JETAA Singapore, New Friends and Reality Sinking In

By A Yagnya (JET 2014~, Toyama-ken, taken from here: http://iggyinjapan.wordpress.com/ with express permission from the lovely girl herself )

 

JETAA Japanese class

On 29th May 2014 (last thursday), I finally met some people from JETAA Singapore and fellow 2014 Singapore JETs at JCS. And what a lovely bunch of people they are!

We had a lesson about weddings, found out that a sempai was getting married that week, heard vows being spoken in Japanese, learnt how expensive weddings could be, talked about Chinese, Malay and Indian weddings and had so much fun. It was wonderful to meet so many people, with varying Japanese abilities and I learnt so much from everyone.

The kaypoh in me was also very satisfied to FINALLY meet people.

On a more personal note, it was great to know how everyone came from diverse backgrounds. Having interacted with mostly theatre people for so long, I’m psyched to finally expand the walls of my world through JET. : P

Through the JETAA, I’ve also been assigned 2 buddies (both weren’t placed in Toyama, but I’m plenty grateful for all the advice). Exchanging e-mails with them calmed a lot of my frazzled nerves and I’ve gotten a lot of really handy tips. I’ve also met (online) some JET bloggers from Toyama and a Singaporean JET online, and chatting with them has put me at ease.

The fears and questions haven’t disappeared.
I’m still terrified of which school I might get.
What if they hate me?
What if they don’t understand the concept of Vegetarianism?
What if there absolutely nothing for me in that place?
What if I fall really sick in the winter?
What if, what if and more what ifs.
But, life was never meant to be ruled by fear.

And it’s not just fears.
There’s so much excitement bubbling within me at this point.
A different landscape, a new language, fresh challenges, a chance at independence, and, best yet,
A hope for doors to open in the future. 

So, come what may, I’ve resolved to take it as a learning experience. And at least now, I feel a little bit more informed.

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Dinner at the Ambassador’s Residence

By Felicia Lee

Dinner Party Group photoGroup photo of the fantastic company for the evening.

On 2 May 2014, His Excellency, Mr. Haruhisa Takeuchi, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore, hosted a dinner reception at his residence in honour of Mr. Sekiguchi Masakazu, Senior Vice-Minister of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Other distinguished guests who attended the reception were Mr. Seki Hiroyuki, Director-General of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Mr. Uemura Satoshi, Director of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Mr. Komaki Kentaro, Executive Secretary to the Senior Vice-Minister of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Mr. Adachi Masahide, Director of CLAIR Singapore and Mr. Takema Makoto, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Singapore. JETAA Singapore enjoyed the privilege of being invited for this special occasion.

Mr. Takeuchi’s personal chef prepared a delectable 8-course Japanese dinner and most of the ingredients were imported from Japan. For dessert, Mrs. Takeuchi specially prepared the Strawberry Bavarois.

Strawberry Bavarois

The strawberry bavarois specially made by Mrs Takeuchi.

The guests had an enjoyable time chatting over a variety of topics. Mr. Sekiguchi also recommended a popular ramen chain, Hakata Fuuryuu (博多風龍) to the guests. There are about 20 branches in Tokyo serving up tasty tonkotsu ramen with each serving costing ¥550. Diners who are hungry can also request for two times of kaedama (refill of ramen) free of charge!

It was an enriching session for the Japanese officials and members of JETAA Singapore in exchanging views of Japan and Singapore, and group photos were taken at the end of the reception.