Landing in Fukouka Japan after 24 hours of traveling, we were greeted by the APCC volunteers and had our photos taken by what seemed like a million people, we felt like celebrities. We were then taken to Marine House where we were welcomed and helped the JA’s settle in. After lunch I said goodbye to the JA’s and chaperone's and was taken to the PA camp at Global Arena.
Arriving at Global Arena was great; I was greeted by some of the other PA’s and we were shown to our rooms. After dinner we started to bond strong friendships while practicing the PA performance for the event day .
PA camp at Global arena was an amazing experience; I met many wonderful people and learnt a lot about the BC organisation and also how to run a successful bridge club. There were many seminars and meetings that helped to improve my understanding of BCIO as well as free time and games that helped us to build friendships that I know will last a lifetime.
The host family stay was another highlight of the trip; I was lucky enough to be hosted by the same family as I had in 2006 as a JA. It was marvelous to see them again and see how they had changed and grown. My host family was really wonderful and I had an amazing time with them in the city. We went to temples, parks, turtle hunting, played with fireworks, visited family and went into the country to ride an old train and see the green cherry blossoms. I was able to help cook a variety of Japanese food that was fun to make and really delicious to eat!
The PA’s stalls, on event day, were a big hit, with everyone selling many wonderful and exotic items from their home countries and raising a lot of money for the APCC 25th Reunion next year. Singing ‘We are the Bridge’ at the end of the festival made everyone feel a little sad but also happy to have had such a wonderful experience with such incredible friends.
The whole experience taught me more about the way people from all different cultures and countries are all more similar then different. I learnt a great deal about Japan and Japanese culture, and about the APCC and BC programs. I was very sad to leave my host family and the friends I had made in Japan, but I made sure I said “see you next time”, not goodbye.
It was once again a great pleasure to be selected as a Mission Project country by the APCC. This year we had 14 children and 3 chaperones visit us in Melbourne for a cross cultural exchange program.
All the children were hosted by AJS members and friends and some past JAs were also hosts.
A great time was had by all and we hope we will be selected again in the near future.
Thankyou to all of the host families for opening up your homes to our Japanese guests and to the 3 Japanese Chaperones for escorting the children to and from Melbourne. We would also like to thank Murray Sayers the AJS President for taking the time to come out to the farewell party and meet our guests.
It was great to catch up with the 2011 JAs today. We shared a late lunch and played in the back yard then looked at some of the JAs photos/videos on the huge TV. All of the JAs are writing to their families and have completed their diaries and photo albums. It was great to share the memories of a fantastic experience with each other.
Today the 2011 Australian PA Emily Ballantine Brodie and BCA President Erin Maitland went to the Japanese Consulate, in Melbourne, Australia, to sign the book of Condolence. This book is being written in to express the feelings and pass on the messages of support to all the people affected by the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
It was great to see so many past JA's and even a few future JA's at a BBQ lunch at past 2010 JA, Tanishas house on Sunday the 18th of March.
The weather was fantastic and all the kids enjoyed a swim in the pool and playing in the families huge backyard.
Thankyou to all the Mums and Dads who brought lunch - what a yummy feast we all shared.
A fun day was had by all and talk has started to plan the next reunion already!
“Bridge Club’s environmental actions towards safe and clean Earth
Setting up BC environmental action stations”
One Home, One Tree, is a project aimed to inspire, engage and enable young people to take individual action toward living sustainably. By planting a tree, somewhere in their urban environment, every young person engaged in the project can connect to their environment and in turn connect with the issues related to sustainability in cities.
Bridge Club partnered with Urban Reforestation, a local Melbourne not for profit organisation, to deliver the project. Urban Reforestation is a local and global sustainable design project. Their aim is to inspire and enable sustainable everyday lifestyles and they do this by:
Urban Reforestation is based in Victoria Harbour , Docklands , Victoria , Australia .
On the 20th February 2011, BCA members meet and launched the One Home One Tree Project at a tree planting event at the Urban Reforestation Garden at the Docklands.
The Day was a great success and every child that attended helped plant a tree and also took home planted seeds to grow at home.
After we planted the tree we had a BBQ, we even cooked some veggies we picked from the garden and picked herbs to garnish our sausages.
The project was advertised on Urban Goes Green – a Dockland TV program and also in the Docklands Newspaper.
Mariah, a 2009 JA has set up and appeal for the victims of Haiti. She has already raised and donated funds and now has designed Tshirts and is selling wristbands to raise further much needed money!
PLEASE HELP HER HELP OTHERS!!
Her email to me is below, so please have a read and scrape together any extra cash you can and send it to her (details below).
Thankyou! And Good Work Mariah!
We are the Bridge!
After much toing and froing, the Haiti fundraising t-shirts are finally ready to be ordered. Attached are the three designs. They are available in XS, S, M, L and XL. We are also selling rubber wristbands for the appeal. The t-shirts are $15 each, and the wristbands are $3 each.
If you just want to make a donation, could you please just write a cheque addressed to World Vision Australia Haiti Earthquake Appeal or just World Vision Australia and send it to me at '755 Barrabool Rd Ceres 3221'.
I know it has been a long time (9 months) since the earthquake, but things have hardly improved over there.
Much of the aid promised was never given, and most of the volunteers have left. 98% of the rubble remains uncleared, and in this rubble lie thousands of bodies. 1.6 million people are homeless and only ten thousand of these have a tent. There are increased levels of robbery and violence and children are being stolen and sold into the international sex trade.
The money raised will help towards long-term solutions such as clearing the rubble, building houses and funding health centres and schools.
I was just wondering whether you would be able to pass this on to anyone whom you think would be interested in buying something. They really need to be in by the end of the week or middle of next week.
Thanks for all your tremendous help with everything,
Following our yearly tradition, members and friends of the Australia-Japan Society and Bridge Club Australia gathered in the beautiful Rhododendron Garden in Olinda on Sunday the 19th of September to enjoy traditional Japanese-style cherry blossom viewing (Hanami).
Unfortunately this year the Australian native Birds had eaten all of the blossoms off the trees, but as it is now spring in Australia, the Daffodils were all out in full bloom. There were also some beautiful Australian wild flowers in bloom too, so we all enjoyed looking at them instead.
Bridge Club Australia organised Japanese games for the children, including the Japanese summer game of suika-wari (a bit like a watermelon piñata). This involved blind-folded competitors being guided by their team-mates to crack open a watermelon.
Families and friends also watched an Ikebana flower arranging display and viewed a traditional Tea Ceremony, followed by a picnic lunch in the gardens.
A great time was had by all and we hope the birds stay away from the blossom next year!
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