Winter 2017 YOKA

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The Winter 2017 YOKA is here! This quarter’s YOKA features the following…
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  • How to Survive Winter in Japan by Zaynab Nakhid
  • A Winter’s Night Tale by Denise Wiley
  • Learning from Six-Year-Olds by Mary Ellen Greenwood
  • JHS: Japanese Horror Story by Jazmin Guerrero
  • Babies on a Plane: How to Deal with the Unknown by Jonny Cornish
  • Kumamoto, Kyushu’s Own Winter Wonderland by Zaynab Nakhid
  • Ode to Natto by Mary Ellen Greenwood
  • Photos by Richie Luu, Laura McGhee, Zaynab Nakhid, Susannah Roberts, Joyce Tan, Denise Wiley

This YOKA was designed by Richie Luu. A slightly more HQ Version (38 MB) of this issue is also available. Submissions are always accepted for future issues of the YOKA. If you want to contribute an article, photo, or creative piece to be part of a future issue, please e-mail your submission to kumamotopa@gmail.com.

SDC 2016 Materials and Photos

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SDC6As all Kumamoto ALTs know, the 2016 Skill Development Conference (SDC) was held on December 1-2. For two days, ALTs, JTEs, and HRTs particpated in workshops focusing on teaching, English language, and culture. We hope the conference participants learned some new things, but we also hope that they were able to network and bond with teachers and other JETs.

This year’s SDC materials are available here.

Here are some photos from the conference. Click “continue reading” to begin reminiscing…

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Tax Packets for U.S. JETs

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It’s finally here! The thing you’ve all been waiting for! Tax-mon

The 2016 tax year packet for first-year U.S. JETs and the packet for second through fifth-year U.S. JETs are now available. Please visit the tax page for more information.

If you spot an error, please let us know. Happy tax filing!

International Friendship Festival 2016

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20161127_132816Thank you to everyone who came to the International Friendship Festival on November 27!

And an extra special thank you to everyone who volunteered at the festival! This year, we had a number of JETs participate in the festival by running booths, performing on stage, and helping out with general (but necessary and hugely appreciated!) volunteer work.

If you missed it this year, please consider volunteering or attending next year! 😉

Here are some photos from the event.

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Event – International Friendship Festival

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Hey, everyone!

This Sunday, November 27 is the International Friendship Festival!international-friendship-festival-color-flyer

If you have free time and happen to be in the area, please stop by! Several JETs will be participating in the festival and they would surely love your support. There will be booth exhibits, a bazaar, a world gourmet food corner, a cultural exchange corner, stage performances, tea tasting, kimono dress up, and more! There will also be a stamp rally with prizes.

The festival will be held at Hotel Eminence (https://goo.gl/maps/FBFNjvFHwDo) in Mashiki from 11:00 to 16:00. The event is free to attend, but bring some money for food and shopping.

Click here to see the event program flyer (in Japanese).

This is a good chance to connect with the international community within Kumamoto Prefecture.
Hope to see you there!

Oh, and maybe bring a rain jacket…!

Autumn 2016 YOKA

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The Autumn 2016 YOKA is here! This quarter’s YOKA features the following…
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  • Rainbow Forest Camp by Mary Ellen Greenwood
  • Aoi Aso Jinja Okunchi Matsuri by Jamie Jové-Viniegra
  • Small Cuts by Jazmin Guerrero
  • Komame Cafe by Erin Dillon
  • Stay on the Left by Blain Cox
  • Photos by Hiroshi Fukushima, Jazmin Guerrero, Jamie Jové-Viniegra, George Leach, Laura McGhee

This YOKA was designed by George Leach. An HQ Version (106 MB) of this issue is also available. Submissions are always accepted for future issues of the YOKA. If you want to contribute an article, photo, or creative piece to be part of a future issue, please e-mail your submission to kumamotopa@gmail.com.

 

2016 Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for JHS Students

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The second annual Junior High School Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp was held on Saturday, October 29. Junior High School students interested in English came from all over Kumamoto Prefecture to the camp to enjoy using English and learning about other cultures.

Our favorite mascot, Kumamon, joined the party! Feel free to check out some photos from the camp.

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Event – Yatsushiro Fireworks Festival

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FYI…

yatsushiro-fireworks-festival-2The Yatsushiro Fireworks Festival will be held Saturday, October 15 from 18:00 to 20:15. This is the largest fireworks show in Kyushu and each year pyrotechnicians from across Japan compete to produce the most spectacular fireworks displays.

The fireworks will be shot off over the Kuma River in Yatsushiro City (near the Kuma River Green Area Park, 八代球磨川河川緑地). The festival may be accessed by train (get off at Yatsushiro Station) or by car (free parking will be available in some areas). This event is extremely popular, so expect roads and trains to be very crowded.

Should there be severe weather, the festival will be postponed to Saturday, November 5.

More information is available here (Japanese).

Event – Mizuakari Festival

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Still looking for something to do for the three-day weekend coming up?

Come see some beautiful handmade lanterns in Kumamoto City! There will be bamboo and paper lanterns all around the Hanabatacho area of the city and near Kumamoto Castle.

mizuakari-festival-imageOctober 8 (Sat.), 18:00 – 22:00
October 9 (Sun.), 18:00 – 21:00

Hanabata Park
Near the statue of Kato Kiyomasa (across from the International Center)
Near Johsaien
Ninomaru Park
Kato Shrine

Click here for more information about the festival (Japanese only).

2016 Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for ES Students

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The second annual Elementary School Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp was held on Saturday, October 1. Elementary school students from all over the prefecture came to Hotel Terrsa in Kumamoto City to participate in the camp. Together with Kumamoto ALTs, the students enjoyed a full day of English communication and cultural exchange!

There was also a special guest this year… Kumamon!

Here are a bunch of photos from the camp. Take a look!

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