logistics make it worth the mental taxation.  I think.

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