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

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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

2 BCIO Interns, hundreds of great friends, and the APCC counting down!

About six months ago, Gel and I were selected as BCIO HO Interns, and thats when the work began, although it was only yesterday that finally saw Gel, Erin, Karuna, Salman and the whole APCC team in the one office in Tenjin, Fukuoka.

The day started early, Gel, Kanu and  Iwamoto-san stood at the Fukuoka International Airport gates as I (Erin) staggered through the doors with my 40kg of luggage!

The fun has arrived!

The fun has arrived!

A quick drive took us into Tenjin and we dropped of my bags, at the place I would call home for the next six weeks. Gel has been here since May and with only another 6 weeks left of her three month stay she quickly realised – It’s time to get busy!
Kanu and Gel showed me around the local area, some places I remembered, and some–I’m sure–were new. In such a vibrant city, it’s hard to remember everything, but as per usual, “I remembered the face but forgot the name.” Something I must work on.  Thank God I have Gel close by–her picture perfect memory and Japanese language skills will save me more than once, I’m sure.

We had lunch at “Tao.”  We had Hakata ramen, a delish pork broth soup with wheat noodles.  And then at 4 PM, I had my first meeting in the APCC office.

Gel, Kanu, and bowls of ramen

Gel, Kanu, and bowls of ramen

It was great to see some friendly, familiar, faces and also good to meet the 2 new APCC staff members – The girls in the office have got organised chaos down to a fine art, and no matter what event or activity is being planned, they are all across the board with what’s going on.

With Salman and his brand-new quacky shower cap!

With Salman and his brand-new quacky shower cap!

Getting closer with one of my closest friends, Karuna

Getting closer with one of my closest friends, Karuna

I got a quick run-down from Gel about what is planned over the next 6 weeks and then followed up with Kanu for a more detailed chat about what is expected of me and what activities I have to plan. My diary is already full and we have so much to do before the APCC even begins.

All in all, it was a great first day back in Fukuoka and I hope that Gel and I can follow in the successful footsteps of Karuna and Salman and make the 23rd APCC and PA Camp the best yet!

Please remember that we are here to help.  If there is anything you need then just let us know, but equally, if we ask you for something then please get it to us ASAP!  The checklists are all due tomorrow and it would be great if we didn’t have to chase any of you up!

xxx
Erin and Gel

June in Japan

Wow.  I haven’t posted anything in almost a month! Things have gotten really busier in the office as we have less than a month left till the 23rd APCC.

I’ve been attending a lot of meetings these past few weeks helping with the preparations and introducing myself in Japanese.  Just went to a Supporters’ Meeting this afternoon at Fukuoka Biru, actually.  Last week, I went to an APCC Leaders’ Meeting at Momochi.  It was raining that day, so the view from the room wasn’t as breath-taking as one would hope.

Momochi!

Momochi!

After what seemed like a hundred revisions, the flyer I’ve been working on since last month was mass produced.  Today about 400 flyers for the “BCIO OMOIYARI” Conference were delivered to the office.  Kanu-san and I mailed them to schools in Fukuoka and went to some 3 places around Tenjin to have them distributed.  Really awesome seeing these babies in huge numbers. 😀

The BCIO "OMOIYARI" Conference

The BCIO "OMOIYARI" Conference

During Sunday, we had an orientation for the PAs’ Host Families.  Here are some photos:

With 47 host families in the picture, the paperwork has gotten a lot more crazier.  On the brighter side of things, I’m now getting to learn how to read the Kanji last names of people.

Can’t wait for Erin to get here next week.  Things will surely be a lot easier with her around.

I hope all the PAs submit their assignments on time.  The deadline is 9 days from now and we’ve heard from less than half of the PAs.  Anyway we’ll see.  Time for me to go home now.

Later,

-G

The 2011 Peace Ambassadors

Congratulations on being selected to represent your country as the Peace Ambassadors for the 23rd APCC!

  1. Ms. Emily Ballantyne-Brodie (Australia)
  2. Mr. Syed Tousif Ahmed (Bangladesh)
  3. Ms. Jahan Ara Farook Moli (Bangladesh)
  4. Mr. Ugyen Penjor (Bhutan)
  5. Ms. Tshering Lhamo (Bhutan)
  6. Ms. Ashna Anuragni Murti (Fiji)
  7. Ms. Kara Katsumi Tsuzaki (Hawaii)
  8. Mr. Jacob Wilson Saiki (Hawaii)
  9. Ms. Charlene Yu  (Hong Kong)
  10. Ms. Wai Tsun Law (Hong Kong)
  11. Ms. Nidhi Parekh (India)
  12. Ms. Bhavneet Kaur Meuta Viada Hafid (India)
  13. Ms. Meuta Viada Hafid (Indonesia)
  14. Mr. S.j. Gatra Parahita (Indonesia)
  15. Ms. Juria Jimi (Japan)
  16. Ms. Somvang Vilaysouk (Laos)
  17. Ms. Soulinda Thammavongxay (Laos)
  18. Ms. Nurainaa BT Kabilmiharbi Ainaa (Malaysia)
  19. Mr. Mohammad Faiz Mohamad Noor (Malaysia)
  20. Ms. Mariyam Miusa (Maldives)
  21. Ms. Faiha ibrahim (Maldives)
  22. Ms. Nafisa Rijal (Nepal)
  23. Ms. Manjula Pandey (Nepal)
  24. Mr. Nicholas Short (New Zealand)
  25. Mr. Kamran Sabir (Pakistan)
  26. Ms. Noor Al Ain Azam (Pakistan)
  27. Ms. Monique Rose Caparros (Philippines)
  28. Ms. Lindsay Fernandez Garcia (Philippines)
  29. Ms. Lyubov Aleksandrovna Kapustina Lyuba (Russia)
  30. Ms. Htut Myatnoe Aung (Singapore)
  31. Mr. Tharindu Lakmal Muthugama (Sri Lanka)
  32. Mr. Dilshan Jayatilake (Sri Lanka)
  33. Mr. Ching Lun Lin Eric (Taiwan)
  34. Ms. Thanpicha Laotananukul (Thailand)
  35. Mr. Nattajak Chodrapeephan (Thailand)
  36. Mr. Lionel Victor Tavunwo Li (Vanuatu)
  37. Ms. Tram Bao Ho (Vietnam)
  38. Mr. Le Trung Thanh (Vietnam)
  39. Ms. Undram Battogtokh (Mongolia)
  40. Ms. Stephanie Kah-sin Tan (Atlanta, USA)
  41. Mr. Yvon Teraitua (Tahiti)
  42. Ms. Nan Myintzu Khaing (Myanmar)
  43. Mr. Hang Za Dal (Myanmar)
  44. Ms. Leonnie Paranda Leo (Papua New Guinea)
  45. Mr. Arunvichet Roth (Cambodia)
  46. Ms. Mareta Katu (Cook Island)
  47. Mr. Wenzhou Wei (Dalian, China)
We are looking forward to seeing you all in July!
-G

Third Week at Work

Wow.  It’s Friday already? This week went by so fast.  Let me do quick a recap of the notable things that took place before I head home for the weekend.

On Monday there was an APCC Leader’s Meeting.  It was conducted entirely in Japanese so I couldn’t really understand everything.  I introduced myself in Japanese, with a little help from my friends.

Not-so lost in translation

Not-so lost in translation

On Wednesday, we had our BCIO Monthly Meeting, which was in English so I had no problems understanding what everyone was saying.  We fixed things pertaining to the PA Camp.  The next BCIO meeting will be on June 14.

Post-meeting shot

Post-meeting shot

Today we fixed up some handouts for the Japanese JA training on Sunday.  Also finalized and sent the PA Guidebook to the 2011 PAs.

Some of the APCC coordinators

Some of the APCC coordinators

Papers, papers, papers

Papers, papers, papers

Time to go.  おつかれさま! ^_^

-G

First Weeks in the Office

I’ve been helping out in the APCC Office for 2 weeks now.  I expected a lot of paperwork, but I never really knew the definition of “a lot” until I handled these documents.  I’m handling the documents of the JAs, PAs, and chaperons.

Everything in Japan is, of course, in Japanese.  I’m having some difficulty reading the Kanji characters, but people here, especially the APCC Coordinators, have been really nice and understanding, helping me find which folder a certain file is in, or which button to press to scan documents.

Just a taste of the 23rd APCC paperwork

Just a taste of the 23rd APCC paperwork

Last Friday, we had a party to bid Mayumi-san, former APCC Coordinator, goodbye as she leaves for Shanghai, China.  I met a lot of important people that night.  Here’s a group photo:

Group Photo

Group Photo

This afternoon, I had a video conference with the BCIO HO members and Erin using Ooovoo.  We discussed things for the PA Camp.  Here’s a screenshot:

Oovoo!

Oovoo!

I am really excited for this year’s APCC.  This year’s PAs have great ideas and we have a great batch of leaders in on this team.  This might be the best PA Camp ever. 🙂

-G