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2008
 
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@@@@The 2008 Kanoya Kin Ball Tournament


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@@@@Interview with Elizabeth Nijdam
Ok, firstly what is your name?
My name is Elizabeth Nijdam.

And where are you from Elizabeth?
Ifm from Vancouver, Canada.

What are your hobbies?
I like camping, skiing, hiking. I donft like team sports.
I like the outdoors a lot and I also like to read and watch movies.

What schools in Kanoya do you work at?
Kanoya all girls high school, Tasaki elementary, Nishihara elementary, Nishiharadai and Minami elementary school.

What surprised you most about Kanoya when you came here?
That it smells like farmland a lot. Sometimes, when I first moved here, the awful smell used to wake me up because I am a very light sleeper.
Although now I am used to it and I donft smell it at all which is a bit scary.

What are some of the differences between Japan and Canada?
What are some of the things that really stand out?

School life is really different. In Canada we donft have ekyushokuf or any cleaning time but we do have insulation. So when itfs cold outside, itfs warm inside, when itfs warm outside itfs cool inside. In Kanoya the schools are very nice but in Kaogshima city it is a different story. Many of the schools have no air conditioning, no heating, and all the windows are open. So in Kanoya you are lucky, but not all Japanese schools are as nice as Kanoyafs.

In Vancouver, where I live in Canada there are lots of Asian people, so when I came to Japan all of my friends back home asked me, gdoesnft it feel so different (to Canada)?h But for me in Vancouver, everyone is short and we all eat Japanese food so itfs like being in Chinatown or Richmond. So many parts of Japan are familiar to me because I started eating Japanese food when I was like 5-6. I never remembered learning how to use chopsticks.

When did you come to Kagoshima?
I came to Kagoshima in August 2007 and I lived in Kiire city south of Kagoshima city. But after a year I moved to Kanoya because my husband lives here.

Ok next I want to ask you about this movie project of yours (Elizabeth recently won 1st prize in an international mobile phone video competition). Can you give us a brief rundown?
Ifm a German student; I studied German, German literature and German film when I was at university and there is a German cultural organization called the Goethe Institute and I was looking on their website and I saw a window saying gMobile Phone Video Competitionh so I thought, gI have some free time and I have a mobile phoneh so I asked my husband and some fellow teachers to help me and I made a video about gesturing/ body language. Many people say that body language is the only international language so everyone understands hand gestures right? For example: eI want to eatf (pretends to put food in her mouth), eI want to sleepf (pretends to go to sleep) but this is not always true, sometimes hand gestures are confusing. Another example is in Japanese when you say ewakaranaif you often wave your hand in front of your face but in English this action means esomething smellsf.

( To view the rest of the video please click here  )

The video wasnft the best quality, so I thought I would never win but they werenft looking for quality they were looking for good ideas and they liked my idea so they chose me.

You get a free trip to Berlin right?
Yep a free trip to Berlin and 1000 euros for a one minute video that I made on my cell phone.

Oh and another interesting thing is that I got married in Japan. I had a shinto wedding and it was in the local newspaper. And I was on TV, you know Sukkiri!! ? Itfs a morning show, itfs from 8-10 every morning. For Mikefs (Elizabethfs husband) birthday in Tokyo I organzied a eninja dayf. We trained to be ninjas.

Did you run around Toyko dressed like ninjas?
No, we had a training session with real ninjas. They were really cool, they changed their names for the event and they had real weaponary and apparently the ninja master, whose face you could never see, helped train the imperial body gaurds. It was very interesting. Sukkiri did a special on interesting tours for foreigners in tokyo so they followed us around for a whole day ... in the end we were only on tv for 2 minutes.

Next I want to ask you about you about customs, for example in Japan you canft stick your chopsticks into your rice right?
Oh I learnt about that before I came to Japan, it means death right? I was very surprised about Japanese eating customs. The eitadakimasuf before meals, the ehashi-oki (chopstick rest)f, all of these rules like no hands under the table when you eat. These customs are very strange for me but Japanese eating is very beautiful, itfs like a ceremony even though it is just a meal, everything in Japan is done beautifully and with grace c except when they slurp noodles!

Tell us about your favourite place/shop/restaurant/ area in Kanoya?
I have never really been shopping in Kanoya but my favourite restaurant is Pizza Shop Rabbit. She (the owner) is so nice, itfs a pizza delivery place thatfs close to Sun Road. We order pizza from there and she always knows my name, she knows where I live, I just have to call her and tell what pizzas I want and she says, gis that Elizabeth?h.

And they have good pizza?
They have really good pizza. It is my favourite restaurant. I love nature and beuatiful things.

So whats kind of places are we talking?
I really love that shrine on the beachc

Arahira?
Yeah itfs really beautiful. And I also love cosmosc

Cosmos?
Yeah the really beautiful pink and purple flowers that are everywhere at the moment.

Is there anything you would like to do while you are still in Kanoya?

Well, I would like to get better at Japanese so I am looking for a Japanese teacher.
I would also like to learn something cultural but my husband and I are going back to Canada in August so Ifm afraid I donft have the time.

Interview by Nathan.

Nathanfs Comments:
Because we donft work in the same office I rarely get a chance to talk to the Kanoya City ALTs. This interview was particularly interesting because I got to hear about Elizabethfs movie project. Sometimes we think that hand gestures are an international language but after watching Elizabethfs movie, I have decided that it might be a good idea to do some research before going overseas.

>Japanese

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@@@@Halloween Party


Here are some photos from the KIEA Halloween Party
held on 12th of October 2008.

>Japanese

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@@@@G'day Kanoya 2008
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@@@@Wahoo Japan 2008 A Host Familyfs Perspective
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cay 1:

Without even looking in her direction, they came over to me with nervous looks on their faces and said, gUm ... what should we say?h. These were the first words that came out of my two sonsf mouths when they met our home stay guest Diana (an ALT from New Zealand).

We had practiced some simple greetings beforehand, but when my sons actually met Diana they both froze and were too shy to say anything. Luckily Diana came over to us with a big smile on her face and greeted us with some Japanese that she had just learnt. After our initial introduction we split up into our cooking teams, made some traditional Japanese dishes and then ate lunch together as a group. Once lunch was finished we went to the main hall to learn about various Japanese games and dances.
There was a Japanese drumming demonstration and we also tried Otedama, a Japanese juggling game. The language barrier was no longer an issue and everyone had a great time.

After taking Diana back to my house and introducing her to family we went shopping at the local supermarket. My sons and Diana decided to try and find products that were made in New Zealand. Other than the Kiwifruit in the fruit section, they also found sweets and wine that were made in her homeland. I had heard that Diana liked beer so we headed to the liquor section, although it wasnft as easy as I thought it would be as I had really hard time explaining the difference between ebeerf and elow-malt beerf.

After our trip to the supermarket, we took Diana to a Karate event that my eldest son was scheduled to participate in. Diana thought all of the elementary and junior high school students looked gorgeous in their Karate outfits and was especially pleased that she was able to see the studentsf group performance. We also took some photos with Diana in front of some Japanese folding screens (the venue also doubled as wedding centre). Once again my family and I ran into trouble when Diana asked us, gSo what is the reason for this event?h The event was actually an awards ceremony, but I didnft even know the word for emedalf in English let alone the reason why the participants were receiving such rewards. Once again I had a difficult time explaining what was happening.

The awards ceremony finished and we decided to get some dinner at a local Tonkatsu restaurant (Diana previously told us she loved tonkatsu). We ran into problems again though, when I asked her what type of tonkatsu she would like because my Japanese/English dictionary didnft have the words for ro-su (sirloin) or hire (fillet) in it. I didnft really know what to say but for some reason I uttered, gwhich do you like, meat with fat or meat without fat?h to which she replied, gwithout fat pleaseh. I was relieved that she actually understood me! Diana ate everything on her plate including the decoration cabbage and after returning to our house and having a bath she showed us photos of her family as well as a video about New Zealand. Both of my sons were used to her by now and I heard them laughing together loudly even when I wasnft in the room.

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Day 2:
Our house rule on our days off is eget up at whatever time you wake upf so we all had a nice sleep in. For breakfast we had white rice, miso soup and grilled fish. Diana smiled and said, gI had a good nightfs sleeph as she finished her meal. Once everyone was dressed and ready to go we went next door to the babyfs home where I work (The babyfs home is a facility that looks after children who for some reason or another can no longer live together with their parents). For most of the children this was the first time they had ever interacted with someone from overseas. However Dianafs nationality or the colour of her skin didnft stop these kids from having a good time with her.

Because Diana had only just arrived in Japan we decided to take her sightseeing around Kanoya city and the Oosumi area. First we headed for Kirishimagaoka Park. Unfortunately the roses were not yet in flower so we strolled around the park slurping on rose flavoured ice cream whilst talking about the parkfs famous eRose festivalf and Japanese Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). After playing on the outdoor equipment for a while we went to Kamikawa Waterfall park in Kinko city. Diana seemed to be really happy to be surrounded by nature. We went through the back entrance past the small waterfall and then sat down at the large waterfall while soaking up the negative ions (and the splashes of water!). Diana also had fun playing with my sons in the river.

As I didnft want to make the same mistake as the previous day, I refrained from even trying to explain the difficult concept of Nagashi Soumen (flowing noodles) and instead decide that we should go back to Kanoya city for some Ramen noodles. After finishing our late lunch we took Diana back to our house for some group photos, said our goodbyes and promised that we would meet each other again.

The purpose of the Wahoo Japan event was to allow foreign residents to experience everyday life with a Japanese family and I think this is precisely what Diana experienced during the 2 days that she spent with my family.

(Host Father - Hisashi Kugawa)

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@@@@Letfs go to LaosIParticipant@Interview
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On the 20th of July 2008, The Kanoya International Exchange Association co-hosted a 7 day in-country study program in conjunction with the Kagoshima Prefecture International Cooperation Youth Experience Program called eLetfs Go to Laosf. The purpose of this program was to allow youth from Kagoshima to directly experience the work done by Japanese volunteer groups overseas as well as deepening international ties through global cooperation. I talked to 2 of the students (Ms Atsumi Utsuno and Ms Nina Sugimoto) from Kanoya Central High School who participated in the program and asked them about their thoughts on Laos. Below are their answers.

Ok so what was your first impression of Laos when you arrived?
The color of the sky was so clear and beautiful.
Also unlike Japan, there were street stalls and vendors everywhere.
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Had you previously studied Laos in schoolH
We didnft know anything about Laos because we had never studied it at school. However we did have two pre-departure workshops before we left.
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What language do they use in LaosH
Basically people from Laos speak in Lao. Some junior high school students could speak English; however there were also a lot of students who couldnft because it is not a compulsory subject in secondary schools. We often communicated simply by pointing at words in our Lao phrase books.


Please tell me a basic greeting in Lao.
In Lao the word for eGood Morningf, eHellof and eGood Eveningf is exactly the same and is pronounced eSaba ideef. Everyone is really friendly and even people who didnft know us would come up to us, hug us and say eSaba idee!f. It was so much fun because people went out of their way just to talk to us simply because we were Japanese.


What was your host family like in LaosH
They were very hospitable. They always made sure we werenft feeling anxious by asking us if we were ok. It was surprising how kind they were.


How many people were there in your host familyH
There were 7 people in my host family, although some of my friendsf host families had up to 11 members.


Wow, sounds like a party everyday. Tell us about the food in Laos.
I ate frog for the first time. They often served frogs and ducks at the dinner table. They also eat beetle in Laos, however I didnft have the courage to try it.


Did any of your friends try to eat beetleH
No, everyone was too scared!


What is the staple food in LaosH
Sticky Rice. People in Laos pick up the sticky rice with their hands and roll it into a ball. Although it was the first time I tried eating food without using chopsticks, it was a lot of fun.


By going to Laos what did you realize about your own countryH
We realized that the water in Japan is very clean. Even tap water in Laos is not safe for drinking.


We also realized that the facilities available at schools and hospitals in Japan are more than adequate.


Because the government (and people) in Laos tend not to spend money on others, the roads in both the affluent areas as well the areas where we stayed were mostly made of dirt.


We also learnt that we were blessed here in Japan because it is taken for granted that the majority of people here will at least make it to high school. In Laos it is difficult to even be admitted to junior high.
Finally it became apparent that both our transport and medical systems here in Japan are highly advanced.


Describe the people of Laos.
They seem to do things at their own pace. A party that we attended was supposed to start at 5pm but didnft end up starting until 6:30. People in Laos tend to regard time outside of work hours as their eprivate timef and as a result do not hurry to attend functions etc.


Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ms Sugimoto:
By going to Laos I learnt just how kind the people there are. I hope that they can stay that way. These days in Japan people donft have the time to be kind to others because they are always in a rush.
There are still areas in the southern district that are polluted with landmines. This is something that would never happen in Japan. I became aware of the differences between our two worlds and also learnt how frail Laosf position is in the world when compared to other countries.


Ms Utsuno:
I would just like to add that I think we need to solve the current economic problems facing Laos. It is not a rarity in Laos for pregnant mothers to give birth in the forest because they cannot afford to go to hospital. In some of the poorer areas it is at least 40kms to the nearest hospital and many donft have any means of transport.
We are so blessed here in Japan because we are born into an environment were giving birth and being born is so easy. The people of Laos donft have this luxury and as a result tend to be grateful simply for the fact that they are alive.
I want the people everywhere to realize that countries like Laos still exist within our world and even though we may live in luxury in our own respective countries there are still those who not.


Interviewed by Nathan

>Japanese

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@@@@Kanoya Summer Festival Review
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On the 27th of July 2008, 44 of us from the Kanoya International Exchange Association (KIEA) participated in the e2008 Kanoya Summer Dance Festivalf. Although this was the last time that former CIR Sandy Huang was able to participate in this annual event, the colourful KIEA group danced with extra vitality and enthusiasm.

>Japanese

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@@@@Winners of Prizes from around the world announced!


On the day of Kanoya Summer Festival (July 27th), flyers are handed out, and the numbers on the bottom are drawn for prizes around the world! The winning numbers are as following:

0001 0002 0066 0071 0085 0198 0254
0266 0310 0340 0381  0411 0459 0536
0621 0698 0729 0851 0860 0887 0919

We would like to ask those people who have the flyer with numbers above to call first (0994-43-2111 (Ext. 3394j) and come to the KIEA secretariat (on 5th F of Kanoya City Hall, Civic Activity Promotion Division) and pick up their mysterious prize!!
The deadline for picking up the prizes is August 29th, so we would like urge you to contact us and come to pick up your prizes as soon as possible before the time runs out!

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@@@@Back in Kanoya Report for gDiscovery: Vancouverh Trip!
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The KIEA event gDiscovery: Vancouverh trip (7 days and 5 nights) was conducted from May 29th June 4th, 2008. All the CIRs (Coordinator for International Relations) in Kanoya had conducted a trip to introduce their own culture by leading a group of KIEA members to their home countries. The current CIR Sandy Huang is from Canada, and she brought 11 KIEA members to Vancouver and introduced the beauty that is Vancouver area.
During the trip, various tourist attractions were introduced: Capilano Suspension Bridge, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Stanley Park, Victoriafs Butchart Garden, and Richmondfs Steveston Village. However, the group also enjoyed experiences which would never be available with any regular guided tours. The group members were able to observe what a regular supermarket and farmersf markets in Vancouver are like, and they also rode on Vancouverfs translinks (bus, ferry, light-rail train) all day with only a 2-dollar ticket.
Group members were able to enjoy the urban vibe of Vancouver and also the easily accessible natural beauty of the city.
After hearing this, would you like to join the Cross-Cultural understanding trip guided by the next CIR? Wefll be waiting for you!

>Japanese

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The gPhaung Daw Seikh School in Burma, built with proceeds from the Global Festa held by Kanoya International Exchange Association in October, 2006, was completed in October 2007. The Phaung Daw Seik School sent a Certificate of Appreciation to express their thanks to KIEA.
In the Phaung Daw Seik Schook, there are 114 students learning new things everyday

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We interviewed Mr. Ryozen Miyashita, the representative in Mingala ba Jiyu Association, about the damage of Burma from the Cyclone Nargis earlier last month.

The damage from the cyclone was mostly centralized in the delta area (southern region). Since the gPhaung Daw Seikh School which was established in October of 2007 with funding from KIEA is located in the mountain area (northern region), there was no significant damage to the school from the cyclone.

According to Mr. Miyashita, the current condition of the affected areas was only through reports from local people on site, as a result, the actual condition of the damage is still unknown.

Mingala ba Jiyu Association is conducting disaster relief to the affected areas. The donation received until October this year will be used for engaging in reconstruction assistance for the affected people in the cyclone disaster. Matches and lighters are especially needed on site, and Mr. Miyashita is planning on purchasing these items and bringing them directly to the affected areas in person. Mr. Miyashita will be visiting Burma in November, 2008.

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The gGames around the WORLDh event was held in Renacity Kanoya 3F Fitness Hall on January 20th, 2008 (Sunday) from 2pm to 4pm.

The KIEA volunteer members, Kanoya CIRs and ALTs introduced games from 10 countries around the world. From the interesting janken game of Asian countries, gChegih of Korea, gChicken and Wormh game of Morocco, gFour Squareh of Canada, and gCapture the Flagh game of USA, the children and parents enjoyed the various games and experience a different side of cultures around the world. Finally, the eventfs highlight was the pinata game from Mexico in which children use a stick to hit the pinata until the contents come out. The pinata was made by Sandy herself, and many people couldnft guess exactly the shape of the gthingh (hee hee). Unfortunately, the pinata was cracked before everyone got a chance to give it a try. Many children who didnft get to whack the ugly pinata could only say booc (Who knew kids can be so strong!?)

In contrast to most of the cultural experience event, this event enables children to experience cultures from other countries through fun and games. Many children who came seemed to have enjoyed the event immensely as they kept saying that they need more time to play!

>Japanese

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Civic Activity Promotion Division, Kanoya City Hall
20-1 Kyoei-cho Kanoya City, Kagoshima Prefecture JAPAN 893-8501
TEL : 0994-43-2111 (Ext. 3394j@FAX : 0994-42-2001
EMAIL : info@kiea.ne.jp
Skype : kiea1997
Copyright 2007KIEA All Rights Reserved.