Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 1 - Yokohama

Today is the day!  We leave in about 2 hours.  A few taxi vans are schedule to take our group of 14 teachers from our TINY hostel here in Yokohama to the amazing Ocean Dream!

Silk Tree Youth Hostel -  Yokohama, Japan

This week in Tokyo has been intense.  We have been pulling 12-hour-days, training with other teachers, our CC's(Communication Coordinators/ Interpreters), Peace Boat Staff( including: web reporters, event coordinators, global university, and many many more).

We had the opportunity to meeting one of the original Peace Boat founders to hear about how this organization came to be:

"Bookmark and SharePeace Boat's first voyage was organized in 1983 by a group of Japanese university students as a creative response to government censorship regarding Japan's past military aggression in the Asia-Pacific. They chartered a ship to visit neighboring countries with the aim of learning first-hand about the war from those who experienced it and initiating people-to-people exchange."

How amazing to think that at the age of 23 these young men had the courage to deny the information being given to them by their teachers and their country, get on a boat, and find the truth from themselves.  Peace has grown and evolved tremendously but still keeps it's ultimate goal of people-to-people interaction.  The program I'm involved in, GET(Global English/Español Teachers) was implemented in order to allow people from all over the world to communicate with a common language.  Global English and Español are tools for communication - as simple as that.  We focus on teaching language for very specific tasks - not perfecting a certain accent or drilling for perfect grammar.

I'll go ahead and give you the very general run down for the first week.  We will be really really busy.  There is so much work that goes into accessing the students so they are in the right language level and with people who have similar goals.  This is also a week to start preparing our events(salsa!), get used to the workings of the boat, and design our curriculum as a team.  It's so much better than I could have imagined.

24 - Board the ship in Yokohama, UNPACK!
25 - Safety drill, Welcome Party, GET(Global English/Español Teachers) Introduction to the participants
26 - School Network Orientation,  Teaching Workshop
27 - Global University (Japanese University students) English Interviews to access class level
28 - GET Interviews to access class level
29 - English/Español Open House (This is a function for all GET students to interact so we can observe them and break them into small classes)
30 - DA NANG, Vietnam!!

Ok, I hope this gives you a good idea of what's going on.  I'll do my best to post a new summary of the days at each port.

Love and miss you all!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Around the World in 80(ish) Days

I’m gearing up to start my next adventure in a few days – so, it’s time to get this very neglected blog up and running again to keep friends and family up-to-date.

I’ve just spent the last 4ish months soaking up time with family and friends.  Two months in Hong Kong with my big sister and the amazing ladies of Hillwood Rd.  Then two months with my parents, family, and friends back in the states.  These people are amazing.  They make me feel ‘at home’ – wherever we may be – and accept me for exactly who I am: a gypsy.

I leave for Tokyo this Wednesday morning!  From there I will board the 77th Peace Boat voyage and circumnavigate the globe in 85 days.  Feel free to check out to see what this organization is all about.  I will be volunteering as an ESL instructor and also co-organizing the ships Salsa and Yoga Clubs. On top of that, the ship offers Spanish language classes and Peace Education.  This is pretty much my dream job. If only it paid and lasted longer than 3 months ;)

A very big THANK YOU to all my friends and family who have supported me through the entire process leading up to this great adventure.  Love you all!