Coming to you from their posh presidential suite, the dynamic duo of Liz Leigh and Cathy Hawker would like to impart some words of introduction, lay out their plans for the year and generally strike a healthy dose of fear into their loving subjects.
My name is Liz Leigh and I am the FuJET president for this year. Luckily, it was an uncontested position so I managed to get it without having to bother with any democratic processes.
I hope you don’t mind!
I wanted to be part of FuJET because I have had a great time joining in with events this year and would like to make sure that continues for all the Fukushima JETs (present and future) in the year to come. I also happen to have a lot of free time at my schools so can finally utilise this in a positive way.
We would like to let you know what we have planned for the upcoming year- pretty much what we would have campaigned for if we had had to!
We want to keep all the main events going from last year since they were all pretty awesome. We are also going to look into making some aspects of them cheaper if at all possible- both Cathy and I speak Japanese so we should hopefully be able to do a bit of extra research.
So this coming year there will still be-
Leavers (cancelling this would be harsh)
Fukushima welcome party
Canyoning (with more canyoning this time)
Nagano Soccer Tournament
Sapporo Snow Festival (Perhaps with ferry one way and flying the other)
After much pestering from a certain dreadlock-haired friend, we are going to have a new event at the end of May- “Mission to the Miz”- where we will go camping in a beautiful area deep in the Miz, have a BBQ and soak up some of Fukushima-ken’s most beautiful nature. And the best thing is? It will be cheap! Only 500 Yen for camping and 700 for the BBQ- fully catering to vegetarians and carnivores. Bring your tent, find a car and get your ass over to the least discovered area of the prefecture.
With a bit of help from the Fukushima CIRs we would like to set up some volunteering prospects for all FuJETs and foreign residents here. If you are interested head over to FuVol.net to check out how you can get involved or if you need any help setting up local volunteering.
I also want to get people involved in volunteering abroad over the holidays. Payments for flights and the trip will be self funded and then fundraising events will be held to give as a contribution to whatever placement we go to. For example, HaJETs had two groups go out to Thailand last year and one of the groups gave over $5000 to the orphanage they stayed in.
Iwaki beach clean. Won’t stop Iwaki smelling though.
We believe your input is invaluable so if you have any ideas or want support just let us know. We are only too happy to help.
I’d like to welcome all the incoming ALTs to Fukushima, and congratulate those of you staying on for another year. Fukushima has a lot to offer and I hope we can make the most of it together.
My name is Cathy Hawker. I’m a soon to be 2nd year ALT from Christchurch, New Zealand. The JET Programme has been on my ‘need to do’ list since I was 16, when I first came here on a high school exchange. This is my fourth time living in Japan and I can say I’m relatively accustomed to the lifestyle here. I also understand the effect culture shock can have. Moving to a completely foreign country is a big deal but an awesome step towards building confidence and spreading your wings. There is such a great network of ALTs in our prefecture who will help make settling in a breeze. The FuJET council is also here for you as a support network.
I decided to run for VP because I wanted to give back to the ALT community; and I like to be a social butterfly. I hope to meet you all over the next few months.
Liz and I are really excited to start our term as your new Pres/VP team, and we’re full of ideas for the year to come. We’re planning extra events as well as the annual favourites. We hope by the end of our term you’ll have explored Fukushima prefecture and beyond. You’ll have the chance to discover the real meaning of ‘land of the rising sun’ atop majestic Mt Fuji, see the big boys fight it out at Sumo, or get back to basics while camping in the great outdoors. Rest assured, we’ll be striving to get the best deal for each event to make them accessible to as many ALTs as possible.
We also want to encourage a sense of community and the volunteering spirit. We’d like to start a donation fund for an education related charity, preferably one involved in teaching English. ALTs can and do make a difference in other countries during their time in Japan.
I’m looking forward to meeting all of you soon. Let’s enjoying Japan!