Not “sayonara,” but “ja ne!”

Today, the 23rd APCC has finally come to an end as all delegates have taken their flights back home.  Host families, friends, and volunteers went to the airport to see the JAs, PAs, and Chaperons off.

In the APCC, we don’t say “goodbye.”  We say “see you again!” The world is a small place, and meeting amazing people from over 50 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific just shows how globalized our world is becoming.

it's hard to make a friend

Sometimes...

See you again!

See you again!

Thank you for hosting us!

Thank you for hosting us!

We hope that all our friends will reach home safely and will become active members in their BRIDGE CLUBS.  Thank you to everyone, especially the volunteers, and supporters.  This year’s APCC was a huge success! Let’s make next year’s Convention even better!

See you again!

– E and G

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PA Camp

This year, the PA Camp was held in Global Arena, in Munakata City, located in the north of Kyushu.  We arrived by bus after the OMOIYARI Conference and got straight to work.  After an opening speech by Mr. Aso, the chairperson of the APCC, we had dinner, and then Colby ran the first session on IT Communications.  That night, a team-building event, called Race Around the Arena, was organized, and a fun night was had by all.

Opening remarks by Mr. Aso

Opening remarks by Mr. Aso

Lionel from Vanuatu getting his face painted

Lionel from Vanuatu getting his face painted

This year's BC Establishment Instructor, Loreen, getting her face painted as well

This year's BC Establishment Instructor, Loreen, getting her face painted as well

2 boys sharing a bottle of water

2 boys sharing a bottle of water

After the tiring series of activities, members of the Junior Chamber International visited us and hosted a welcome party.

JCI!

JCI!

Day 2 was started early with non-BC Peace Ambassadors attending Loreen’s establishment sessions, while PAs from BC countries made posters to display at the JA Exchange Program.

Karuna, then, facilitated the Common Activity discussion and the decision was made to run an “Everyday Ambassador” promotion this year.

After a yummy lunch, BCJ introduced us to their club’s activities this year.

BCJ members in their green shirts

BCJ members in their green shirts

Arief ran an afternoon session on how to maintain a successful Bridge Club.  This highly motivational session lifted people’s spirits after a long day.  Lots of fun was had in an activity involving balancing straws on your hands.  We then had a discussion with Mr. Iwamoto about the BCIO Convention and the proposed BCIO Constitution and were ready for dinner at 6 o’clock.  After dinner, we had performance practice and presentations of the awards from the night before.

2nd Place

2nd Place

Day 3 of the PA Camp had 2 sessions.  Firstly, there was the PA and Chaperon Meeting, where we discussed issues of the BCs and LOs in our countries.  The second session was run by Kyushu University and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Professor Yunus, spoke to us about social business.  We then enjoyed a delicious meal at the GA Club before we joined the JAs at Mr. Hibino’s workshop in the gym.

Erin and Professor Yunus

Erin and Professor Yunus

Our last day at Global Arena had all PAs supporting the JAs in their sports festival and cultural exchange program.  A highlight for the Peace Ambassadors was their final performance.  Thank you to Mark Spies, a Melbourne-based DJ, who mixed together the track for our performance.

At 7 PM, it was time to say our last goodbyes and we went back to our host families for our last few nights in Fukuoka.

The BCIO “OMOIYARI” Conference

The OMOIYARI Conference served as a venue for Peace Ambassadors from over 30 countries to share their culture and present their Bridge Club activities to the citizens of Fukuoka.

Group Photo!

Group Photo!

Interactive sessions and workshops were run by Ms. Matsuu and a chat session was facilitated to discuss Fukuoka’s global future.  The event was a huge success and many participants asked if it would be held again next year.

Group Discussion

Group Discussion

An Illustration by the Taiwanese PA

An Illustration by the Taiwanese PA

PAs and Fukuoka citizens talking about Fukuoka's global future

PAs and Fukuoka citizens talking about Fukuoka's global future

 

Photo Walk / PR Event

This year, an event was organized to raise awareness of the APCC within the Fukuoka community.  Each country’s delegation set up a booth at a different location around the Tenjin area.  Fukuoka citizens purchased a participation pack, which entitled them to a special limited edited APCC T-shirt designed by Mr. Kotaku Yoshinaga and a photograph passport, which they would fill with photos taken of them with each delegation’s JAs at their decorated booths.

The event was a huge success and it was great to see a sea of yellow T-shirts throughout the streets of Fukuoka.

The Asian-Pacific Photo Walk

The Asian-Pacific Photo Walk

A Sea of Yellow T-Shirts

A Sea of Yellow T-Shirts

Philippine JAs in their colorful costumes!

Philippine JAs in their colorful costumes!

The Samoan Booth

The Samoan Booth

Each delegation’s Peace Ambassador brought products to sell at an International Booth and all money raised went to support the people affected by the 2011 Northern Japan Earthquake.  A total of 122,585 yen (approx. $1,500) was raised.  Thank you to everybody to his/her hard work and dedication on the day.

The International OMOIYARI Booth

The International OMOIYARI Booth

Products from all over Asia-Pacific

Products from all over Asia-Pacific

The 23rd APCC Officially Begins!

After leaving home early, we arrived early at the airport to pick up the first bunch of smiling JAs, PAs, and chaperons.  We were loaded on to buses and a quick one hour journey north of Fukuoka took us to the Marine House, where the JAs would spend their first night in the Land of the Rising Sun.  For the next 3 days, the Marine House was a buzz with children coming from the airport or leaving after one night to meet their host families and get settled in to a Japanese lifestyle.

On the 18th, every APCC participant had checked through the doors of the Marine House and was fit and healthy, ready for a fun summer in Fukuoka.

The Australian Delegation

The Australian Delegation

PAs Having Dinner at the Marine House

PAs Having Dinner at the Marine House

Final Stretch!

Last Sunday, we had the final Host Family meeting at ACROS Fukuoka.  We shared our homestay experiences as Junior Ambassadors and taught basic English phrases that they could use to communicate with their host children.

Talking about our most memorable JA experiences

Talking about our most memorable JA experiences

There were many Japanese host families present, both new and old faces.  And the newest APCC merchandise had its debut out in the market during that day.

One of the 3 new designs of the APCC clear folders

One of the 3 new designs of the APCC clear folders

With barely a week left till the 23rd APCC, the coordinators and leaders went to Hakozaki Shrine earlier today to pray for the success of this year’s convention.  It was a great cultural experience to be part of this Japanese ceremony.

At Hakozaki Shrine

At Hakozaki Shrine

We are all busy preparing for the APCC, and we’d like to ask this year’s Peace Ambassadors to ready their minds for the sessions we will be having during PA camp.  Click here for a link to the 23rd APCC PA Program schedule.  And for the PA Performance, you can listen to and download the dance mix here.  Please memorize the song, “We are the World.”  If you have questions, we will be more than happy to answer them.  Just send us an e-mail or a message on Facebook.

Enjoy the weekend and see you all next week!

-E and G