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.
We held our first meeting of the new year at Chosabi’s in Winnipeg. We have a couple of events coming up in the next couple of months: namely, we are planning to have a Japan panel at next month’s Winterfest (a.k.a. Ai-kon Lite), and a March screening of a documentary commemorating the Great Tohoku Earthquake. If you are a JET alumni who would like to get involved, please let us know!
Afterward, via Skype, JETAA Prairies members talked to a JET alumni in Saskatchewan and would like to contribute to JETAA. One of the challenges for JETAA Prairies is to connect and work with JET alumni living in Saskatchewan. However, the distance and transportation costs are always a barrier. As a result, JETAA Prairies don’t have an enough presence in Saskatchewan. Hopefully, we can slowly change this in the upcoming future.
A Piece of History
Lastly, after we concluded our Skype teleconference, we went through this bin of old JET Prairies materials. Most materials looked like they are mostly from the early 2000s. Then we found this disc that said “JET Video”. Our curiosities peaked. What was this? We popped it into a player. We were not disappointed.
It looked like an informational, yet casual, video of JET Program life, particularly in the southern island of Kyushu. The fashion was definitely early 90s and in one of the scenes, there was a timestamp of “1993”. All of us were in awe. The best way to describe the video: combine JET informational content with the aesthetic of 90s skateboard videos done in 8mm.
There were nice sceneries of Fukuoka and a shot of an ice hockey game. There were also some strange scenes in the video. The most hilarious part was when a JET participant and her Japanese friend were talking about their art exhibit. The JET participant tried to explain the theme of their art but couldn’t explain very clearly. Her Japanese friend also made an attempt….and said the art being “something sexual”. Then for some reason, the editor of the video decided to loop that sound clip three more times.
All of us were so enamoured by this video that we decided to reach out to one of the hosts. Hopefully, we can get the complete story (or a sequel). This video made our night, at least, made my night. To all of our JET senpais: WE SALUTE YOU!