With the application deadline fast approaching, we of HAJET thought you may enjoy reading some of our reasons for volunteering our services. Read on for more.
I first joined Hyogo AJET in 2014 when I began my 2nd year. I joined because I wanted to help out the JET community but also because I like organizing things. I have had a great time because it has enabled me to develop event ideas along a group of awesome people and develop my people, event planning and leadership skills, especially this year as a senior member of our team.
My favorite memory as a member of Hyogo AJET was my very first event organizing an outing for 46 people to a Hanshin Tigers baseball game. I will never forget the look on the lady in the ticket shopâ€™s face when I asked for so many tickets. She checked that I had not made a Japanese mistake about 10 times before proceeding with the purchase. Then everyone arrived and we headed into the stadium together, cheered, drank and launched questionably shaped balloons into the air. It was a really great feeling to organize an event to something that I enjoy in my personal time because it meant I could share that experience with others.
Being a member of AJET also gives me something to do when I am bored at work.
Being a senior member (5th year JETâ€¦ thatâ€™s right: Unicorn bitches!)
You are not me and I am not you so our motivations for doing things may well be different, but I would like to share with you some of the reasons why I decided to throw my hat into the ring as a Hyogo AJET volunteer committee member dude guy. Despite my cruel and foreboding exterior;
1) I like to help people.
I saw a chance to do this through HAJET as it allowed me to reach out and connect more easily with other members of the JET community not only in Hyogo but around other areas of Japan. We have shared advice on all manners of life in Japan from the ups to the downs and all around the middles! (filthy Hobbitses!!! Gollum!! Gollum!)
2) I like to have fun!
HAJET get their noggins together and try to find events, places and people, and bring them together in the name of super happy fun time experiences!!! In some cases these may be large scale events that everyone will have heard of, or in some cases, a rare event that one would only find if they were to stray from the beaten path, trip, fall down into an unforgiving and steep gorge of â€œGah! Wtf?!?â€ only to be rescued by crashing into the soft waters of the river â€œWow!!!â€ and then carried downstream to â€œOMG thatâ€™s Awesome-land!!!â€ HAJET members can also plan their own events and collaborate with other JET councils (Shiga, Okayama, Nara, Osaka, Kyoto etc.).
In some areas my 1 and 2 blend together and they may not seem like good reasons to you, but to each their own!
If you feel you want to join HAJET as a step toward block rep or even National chair, do it (and then making everyone lament at your wicked ways with your cruel iron fist ruling techniques! Mu-ha-ha-ha!!!). If you want to join because you feel you could create or concept plan really awesome, experience creating events, go for it! Even if you feel like â€œI could do a better job than the current buffoons!â€ just do it!!! (Nike said it first but this is read in the voice of the national treasure that is Mr. Shia Lebouf.)
Third year departing book-crazy Jillian here! For the past year, Iâ€™ve been running/supreme-leading the Hyogo book club. Every two months, members meet up to discuss a book most people have mostly read! My HAJET duties are simple: solicit book recommendations, reserve a cafÃ© for 10 to 15 people, and print discussion questions. I also take on the extra task of shamelessly pressuring people to come. Book club means a lot to me; I met most of my friends there during my first year. However, this July I (and a good chunk of regular attendees) will be exiting stage left.
So step right up! In order to keep the HAJET Book Club running and providing regular book-bonding experiences, we need a new HAJET member. Gain valuable event planning experience and make new friends :)
Joining AJET was a way to continue providing for the community I am currently a part of. During my
university days, I enjoyed gathering community members together and creating events that would
shake things up a bit in our routine-based lives. I took pride in what I did, but there was always room to grow. My college bubble was rather limited, so creating interesting things to do for people from all
sorts of backgrounds seemed like a natural way to progress.
We create events, and people show up. Sometimes it’s amazing, sometimes it’s not. The beautiful part of this, however, is that we can learn and create new ways for those joining us in the future. This is a group who chooses to be where they are. We want to make good things happen using our individual strengths. Although Japan has a lot to offer, coming here after being in a more comfortable setting can be rather shocking. â€œWhere do I even start??â€ I recall using the AJET events to get acquainted in the community. The beer garden welcome events spoke to me…. Perhaps it was mostly the beer, but also because of the welcoming attitude the members had. This paved the way to other good times, in AJET or not, because I felt myself being more integrated in my setting.
Overall, AJET is just fun. Even the business style meetings are enjoyable, because it is (hopefully)
several friends gathering to brainstorm cool things to do in the coming months. You work with others,
and you can learn a lot from them. Don’t need to learn anything new? 1) Lies 2) If you really think so, I
am sure the others would value your presence! Can you top the Pub Quiz in Tajima?
Have you enjoyed the HAJET events hosted throughout the year? Do you have some new ideas and activities youâ€™d like to share? Want to be part of the greater process in JET life?
Hyogo has one of the top 3 largest JET populations in all of Japan. As a result, we need all hands on deck lest we make like satanic picnic ware and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. This is where HAJET steps in.
HAJET is a volunteer organization made up of JETs from all around Hyogo who organize events, scope out sweet discounts at your favourite local businesses, promote workshops and activities around Hyogo and keep you up to date on all the latest coming and goings within the prefecture. Additionally, we run the superb publication Hyogo Times.
Between us all, we collaborate on a broad variety of events, such as the welcome party, rafting trip, hanami outings and also more open projects like the WhyNot parties and disaster prep workshops. In addition, we maintain the HAJET facebook page and website and also work as a main point of contact for outside opportunities and activities be they JET, foreign or simply public interest related.
Having been part of HAJET now for a year, I can safely say itâ€™s been well worth the opportunity. Not only have I been able to be part of the bigger picture but Iâ€™ve gotten to meet a lot of really interesting people along the way, that, had I not been part of HAJET I never would have met. Being in HAJET puts you right in the thick of things; for me thatâ€™s been what I love. I love developing and seeing things come to fruition, especially events where all the planning pulls off to be a great day out thatâ€™s memorable in the right kind of way. One of my personal proud moments was the HAJET rafting trip. On paper it seems like a logistical nightmare, but thanks to some very helpful individuals and intense googling, it became hands down one of my favourite experiences in Japan ever.
So if you think you would like to be part of all of this and take part in the behind the scenes of JET life or perhaps add your own events, activities or flair, or simply want to help out, join HAJET for the 2016 year. All are welcome to apply through the HAJET Facebook page document.