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.
For the month of February, JET Programme alumni members in Manitoba/Saskatchewan kept busy in February by holding Japanese language classes for its alumni and participating in an anime convention.
JETAA Prairies held Japanese language classes for its alumni members in downtown Winnipeg. What did we do? We reviewed/practiced our vocabulary, grammar, and actively applying it in casual conversation. This was a good opportunity to refresh our Japanese skills – especially in a city like Winnipeg where there’s limited chances to use Japanese.
Winterfest: Aikon’s Little Sibling
On Saturday, February 22nd, 2020, JETAA Prairies members had a table setup at Wintefest (the mini-version of Aikon) at the RBC Convention Centre. Meanwhile, in the spirit of the convention, a few of our members cosplayed during the day-long convention. For example, one of our members dressed up as one of the characters from the cartoon, Gravity Falls, and another one dressed up as one of the characters from Game of Thrones. Unsurprisingly, the anime map of Japan was in huge demand. Unfortunately, we only had one copy left (i.e. the display copy) as we didn’t get new copies of the maps in time. Well, next time.
Annual General Meeting: March 7th, 12pm, at Brazen Hall
Our next event will be our Annual General Meeting, It will be held at Brazen Hall Kitchen and Brewery at 12pm, March 7th, 2020. See you all there!
Event: Annual General Meeting/AGM
Date: March 7th, 2020
Location: Brazen Hall Kitchen and Brewery, 800 Pembina Highway
This past Sunday, JETAA Prairies and the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba presented Japanese Christmas Chicken Event. Around 20 people showed up to feast on fried chicken, fries, salad from KFC. More importantly, this was the first-ever event of its kind held by JETAA Prairies.
But that wasn’t all: another staple of Japanese-style Christmas is Christmas cake. Yes, we had cake for everybody and plenty of it!
Were we done? No. Not so surprisingly, we concluded the night with some karaoke via the karaoke app, Karafun. Yes, we did the full Japanese experience on a snowy day in Winnipeg.
2019 has been a very active and busy year for everyone at JETAA Prairies. This first-ever event was the perfect way to close out this past year. Everyone at JETAA Prairies would like to thank the people at JCAM for helping co-presenting this event.
Finally, we would like to extend our sincerest wishes to everybody in the JET alumni community and the many people whom crossed paths with this past year. Happy holidays, everybody!
This past Friday, JETAA Prairies hosted its second annual Japan Trivia and Networking Night at the Japanese restaurant, Dwarf no Cachette, in Winnipeg. JET alumni, JET prospects, and Japanese ex-pats/exchange students mingled for the next two-and-a-half hours over great Japanese food while testing their general knowledge about Japan in a relaxed atmosphere. More importantly, this trivia is non-competitive: it’s all about fun.
So, what’s the trivia’s format? Firstly, three teams of four were made on the spot. Secondly, the trivia had two halves of 20 questions each. So, what did the quiz masters ask? A variety of random questions. To clarify, here is a sample of some of the questions (for the answers, please look at the end of this post):
1)”What is the nickname for the test trains that are used on the Japanese Shinkansen?
2)”Who ‘sparks joy’ from Japan?”
3)”What video game company did Hideo Kojima leave in 2015?”
After finishing the quiz, participants told quiz masters that they really enjoyed the event. For example, one participant (who came to last year’s trivia event) said she enjoyed this year’s edition more than last year’s. Also, the other participants who came for the first time have said that it was really fun and enjoyed the questions.
Our next event will be on December 15th for our Christmas Event. This event is for alumni. Likewise, please stay tuned for more details.
Lastly, JETAA Prairies would like to thank Dwarf no Cachette, the University of Winnipeg East Asian Languages and Cultures Program for sponsoring the event, and to those who came out for the event. See you all next year!
Do you like Japan?! How about Japanese food?! Are you genki for some trivia?! Why not all three?!
JETAA Prairies is hosting its second annual Japan Trivia & Networking Night (sponsored by The University of Winnipeg East Asian Languages & Cultures Program). Interestingly, this year, it will be at the local favourite, Dwarf no Cachette Cafe & Gift, on Provencher.
How To Prepare
Above all, this event is open to the public and not just exclusively for JET Programme alumni. In the meantime, please check out last year’s Trivia & Networking Night. To prepare yourself, we suggest you to check out news sites like The Japan Times, blog sites like SoraNews24, and of course, good ol’ Wikipedia. But remember, this event is for fun and nothing is really at stake. Just a good excuse to unwind after a busy week and get ready for the weekend.
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.
We need JET alumni to be present at our booth at the Japanese Pavilion for Folklorama. Here’s the information below: Location: Petrus Hall | 2624 Inkster Blvd. Dates: Sunday, August 11 – Saturday, August 17, 2019 (Folklorama week 2) Times: 5:30pm to 10:30pm *Show times are 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm Sunday to Friday and 5:15, 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm on Sat. If we can get more than 2 volunteers per day, we can split the time up as only 2 staff are needed at a time. Japanese Pavilion link: https://www.folklorama.ca/find-a-pavilion/54?pavilionId=54
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!