Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Visitors Welcome: Yolanda Lee ’16 at Volunteers for Peace-NICE in Fukushima, Japan

I’ve been here in Fukushima since July 5th, and I have found myself with two main jobs. My first and main job is to teach english to anyone who wishes to learn. My main job is to attract the locals and draw them into wanting to learn English from me.

However, I will have to try and attract these potential students by myself. I have been able to get the help of Takahashi-san, thus I have a total of 4 students a week for now.

This leads me to my second job, which is to help out at this cafe called Iyashi Cafe. Iyashi cafe is owned by Chung Sensei. While I am helping out at the cafe, I will meet many different people. Therefore, I will be able to promote myself as a native american speaker to locals in an efficient way.

Another role I would play in this organization is helping the organization in distributing information that Fukushima is a normal city and is very safe to live in or visit. On the Fukukan net page, I will blog about different experiences I’ve had since coming to Fukushima.

I believe that the reason why this program includes the opportunity for the locals to learn a different language taught by international volunteers is to create a more diverse community. If the locals have the ability to converse with foreigners, it may attract more people to Fukushima. It also allows them to communicate to foreigners via the Internet to promote the charm of their city.

At the cafe, when I am not teaching english, I will do little tasks such as washing the dishes, being the buster and wiping down tables. Sometimes I will greet the customers; but since my Japanese is somewhat limited, the waitress or waiter at the time usually takes orders and greets the customers.

Sometimes, I will also do tasks such as packaging the different Kimichi products. Other times, i could be putting the labels on the packages. Once in a while, I will also help out with basic secretarial work for the members of fukukan net. I end up helping out less with the cafe and more with fukukan net members when an event is approaching.

Overall, being able to help out with these sorts of jobs is very rewarding once everything is successfully completed.

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