On Friday, 28 July, JETAA Wellington had one last Q&A session and dinner with this year’s new Wellington JETs before their departure for Japan. After months of getting to know the new JETs and helping them with their questions and concerns about Japan, we are sad to see them go but absolutely confident that they will make great ALTs and CIRs who will represent New Zealand amazingly well.
In the early afternoon, alumni JETs and JETAA members Hannah Lee, Seamus Brady, and Steven Thompson gave a presentation about what JETs could expect in their first month after arrival and ways they could prepare themselves in order to get the best possible start to their new lives in Japan.
The presentation was followed by a final Q&A session with the JETAA members in which the departing JETs were able to ask any lingering questions. We discussed dealing with summer humidity, setting up apartments, and the myriad dangers of the dreaded suzume–bachi giant hornet.
After the Q&A everyone got into a shuttle bus bound for the hills of Khandallah to attend a formal reception at the ambassador’s residence. The evening saw many wonderful speeches from His Excellency Ambassador Takata, JET Programme Coordinator Xan Wetherall, and JETAA President Mark Dittmer, as well as from departing JETs Lara Frizzell and Michael Schenk who gave a speech on behalf of the 32 new JETs.
Everyone enjoyed the ambassador’s lovely hospitality, with many warm conversations over food, wine, and Japanese saké. Before the end of the night, the new JETs treated everyone to a performance of “Pokarekare Ana,” which they had learned as a group during their orientations and classes leading up to departure.
All in all, it was a great night to reflect on the amazing opportunities that the JET Programme brings, and the amazing people who are a part of it. JETAA Wellington was honoured to help this year’s JETs start their journey and look forward to seeing them again on their return to Wellington in the future!