On July 4th, alumni from JETAA Prairies held its first pre-departure orientation that was delivered through the web. The software of choice for the web conference was Cisco WebEx. The alumni welcomed the new JETs who are are from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. To wake up the new JETs on the Saturday morning, alumni held a Japan-themed trivia contest using Kahoot!. It was really close as you can see the final scores for the Top 3 finishers.
After that, alumni presented the more useful topics. For example: how to get ready for Japan, planning your introduction lesson and teaching English, making a bucket list, city vs rural living, and studying Japanese. Above all, the common mantra on the JET Programme is “Every situation is different”. Certainly, the collective information and experience that the alumni bring was immensely valuable for the newbies.
Jenna, a current Winnipeg JET, joined the pre-departure orientation live from her home in Saitama Prefecture. During the Q & A, the new JETs asked her a lot of questions about her daily life in Japan, her work, and her living space. What a great way to give a sneak peak to the rookies!
JETAA Prairies would like to thank Jenna and alumni for participating in the pre-departure orientation. Finally, everyone at JET Prairies would also like to send our well-wishes to all the new JETs and wish them good-luck! May we cross paths again in the future!
JETAA Prairies will hold its Pre-Departure Orientation online for the very first time on July 4th, 2020 from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Alumni will present on a variety of topics to help ready the new JETs for Japan. Congratulations to the new JETs and see you all soon.
After a year-long absence, JETAA Prairies (the local JET alumni for Manitoba and Saskatchewan) returned for this year’s Folklorama. The Japanese Pavilion is one of the most popular pavilions. This year’s iteration took place at the large Petrus Hall on Inkster from August 11th to August 17th. Out of the Japanese Pavilion audience who attended the week-long festivities, over 400 patrons visited the JETAA Prairies table.
What’s New at the JETAA Prairies Table?
Coupled with the traditional brochures and pamphlets, we brought back the Japan map and invited the public to place stars on where they’ve been. We also had an ema made of paper and cardboard. An ema is a small wooden plaque found at Shinto/Buddhist shrines. People write their wishes and hang them at a specific place at the shrine. We asked people to write down their wishes. Here are some of their wishes:
The Entertainment and the Food/Refreshments
In terms of entertainment, this year’s Japanese Pavilion provided folk dancing performances, martial arts demonstrations (judo and karate), and even an idol dance group. After those performances, the final act of the show is the thunderous sounds of Hinode Taiko. Also, the Pavilion offered Japanese food like sushi, Japanese beer, and kakigori(shaved ice flavoured with syrup).
A Diverse Group of People
Interestingly, we met a diverse group of people who have Japan as part of their lives. Firstly, we met people who are planning to apply for the JET Programme this year (or the following year). Secondly, we met people who had lived and worked in Japan via a private teaching company and we also met a former JET from the late 90s! Lastly, a teen stopped by and explained that her parents were both JETs! For the most part, JET alumni enjoyed their interactions with the crowd.
By the end of the week, the people filled our Japan map with stars and ema. We even ran out of JET pamphlets towards Friday! Good thing we’ve found a pile of them in one alumni’s home. Above all, JETAA Prairies would like to thank JCAM (Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba) for allowing us to have a presence at the Japanese Pavilion. Likewise, thank you to all the JETAA Prairies volunteers who administered our table.
Over 150 people stopped by at the JETAA Prairies desk over the past weekend at Ai-Kon at the RBC Convention Centre. People of all ages and backgrounds asked questions and picked up free swag. (Also, it does help that a couple of the JETs cosplayed, too.)
In addition, we held a panel/Q&A regarding our wonderful/wackiest stories from Japan. We gave our presentation at the JCAM room and each JET took turns telling their stories. Likewise, at the end of the panel, we invited the audience to share their stories. For example, one member of the audience told a story about when she was in Japan for a school trip, the class accidentally took a wrong turn and found themselves in the red light district.
Interestingly, we met several people who are close to or have already graduated from university. We encouraged them to apply for the JET Programme. More importantly, we only hope that they can apply and we see them at Pre-Departure Orientation. We wish them the best of luck!
Yes, we’re planning for our much-anticipated Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan panel for Friday, July 26th at 7:30pm. The above image is one of our slides for the upcoming panel. Likewise, there will be more material to cover.
In the meantime, we will also try to trend Twitter by inviting people to ask questions before and during the panel by using “#AskaJET”. For example, a potential tweet might be “Hey @jetaaprairies, what are the coolest spots in Japan? #AskaJET”. If you have questions, feel free to give @jetaaprairies a shoutout!
On Saturday, July 13th, JETAA Prairies alumni hosted the newly-selected JETS to a karaoke party. Everyone brought snacks and drinks. At the start of the evening, the new JETs asked questions about Japan and JET alumni advised the new JETs and shared more stories. The night continued by singing our favourite songs.
Next up for the JETAA Prairies: we will host a panel talking about our first-hand hilarious stories in Japan for Ai-Kon on Friday, July 26th at 7:30pm in the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg. See you there! (Please check Ai-Kon’s official website to make sure of final date and time)
This year, the JET Programme selected three people from Manitoba and six from Saskatchewan for the 2019-2020 year. JETAA Prairies alumni held an orientation at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba for the new JETs. Alumni brought the doughnuts, coffee, and lunch for everyone involved in the full-day event. Above all, alumni brought a lot of vital information about Japan and what’s to come.
Alumni talked about what to bring to Japan, how to get involved with the community, and an interactive time-capsule activity where the new JETs wrote their goals for Japan and current emotions (subsequently, alumni will mail these worksheets to the new JETs in December). More importantly, there were surprises for the new JETs. The new JETs tried on yukatas/jinbeis (brought by alumni). Next, alumni Michelle brought her photo albums about her experience on JET in the late 90s and talked about how JET affected her career path. Following that, everyone chowed down on Chosabi sushi burritos.
After that, alumni talked via Appear.in with a current JET, Jenna, who departed Winnipeg last year. She talked about her JET life so far. Interestingly, one of the new JETs is friends with Jenna.
On April 14th, 2019, JETAA Prairies members, met at Izakaya Edokko in Downtown Winnipeg for the Annual General Meeting. JETAA Prairies is the local Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) alumni chapter representing Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Indeed, nine members showed up. We briefly introduced ourselves, and enjoyed the delicious food while talking about Game of Thrones and the Winnipeg Jets.
Afterward, the members reflected on past JETAA Prairies events/activities. For example, we reflected on last year’s National Conference at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, our info booth/panel at Ai-kon/Winterfest, the Japanese language classes for alumni, and the inaugural Japan Trivia Night. Truly, JETAA Prairies had an eventful year.
More importantly, we also voted for the 2019-2020 Executive. The results are:
Ali: Cultural Ambassador
Roger: Senior Advisor
Alastair: Legal Attaché
For the rest of the year, we have upcoming events lined up. For example, we will hold our Pre-Departure Orientation for the new JETs, we will return to Folklorama this year, and many others. Hence: stay tuned. By the way, if you are interested in helping out, even for a little bit, please let us know via our Contact Form.
JETAA Prairies Japan Trivia and Networking Night; Saturday, December 1st, 2018; Start time: 6pm; at Garbonzo’s University of Winnipeg.
We will have our first ever Japan Trivia and Networking Night! We will hold it at Garbonzo’s Pizza Pub University of Winnipeg AnX at 2-471 Portage Avenue. This event is open to all who are interested and not just JET alumni. Teams/tables will answer the questions. We will create the teams depending on the number of people attending. The questions will come from a variety of topics including Japanese history, pop culture, sports, and current events.
If you (and your friends) would like to participate, please send an RSVP with your name and number of guests to rsvp(at)jetaaprairies.ca.