I’ve spent the last few days with the Midwest Alliance for North Korean Refugees. Monday night I gave a speech before the organization and their friends. I arrived early, wondering again if anyone would show up. Unlike speeches in South Korea where it is easy for people to hop on the subway and follow the step-by-step directions we usually make for participants at our events, I wasn’t even sure where the location was.

Yes, it was going to be like a fireside chat! Or you may have your own caption, such as: “TNKR on fire.” “Casey Lartigue on the hot seat.”

It almost seemed like that during the speech. Unlike many audiences in Seoul who patiently wait for me to wrap up my remarks, this audience was interrupting me during my speech! They had many questions, and I had plenty of answers!

I was speaking before an informed audience, so it was a fantastic exchange. I wish we could have had more time.

It is always amazing to me when people come out to hear me speak. I’m not a celebrity or someone just chit-chatting. I’m talking about what I’m doing, and trying to get others involved. Who likes a speaker encouraging people to do some work?

The next day, I met with several of the board members of the Midwest Alliance for North Korean Refugees. Most of them had attended the talk the night before, so they had a much greater understanding about what TNKR was doing. They had so many wonderful compliments about TNKR, they can see that we are doing great and practical work.

We discussed practical ways we could collaborate in the future. It was fantastic having the opportunity to meet the board. They are all busy people, but they took the time to meet to find a way they can collaborate with us.

But it wasn’t just meetings and speeches! They wanted to make sure I ate all of the good food that I wanted to eat.

During this trip a number of people tried to take me sight-seeing. The Minnesota people were the only ones strategically located near the area where singer Prince ruled for several decades. Unlike on most tours, I didn’t complain once as we drove around visiting places where Prince played music, grew up, lived and worked.

Lillie News article with a lot of praise about it all.