Hello Hyogo JETs! First, we have lots of people to whom we want to thank (in Japanese, ‘cause we want to be cool) for their hard work this summer – hopefully we’ve covered everyone.

お疲れ様 (otsukaresama) to those of you who sweated through the JLPT this July (literally and figuratively)! If you’re still panicking, just think of it as the dress rehearsal for December’s live show. ^___^” And of course you can always try again! Applications for the December test will be accepted from August 26, so get ready to swarm down on the bookstores for those cute little envelopes soon!

お疲れ様 to everyone who attended Tajima Ultimate Frisbee! All the bug bites, hardcore competitors, blood, sweat, tears, and a thirty-minute stretch of torrential downpour couldn’t dishearten our teams! This is one of if not the biggest JET-related sports event of the year so if you couldn’t make it, there’s always next year!

お疲れ様 to everyone for all the summer’s beach parties, fireworks and matsuris you’ve been attending and putting together. Please be careful of heatstroke and keep yourself hydrated. Eat lots of watermelon, put some wet towels in the fridge, invest in an ice pillow or two. Summer isn’t over yet!

And of course, to the leavers, a huge “お疲れ様でした!” from all of us at Hyogo AJET. We will miss you!

Second, we want to give a shout-out to the successors and new neighbours:

Hello new faces! Welcome to Japan, the JET Programme, and Hyogo! You stuck through Tokyo Orientation and now you have arrived at your new digs, your new schools and your new circle(s) of friends, which will hopefully include US! ^____^

Hyogo AJET is the representative committee for all JETs living in the prefecture. We are similar to National AJET, but we work as a prefectural chapter we work independently of NAJET and on a smaller scale. We assist the Hyogo Board of Education (BOE) with the major seminars and conferences, but in terms of providing support, organizing events and keeping JETs informed of local issues, all municipal and prefectural JETs fall under the same AJET banner. Basically, we’re like the student council and the BOE is our school. We arrange all the fun and informative stuff for the students, and occasionally we plan events with the student councils of neighbouring schools. Behold the power of analogy!

As an AJET chapter we are here to assist all our JETs from your first year to your last. We’re always open to suggestions and available to help you settle into your home away from home. From north to south, this year’s council looks like this:

Chinyere (Chi-Chi) Okoli – Tajima/Tanba area rep
Nick Chan – Harima area rep
Len Krygsman IV – Photographer/Webmaster
Kelly Zuniga – Hanshin area rep
Sarah Lewis – Co-chair/Social Director/Kobe rep
Sifton Anipare – Co-chair/Public Outreach Coordinator/Kobe area rep
John Bucker – Awaji rep

But alas, we don’t quite feel complete. We are in the market for a Kobe (municipal) JET representative and a first-year representative or two. If you are interested let us know asap! You can get in touch with us collectively at pr@hyogo.ajet.net or individually at [first name].[last name]@hyogo.ajet.net – and through the Yahoo! mailing list – and on Facebook – and we may throw in smoke signals and carrier pigeons if those aren’t enough.

Happy summer, everyone! See you at Yashiro Orientation and/or the Welcome Party!