¡Hola! ¿Como están?
This is Dora Lopez, your new News Editor! I’d like to take a few moments out of your incredibly busy and emotionally fulfilling day to have you read this article, which is sure to fill you with even more emotions! Come with this exploradora as we investigate the new council members!
What are these strange people’s motives for voluntarily joining this organization? Could it be they’re just really nice people who want to give back to a community of equally nice people? Or is something more sinister at work?
Does the Co-president, Elizabeth Eckers, have the makings of a megalomaniac bent on reigning over the Fukushima ex-pat community with an evil, mustache twirling Co-President, Steven Thompson, as the muscle behind her influence? Is Mark Noizumi, Treasurer Extraordinaire, competent at math? Does Webmaster Anna actually own the internets? Are all our akabekos belong to her? And why is Marketing and Publications Director, Xan Wetherall, so damn genki? Who’s her dealer? Is Volunteer Coordinator, Jason Ishida, a samurai [insert that’s racist.gif] And more importantly, is it true that Charity Fundraiser, Galileo, runs a sweatshop where he forces his growing population of turtles to make hundreds of I 福島 T-shirts?
With absolutely truthful and non-sensational reporting, this completely reliable editor will tell you the answers to these questions and more. On with the introductions!
Co-president Elizabeth Ekers (i:kərs, first E is like in ear, and second E is like in elk)
She’s a kind soul whose only aim is to brighten up the lives of all humans on this earth. And she kicks ass. In a recent interview, Liz, as she likes to be called, has admitted that one of her goals as co-president is “WORLD DOMINATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Aside from that humble ambition, she expressed her intention to, “[get] to know the JET community better… while helping others, improving her organization skills, and trying out a leadership role.” Indeed, she’s working on a skill set necessary for her global takeover. She “would like to be a friendly, open person that people are willing to turn to.” With a track record that can put any benevolent dictator to shame, she is ready to lead Fukushima’s expat community towards greatness.
Co-president Steven Thompson (no unexpected pronunciation here)
He’s from the sunshine state of Florida, but he’s not from Miami which, according to rapper, Pitbull, is the only place that matters. The ever so focused Steven declares, “as FuJET co-president/vice-president/executive of height awareness, I’d like to ensure that JETs and all Fukushima ALTs can get involved and participate in the things that they are passionate about. We have so many great, intelligent, good-looking people here. That constitutes a powerful resource for our individual communities, as well as Fukushima as a whole. By working with the rest of the FuJET council, I want to help JETs not only connect with one another, but with Fukushima, and Japan as a whole.” He said this all in one breath, of course. After a second breath, he continues “Oh, and to act as a filter between Liz and the common man. To soften the blows she may deal as her power grows and all in all be kind and gentle to all things great and small.” Yes, that does rhyme. All (however tall) centimeters of him are ready and waiting to take Fukushima to new heights!
Mark Noizumi has been treasurer for two years now, thereby proving his mathematical abilities. He claims that he “originally joined FuJET with world domination in mind… but he quickly realized that alas, FuJET has very little pull in the world domination scene.” With a quiver of fear, he whispers, “Don’t tell that to Liz though. That’s how we convinced her to run this year.” Ever the pragmatist, however, Marks says, “after realizing that FuJET would not further my maniacal aims, I quickly just settled in for the money counting. I spent entire days counting FuJET money one yen at a time.” When asked if perhaps there isn’t a better way to count than just yen by yen, he acquiesced that “it would be faster to use a calculator or spreadsheet, but I believe in good old fashion methods that involve counting things out on my fingers.” With all his expert counting skills, he’s here to balance checkbooks, pay the right people and exercise his furikomi prowess!
The illustrious Xan Wetherall is also no stranger to the FuJET council and, as the Marketing and Publications Director, will now be using her mad skills to make us some money, which she will then give to Mark so he can count it. “You can trust that, as your newly-appointed publications manager, I’ll be aiming to sell kanji guides and flash cards as fast and as numerously as those tissue distributors pass out their packets!” asserted Xan with a blinding grin and two thumbs up. With sparkles in her eyes, she says, “my goal this year is to get an easy Japan cooking guide prepped and printed for FuJET sales!” And with a glimmer of evil in her smirk, she reveals, “Finally, my secret, inside goal is to usurp Liz as Prez, and rule over FuJET with an iron fist and all the perks!….”’
The lovely Anna-Louise George is our Web Master for the second year and she has got some great ideas for the website. And just to clear up any rumors, she does, in fact, own the internets. This year, her goals are to “make the FuJET website a great online resource for JETs and to show the wider community that Fukushima is a great place to live.” She’s got many ideas in order to realize this, including using photos taken by JETs to “improve Fukushima’s image in the international community.” She’s got the vision and needs some manpower so if you’re interested in helping, let her know at email@example.com or the comments below!
Next up is our Volunteer Coordinator, Jason Ishida. Jason is on his 5th year here in Fukushima and although he’s already done so much for the prefecture, he’s got more to give! “We have established an organization called Eyes for Fukushima (E4F) and we are working on making it an official NPO,” he says. “The main goal of E4F is to help organize and fund events and projects which help our beloved prefecture in any way that we can. The JET community has shown great interest in organizing events so Eyes for Fukushima will be a vehicle by which we can do this.” True to his word, he’s already got plans for numerous events, “such as hanami BBQ, a pro baseball game with Iris Orphanage kids, a summer camp for kids on the coast, and a charity basketball game.” And his ideas don’t end there! On behalf of E4F, he says, “We encourage everyone to donate money to E4F and better yet, to come up with your own ideas for events/projects/fund raisers! Please submit your proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org” Jason is your go-to guy for any charitable endeavors you want to realize. This man may very well be the most altruistic samurai ever. Ready to serve, he says, “I’m excited about this upcoming year and all that we will accomplish together!”
Lastly, we’ve got our Charity Fundraiser, Galileo Yuseco. Reports indicate that he treats his turtles kindly and the only part they’ve had in the making of the ‘I akabeko Fukushima’ shirts is the constant moral support they’ve lent Galileo. The design is all his own and he intends to put his creativity to good use in order to “bring everybody closer together in perfect, peaceful harmony,” he says. “I’ve got a group of people helping me out this year and I think we will make a big impact in Fukushima.” Backed with an army of turtles and driven by his love for alpaca, Galileo is determined to help the JET community help Fukushima! “I hope to encourage everyone to participate actively in the events we host. Increase the peace.”
With a council made up of such incredible people, you can bet your bottom yen that this is going to be a great year in Fuku. I’ll be around to report it but should you feel an indescribable urge to write up an article, any article at all, about Fukushima and your experiences in the ken, I will certainly editor it! Just email me at email@example.com. And if you have any other contributions you want to make, just talk to any of the council members and they will be happy to help you make your dreams come true out!