Meet Your New 2013-2014 KumAJET Representatives!
Margo Shine

Favourite Food: ALL FOOD! But I love me a good plate of Nachos.

Blood Type: No clue

Hobbies: Banging the taiko drum all day, hiking/being outside, softball and watching Japanese Dramas...ya know, to study.

If you were an Ice Cream Flavor, what would you be? soft-cream mango!

HEELLLOOOO Kumamoto! You guys, I am so pumped for this upcoming year and hope you are too! This will be my second year as an ALT working in Asagiri town which if you are trying to find it on a map is between that one rice field and that other rice field. BUT living in the country side is beautiful and I couldn’t image my life anywhere else. I teach only elementary and nursery school which means two things: I have a million games up my sleeve AND I like the same Japanese pop stars as 8 year old girls. Mastumoto Jun anyone!? I’m originally from Seattle, Washington USA and after graduating with a BA in Psychology and Sociology wanted to check out someplace different. I love teaching and working with kids and plan on attending graduate school for school psychology. This year I decided to join KumAJET because as a 1st year JET the events allowed me to meet wonderful and interesting people across the prefecture.  I also had the opportunity to volunteer and participate in charity events, which is something I am so looking forward to continuing as a KumAJET leader. Basically KumAJET is A-MAH-ZING and you should be excited to be apart of it!

Let’s enjoying together shall we! よろしくね!

Amanda Kirchhoff
“All life is an adventure”  
-Korean pencil case

Favourite Food: Sweet potato ANYTHING; they’re so versatile!

Blood Type: A+...but don’t ask me what that means.

Hobbies: Baking, Dancing, and leaving video games unfinished

If you were an ice-cream flavour, what would you be: Chocolate chip cookie dough ‘cuz I’m kinda indecisive. Ice cream? Cookies? Both at once!

Hey there! I’m a 2nd year ALT in Uto city which is a convenient suburban area perfect for both going into the city and into nature. I teach at 3 different senior high schools plus 1 connected junior high where I fight tirelessly to change moods from “finethankyouandyou” to the elusive “sleepy,” “hungry,” or maybe even “happy” if I’m lucky.

Before Japan, I lived in Temecula, California with my fam and puppies. It’s famous as So-cal’s wine country, but I usually just say I lived ‘near San Diego.’ I studied Linguistics at Cal State Fullerton which was fun and has actually helped me a little bit here. I love dancing; I did jazz during high school, bellydance during college and now I’m falling in love with hip-hop through classes in the city.

I’m still trying to figure out where I want my life to go from here but I DO know I want to be helping people. I’ve taken up the KumAJET mantle this year with the goal of helping new and veteran ALTs enjoy their time in Japan more through meeting new people, seeing new places, and having new experiences. Life is what you make it, so let’s make it fantastic together!!

Colin Ellis
“I am one lonely pizza and TV-filled night in away from having 30 cats.”

Favourite Food: I once sold my soul for a jar of Nutella. Take notes, send presents.

Blood Type: A+

Hobbies: Spelling colour and favourite with a “u”, practicing and failing at having a stern teacher face, and long bike rides through concrete jungles.

If you were an ice-cream flavour, what would you be: Rum and raisin: tinged with alcohol and all the obāchan’s favourite.

Good morning world!

I’m a second-year ALT in Kikuyo-Machi, just on the way to Aso in the North East. As the only non-American KumAJETter my main role is to pretend to bring cultural diversity to the group and justify myself for making spelling more inconsistent.

I’m from a small town in the Canadian inaka called Minden, Ontario. It’s famous for the one time in the 70s when we had a decent hockey player.... In other words: not famous for anything at all. I studied psychology at uni and will do my Master’s in Counselling someday, if my feet ever hit the ground and stay there.

My life here has been a wild ride so far, and an amazing experience.  KumAJET events were some of my favourite parts of my first year, so I really wanted to continue making JET as incredible as possible. I’m also well-travelled in LGBT life in Japan and starting out with no Japanese, so if you have any questions about those or anything, feel free to come say hi!

Finally, I’m going to be a volunteer this year for the Peer Support Group (PSG), the national JET overnight phone-support line, so come ask me about it, as it’s an awesome resource that could make your life a little rosier or even save it.

Devin Holloway
“A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.’”
- Douglas Adams

Favorite Food: If Mister Donut were a real person, I’d be Mrs. Donut

Blood Type: ...Red?

Hobbies: Interwebs, reading, watching entire seasons of TV shows in one sitting, video games and making cross stitch samplers that say really crass things

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be? Coffee because let’s be honest: I’m still a kid but I want to order the most grown up sounding thing on the 31 Flavors menu

今日は, y’all! I’m a 2nd year ALT in Taragi, a small town where everything is covered in a fine layer of rust, moss and mold. I teach in my town’s only junior high school and four elementary schools, each smaller than the last; one has only three students!

 I lived in Atlanta, Georgia my whole life before uprooting myself the Land of the Rising Sun. I attended Georgia State University where I majored in Applied Linguistics and minored in Japanese, though you’d never know it because words are hard. After JET, I want to go to grad school for something in the Linguistics field, but what...? While I do miss my sweet tea and grits, I have never been happier than I have been living here in Japan.

I dig that KumAJET offers the new and different experiences it does. I joined AJET because all the events I attended in my first year were great ways to get to meet people around Kumamoto and were always super fun-- And I want to help do the same for others!
KumAJET Charity Work
KumAJET has generated an impressive history of charity work and fundraising of over several thousand dollars for various charities thanks to the generosity of Kumamoto JETs and local Japanese residents. In both 2008 and 2010 KumAJET were also the proud recipients of National AJETs “Best Charity Award”!!!
In the past, our fundraising efforts have helped a number of causes all around the world, including Go-Longitude project in India, earthquake relief in Haiti and Tohoku region of Japan.

On March 11, 2011 the whole world watched in shock as the aftermath of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the north-eastern coast of the Tohoku region of Japan played out on our TV screens. Here in Kumamoto, we were thankful to be safe but felt compelled to do everything we could in order to offer aid and help to the victims of this tragedy. Emails started coming in from JETs around the prefecture calling on KumAJET to help organize fundraising events. A massive 205,700 yen was raised that day and donated to relief efforts in Tohoku region and we couldn’t do it without you, the JETs of Kumamoto, local Japanese residents and everyone who helped. These events give us a chance to show the local community our charitable spirit. Perhaps more meaningful however, is that such a charitable spirit knows no boundaries. Neither language nor culture could keep us from having a fun time, meeting new people and raising money together to help those in need.

This year we have decided our focused charity is Akaihane (‘red feather’) which has been collecting money for Japan’s charitable community chest since 1947. Although in these 50 years which have gone by since the charity was founded Japan has grown into one of the worlds more prosperous and equitable countries there are still PLENTY of people who need your help. 
・If you have been to a good English-speaking doctor, please email the PAs about it.

・Good luck with the new semester of classes! 

Important upcoming dates:

・Starting in October - New ES/JHS ALT School Visits  
Upcoming Events:

・September 5 - Taco Night, 7PM at Tortacos, Kumamoto City
・September 26 & 27 - Ashikita Beach Party, Otachimisaki Park, Ashikita, check-in starts at 4PM
Area Guide


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