Thirty-four new members of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program were recognized at a reception in their honor following an orientation meeting Friday, July 24, 2015, a day before departing for new teaching jobs and experiences in the towns and cities across the nation of Japan.
The orientation meeting focused on last-minute travel logistics; a quick summary of the experiences that lay ahead; and a keynote address from a prominent JET Alumna, Ms. Patsy Brown, Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Houston. The orientation concluded with presentations on “English Education in Japan” and “Japanese School Life” given by a member of the “Japan-US Training Exchange Program for English Language Teachers” and a representative of a group of 20 high school students from Okinawa.
At the JET Send-Off reception following the orientation, Acting Consul-General of Japan in Houston Atsushi Iwasaki welcomed the JET alumni, program supporters, and the Okinawan group, offering words of encouragement along with a toast to the departing JETs. Other speakers included a representative of the departing JETs group, Mr. Tadayasu Tsujimura and President of the local JET alumni group (Texoma JETAA), Mr. Timothy Roller. Before the evening ended, reception guests enjoyed an impromptu musical performance by two Okinawan students on the sanshin, a traditional Okinawan three stringed instrument.
The following morning 34 JETs departed for Japan, arriving safely at Tokyo’s Narita airport on July 25. We wish all the JET participants great success in their new positions and communities.