The 2016-2017 Executive Committee
Ready to meet this year’s Exec? To introduce this year’s team, we asked each member to answer three questions from the two lists below.
CHOOSE and answer ONE question.
• Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart?
• If you could eat only one kind of Japanese food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
• What’s your go-to karaoke song?
CHOOSE and answer TWO questions.
• If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it?
• What is the one piece of advice you would give to your pre-JET self?
• If Toronto had an official mascot, what would it be? / If JETAA Toronto had an official mascot, what would it be?
• Write a haiku that says something about who you are.
Here’s what they had to say:
Carl Sachs – Co-Chair
Takayama-shi, Gifu-ken (2008-2012)
- Go-to karaoke song: Low by Flo Rida
- If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it? With friends in Takayama! Strolling the quaint old streets, riverside combini chu-hi, onsen, stick-meat, and karaoke. Heaven on earth!
- One piece of advice you would give to your pre-JET self: Every day is going to be an adventure! Take some time to document your stories. Write them down, create a blog or vlog, make photobooks, whatever! They serve as a great kick start when taking a stroll down memory lane.
Nicholas Jones – Co-Chair
Furubira-cho, Hokkaido (2009-2011)
Japanese food you would eat every day for the rest of your life: Natto
If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it? Off-piste snowboarding down to a rotenburo, where I would meet my JET friends, then go out for dinner at Minato Sushi with my friends from Furubira.
One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: Say yes to every opportunity, even if you don’t understand what is being offered.
Julia Rozinowicz – Treasurer
Tottori-shi, Tottori-ken (2009-2011)
Go-to karaoke song: After the last exec cottage trip, I’m going to have to say The Phantom of the Opera.
If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it? Hiking somewhere scenic & culturally and/or historically relevant, onsen-ing, eating kaiseki ryori, staying the night in traditional-style lodgings
One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: Don’t worry about not knowing a word of Japanese because immersion is actually the best way to learn!
Clarissa Jewell – Secretary
Nayoro, Hokkaido (2012-2013)
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? The best konbini is actually Seico, which is not on your list and is local to Hokkaido. They had the best fried chicken. Runner up would be 7-Eleven because they had an limited edition Indian curry onigiri that actually tasted semi-authentic.
- Your one-day Japan itinerary: If I only had one day in Japan, I’d spend it exploring and shopping in and around Tokyo, including my old neighbourhood of Shimotakaido, Meiji Jingu and Harajuku, Shimokitazawa, and possibly Nakano Broadway. Lunch would be kaizen-zushi. Then I’d hop a bullet train and head down to Kyoto for more exploring and kaiseki-ryori, or maybe Osaka for fugu or Kobe for wagyuu. The evening would definitely be a local festival in some random small town, the wackier the better. And of course, somewhere in there I’d fit in an onsen, and possibly nomihodai karaoke with friends.
- JETAA Toronto’s official mascot: If JETAA Toronto had an official mascot, I’d go with a raccoon. They’re cute, they’re urban, and they’re local. Raccoons are also intelligent, adaptable and can be aggressive when they need to be!
Cecilia Yam – Conference Coordinator
Kobe, Hyogo (2009-2012)
- Japanese food you would eat every day for the rest of your life: Too many to choose from, but if I had to choose it would be takikomi gohan.
- If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it?As Kobe is still my favourite city in Japan, I would likely spend my day going back to my old haunts, such as my favourite bakery, my favourite tea shop, and Harborland.
- Haiku that says something about who you are:
Fondness for eating
A penchant for travelling
Gülnigar Baham – Events Coordinator
Ono-cho, Gifu Prefecture (2014-2015)
Go-to karaoke song: Begin – 島人ぬ宝. I fell in love with this song when I was wwoofing (google wwoof) in Okinawa. It takes me back to the amazing time I spent with my host family.
One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: Make up your mind about how many years you plan on staying. Yes, your circumstances change and maybe you decide to stay shorter or longer than you planned. But generally having a concrete idea of how many years you’d like to be on JET can really eliminate the chances of you making a rushed decision in December (when it is still too early). It also helps you prioritize when you’re setting goals for your activities in Japan or wherever else you plan to be when you finish the program.
Attempt at a haiku (hope I don’t need to explain it):
I have just started
in many languages;
defining who I am
Scott Kawaguchi – Communications Coordinator
Oita-shi, Oita-ken (2013-2015)
- Type of Japanese food you would eat every day for the rest of your life: Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki
- Your one-day Japan itinerary: Early morning sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, fly to Oita for karaage and onsen, bus to Fukuoka for ramen and a SoftBank Hawks baseball game, and finally head to Kyoto for an evening of fall illuminations
- Toronto’s fictional official mascot: It would be a cartoonish reincarnation of #DeadRaccoonTO with the face of Drake, the social media skills of Norm Kelly, and the bat-tossing abilities of Jose Bautista.
Tricia Hamilton – Membership Coordinator
- Type of Japanese food you would eat every day for the rest of your life: I could eat sushi from Shinobu for the rest of my life!
One-day Japan itinerary: If I had one day in Japan, I would start out shopping somewhere eclectic. My dream is to bring back a kotatsu for my apartment in Toronto, so I would do that all morning. Then I would hit up a crazy festival for delicious delicious festival food, and then head to the onsen for the evening before heading back to the ryokan for a tabehoudai.
Advice to your pre-JET self: Advice I would give to my pre-Japan self would be to relax, roll with everything and have fun!
Andrew Massey – Website Coordinator
- Go-to karaoke song: Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie
- One-day Japan itinerary: Hakone onsen during the day. Tokyo game centers at night.
- Advice to your pre-JET self: A truly wise person wills what necessity imposes.
Mark Payne – Senpai Liaison
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? 7-Eleven is the best konbini because oden.
- Only one day in Japan: I would spend my one day in Japan travelling from onsen to onsen, deep dipping and eating combo a or b from each onsen’s cafeteria.
- Note to pre-JET self: Say yes to everything at least once, but know when to say no.
Geoffrey Greig – Community Liaison
Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture (2013-14)
- Go-to karaoke song: “Escape from the City”
- Advice to your pre-JET self: Don’t spend so much money on Gashapon machines. Except for the Earthbound one, and the Squid one, and the Japanese crab series, and the- actually you’ll see that Earthbound one a couple times don’t miss the opportunity.
- One-day Japan itinerary: I would spend the morning walking along a riverside near where I lived watching ospreys, herons, and dragonflies. Then I would visit my old schools before spending the entire afternoon playing Taiko no Tatsujin, Gitadora, Grove Coaster, and Mai Mai until I ran out of 100 yen coins. In the evening I would visit my elderly Japanese friends for the feast I know they would prepare, communicating the best that I could as the night grows dark and the frogs and insects are in full chorus.
- Haiku (in broken Spanish, broken Japanese, and English):
yo vi volcanes
hachidori to tonbo
comic panels drawn
Support & Advisory Positions:
Leonardo Lopez – Treasurer Support
Nagasaki City (2014-2015)
Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? Family Mart will always reign supreme for me, this is all due to Ore no Purin, a glorious giant cup of pudding all for less than 300 yen.
Your one-day Japan itinerary: If I had only one day in Japan, I think my first order of business would be to stuff myself with as much food as my body would allow. After that there just isn’t any lack of things to enjoy, but I would not be adverse to spending all my available change on ufo catchers.
One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: I think the biggest advice I would give to my pre-JET self is to let things unfold and trust in your judgement. The decisions you make will be the best that you can make at the time. Don’t let yourself fret over the things that you can’t do for the reasons you can’t control.
Sabrina Silk – Conference Support
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? Family Mart and it’s Onigiri!
- If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it? In Osaka
- One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: Be patient, listen and observe as everything is meant with good intention.
- Toronto/JETAA Toronto’s official mascot would be… A raccoon, like Porter Airlines!
Tanya Gardecky – Conference Support
Shiogama, Miyagi (2009-2010)
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart?: 7-Eleven. Not only was there one close to my place in Japan but I always won great prizes there. Plus there are 7-Elevens in Canada so I’m reminded of my time in Japan whenever I see one.
- If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it? If I only had one day in Japan, I’d probably spend half the day at an all-you can eat cake buffet and the rest of the day at an onsen. Japanese sweets + Japanese hot spring = win.
- One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: I’d tell my pre-JET self not to sweat the small stuff, it’ll all work out in the end and you’ll have a great time.
Stephen Branston – Events Support
Ayagawa-cho, Kagawa Prefecture (2011-2014)
Go-to karaoke song: Careless Whisper
A single day in Japan? It’d be spent seeing the wonderful friends I made there. As for what we would do, no contest: conveyor belt sushi and karaoke! (Maybe preceded by a jaunt up the beautiful Konpirasan)
Haiku that describes you:A fun-loving guy
A dedicated teacherI love making friends!
Sonomi Tanaka – Events Support
Aomori-shi, Aomori-ken (2009-2011)
- Type of Japanese food you would eat every day for the rest of your life: If I could eat choux cream puffs every day for the rest of my life, I would be obese but probably ridiculously content.
- Your one-day Japan itinerary: I would start in Sapporo, visit family and then would go eat piri-kara-miso ramen, kare soup and sushi. To end the day I would fly to Okinawa and go see the awesome aquarium there and go karaokeing with all my JET friends who are also there magically for one day.
- JETAA Toronto’s official mascot would be… Maybe the famous Toronto white squirrel eating an onigiri?
Carol Saad – Communications Support
Ichikawadaimon-cho, Yamanashi-ken (2009-2010), remained in Japan until 2011
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? OBVIOUSLY….Lawson. It was the closest one within walking distance to my house and had these excellent Nikuman, which were always perfect for road trips and after long days.
- JETAA Toronto’s fictional mascot: I think if JETAA had an official mascot it’d be a CN Tower wearing a Sushi hat around its platform deck. Toronto is a surprisingly stylish city, and nothing says great style like an overlarge hat. (Royalty always wear overlarge hats, as do anyone going to the horse races.)
- Write a haiku that says something about who you are.
A Creative soul
who loves Japan and Travel
Judy Cerovski – Communications Support
Oita City, Oita Prefecture (2009-2012)
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? Family Mart had the best tuna-mayo onigiri so therefore it’s the best.
- Your one day in Japan: I would spend it at one of Japan’s many awesome festivals. And if I could choose which one, I would check out the Eisa festival in Okinawa and join in the drumming and dancing. And of course enjoy some tasty pineapple and umi-budou, while sitting next to the ocean on the beach.
- One piece of advice to your pre-JET self: Kyushu does get cold in the winter and to bring my winter gear from Canada. Heat tech helps but it’s just not the same.
Anthony Ferreira – Website Support
- Go-to karaoke song: “Friends” by Rebecca
- One-day Japan itinerary: Morning coffee, tsukemen for lunch, evening bike ride in Asakusa
- Toronto’s official mascot would be… A raccoon scalping Jays tickets
Amy Uyeda – Community Liaison Support
Matsuyama-shi, Ehime-ken (2013-2015)
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? Shikoku just got 7-Elevens at the time I was living there- a location opened right beside my apartment and I went there almost every day! For that reason 7-Eleven holds a special place in my heart. The sight of many orchids celebrating the opening of the 7-Eleven is something I don’t think I’d ever see here in Canada.
- One-day Japan itinerary: If I had only one day in Japan I would hike up and down a mountain, visit some temples, enjoy a nice long soak in an outdoor onsen, enjoy yakiniku or nabe (or both) for dinner and of course, end with lots of purikura pics.
Nadine Bukhman – Advisor to the Board
- Which konbini reigns supreme: Lawson, 7-Eleven, or Family Mart? Family Mart!
- If you had only one day in Japan, how would you spend it? Hit up as many beaches as I could get to in Kagoshima!
- What is the one piece of advice you would give to your pre-JET self? Think more about what you’d like to happen in your life once you’re back.