|Silk Tree Youth Hostel - Yokohama, Japan|
We had the opportunity to meeting one of the original Peace Boat founders to hear about how this organization came to be:
"Peace 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.