Get Program 2023
“Team Georgia” Part2

Get Program 2023 “Team Gerogia”の最初から読みたい場合は Part 1 から。

Up to this point the kids had not done any studying. However, things would change starting on August 14th. From this day on (Aug 14th-18th), the kids would study for five hours a day preparing a speech completely in English. They had to choose a topic, and then create a presentation comparing their topic in America and Japan. The topics chosen were Baseball, Crows, and Pets. After choosing their topics the children needed to do lots of research. To start their research the kids created a mindmap of potential topics they would like to discuss in their presentations. They also had to make sure they included both countries’ perspectives on their topics. Once they had a sufficient amount of research they moved on to writing a rough draft of their speech. They all had to rewrite their speeches multiple times. However, in the end they all wrote really great speeches! They were close to finishing but they still needed to practice actually giving their speeches. The ones who finished in time were able to do some read throughs and time themselves. Sadly, I got extremely sick on this trip. So sick that I had to go to the doctor (I HATE going to the doctor and in America it is extremely expensive!) Despite my illness, the kids did really great staying disciplined and working hard! This is largely thanks to the eldest student being a good pseudo-leader! Overall, the kids were able to write good speeches and upon returning to Japan we were able to refine them before they ultimately gave their presentations in front of their family members.

Even though the kids were studying hard during the day, that did not stop us from going out and having fun in Georgia! After studying on the 15th we were able to go watch a Braves MLB game at Truist Park. The Braves won 5-0 and we all had a great time! On the 16th we took the kids to American teppanyaki. They kids said they enjoyed it but that the flavor was a bit different from in Japan. On the 17th the boys and I visited my mom’s school (my mother is a teacher in a public middle school). Here the boys got to experience what American school is like while I gave presentations to a couple classes about life in Japan. The boys thought American school was cool because it was easier and less strict than Japanese school is. Then on the 18th the kids had a VERY American experience by going to the Mall of Georgia and eating at the Cheesecake Factory. After shopping and eating giant cheesecake we went to Medieval Times. Here we ate dinner in a medieval era themed restaurant. While eating, actors dressed as knights performed a dinner show for us which included horse riding tricks, falcon hunting and sword fights! The 19th was a special day where the kids spent some quality time with their host families. The boys went kayaking and ax throwing! While the girl and I went shopping with my grandmother and cousin.

We left on the 21st, however, before leaving the kids and I had a big going away party at my grandmothers. All of my family members came over for the celebration. My best friend also drove up from Florida to meet everyone (it’s a 6 hour drive!) At the party the kids cooked my family Japanese food! My best friend was a kitchen manager so he watched over the children to make sure they didn’t burn down the house or cut their fingers off. The kids prepared okonomiyaki, teriyaki chicken and mochi! My family thought the food was strange… but really good! Sadly, the children thought the food was too strange to try more than one bit. At the end of the night we all swapped contact information and said our goodbyes.

We returned to Japan on the 22nd however, the children did not have to give their presentations until September 9th. In this time period we were able to give the kids pointers on how to give presentations. One of the key things we tried to teach the kids were strategies for handling their nerves and anxiety. When the day finally came, the children were all extremely nervous. However, they all did an incredible job and delivered wonderful presentations! Upon watching them deliver their speeches, I was very thankful to have been able to lead such an incredible team of young people! Even now, I am very proud of Team Georgia!

Get Program 2023
“Team Georgia” Part1

On August 10th me and three imagine* students embarked on a journey from Japan to America! Our travel went smoothly without any bad things happening. We were able to arrive in America safely with all of our luggage. Upon our arrival my mother picked us up from the airport. Then for our first meal in America we ate of the Lord’s chicken, Chick-fil-A. After eating we traveled to my grandmother’s house where everyone met their host families and then dispersed.

The next day (8/11) was our “Atlanta Day”. On this day the kids got to enjoy going to Famous places in Atlanta like The Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coke, and The Varsity! After exploring the city the team was extremely tired and they all fell asleep in the car on the way home. Once we all returned to Nana’s house my family threw me a birthday party! My birthday was on August 10th, so it was nice to be able to celebrate with my family and the students.

On the 12th we went to a famous local spot called Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain is a very very old historical landmark in Georgia dating back to the American Civil War. Nowadays, people go to Stone Mountain Park to enjoy picnicking with their families and watching a laser show that is displayed on the giant mountain side. When we went it was unfortunately raining. However, this did not stop the kids and I from throwing around the football and baseball together. The kids had a really good time at the park and one student even said it was their favorite memory from the trip.

On the 13th the kids went to an American church in the morning. After experiencing an American church service they returned to Nana’s where we regrouped and then headed to the Atlanta Zoo! Here the kids were able to see all sorts of animals including pandas, eagles and the famous Atlanta gorillas! The kids were surprised by how much space the animals had to live in. They said that in Japan they usually feel bad for the animals at the zoo. However, because the animals had a lot more space they thought it was a good place for the animals to live.

After the zoo we drove by some Atlanta street art (graffiti). Then we returned to Nana’s where my brother prepared real barbeque for everyone! We enjoyed ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans with bacon! It was delicious. I missed the flavors of American barbeque. The Japanese style of barbeque has a severe lack of flavor in my opinion.

Get Program 2023 “Team Gerogia”、続きは Part 2 で。

My Fitness History – Caleb Boivin

Howdy, my name is Caleb Boivin. I am from Georgia, America. My fitness experience started at the age of about ten years old, when I started training for sports. Throughout my school days, I played every sport that I could. Through high school, I played ice hockey, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and more! I was also a part of my college’s soccer team. In college, I was able to take a number of classes on diet and fitness. After college, I decided to become a professional wrestler, and that is when I decided to start bodybuilding.

Since that time, my fitness experience has grown a lot. I competed in Crossfit while living in the United States. After coming to Japan, I started doing more bodybuilding and personal training. I also wrote a workout curriculum for children at a company called Aloha Kids in Osaka. There, I trained not only children but also trained all of the adult teachers. Even now I will take private personal training clients and help them create diet and workout routines.

To this day, I still love going to the gym. I usually go five or six times a week. My favorite thing to do is lift really heavy weights. However, I have experience with things like yoga, pilates as well. I think fitness is super important for anyone who wants to live a happier, healthier life! I hope you will join us for our workout class and take steps toward the dream body that you Imagine*

15th Anniversary Party


15周年と少しキリのいい数字ということもあり、久々にパーティを開催しようと計画したものの、計画当時の3月はコロナを心配される方も多かったので、どれくらいの人数が集まるか不安でしたが、現英会話講師でシェフの経歴をもつ Kris が「シカゴピザを焼きたい!」と意気込んでいたので、自分達だけでも楽しめたらいいかなというような軽い気持ちで芦屋周辺のレンタルキッチンを物色。夙川に良い場所が見つかったものの、すぐに予約が取れなかったので5月に時期をずらしての開催に決まりました。

20名は参加くださるかなぁと見込んでいたところ、締め切り日が近づくにつれ50名を越えていたので、Kris に一人で食事の準備をするのが難しくないか尋ねたところ「アメリカで毎日500人前分作っていた事があるから全然大丈夫。」と心強い返事をくれました。


一番困った事は、ピザの型がないことでした。シカゴピザは高さが6cm以上と分厚く、本来は直径40cm程。今後自分でも使うからと Kris が直径40cmの型をオンラインで見つけ、注文しかけたのを横目に「ガスオーブンの大きさを確認するから、ちょっと待って!」と引き留め確認すると、案の定、レンタルキッチンに付随のオーブンは直径25cm程の大きさしか入らないということが判明。60人前となると12枚焼かなければなりません。1枚焼くのに30分かかるピザを前日に1人で仕込んで焼く場合、12個の型が必要と Kris に言われましたが、今後ピザ屋をオープンする訳ではないので、このためだけに12個の型を買う予算はないぞ。そこで、厚紙を利用して丸い型を作り、そこにクッキングシートを貼り付けたもので試して焼いてもらうことに。問題なく焼けたので、厚紙の型で挑むことになりました。



パーティ前日、Kris の代わりに英会話レッスンは、臨時講師 Shayne に助っ人で入ってもらい、Kris が仕込みのため現場に向かう中、「まだ荷物が届いていませんが、大丈夫でしょうか?」と再度レンタルキッチンのスタッフの方から連絡をいただく。届くまでチキンを先に仕込むから大丈夫とKris は落ち着いた様子で「とりよしさん」で仕入れた100本の手羽先を抱えて現場へ向かいました。もし、届くのが遅くなるようなら、近くの店舗へ走って買って届けるしかないかとヒヤヒヤしていましたが、現場に Kris が到着するのとほぼ同時に、待ちに待った食材が無事に到着!ヤマト運輸さんに感謝。

ピザの準備をしている Kris から「I’m stuck on these paper. It takes so long.」(厚紙の型で上手く生地がまとまらなくて時間がかかるんだけど)とメッセージがきて、しばらくした後「I found a way to do it!」(良い方法を見つけたから大丈夫!)と連絡をもらい、焼けたピザの写真を確認し、ほっと一安心。予定時間内に下準備を終えて、翌日のパーティの日を迎えました。

パーティ当日の朝、前日に焼いたピザとクッキーを前に Kris は得意げに楽しそうに他の準備に取り掛かっている中、Caleb がクッキーの袋詰めを終えて「I have good news and bad news.(良い報告と悪い報告があります)」。悪い報告というのは、お持ち帰り用のクッキーの数が60枚であるはずが38枚しかない。どうしてでしょうか….。クッキーモンスター出現?「あれ、それだけしかなかった?じゃ、今から追加で焼くよー」と変わらず動揺もなく、鼻歌を歌いながらミキサーにバターと砂糖を入れてクッキーを作り始める Kris 。ところで、良い報告は?と尋ねると Caleb のアイデアで貼った「imagine」の「i」を型どったシールが可愛いく貼れた事だそうです(笑

そんな中、開催時間になり、ぞくぞくと生徒さん、ご家族、ご友人の方が集まり、初めて出会うシカゴピザを味わっていただき、和気藹々と楽しそうに色々な方と話している様子をみて「久しぶりの雰囲気だなぁ」と浸っていると、「Hello! Hello! Hello!」と元気よく Kris の呼び声。シカゴピザのデモンストレーションが始まりました。どんな風にシカゴピザを作るのかを知りたいという生徒さんのご希望に添ってデモをしてくれる予定ではありましたが、もちろん台本もなく練習をしていた訳でもないのでどんな感じになるかと後ろで様子を見守っていると、流石エンターテイナー!アドリブとは思えない軽快なパフォーマンスで、ピザ生地を投げてジョークも飛ばして楽しませてくれました。




手作りゆえ、至らぬ点や思いがけない事でスムーズには開催できなかったパーティではありましたが、お越しくださった方が楽しんでくださって、「また開催して欲しい。」「またシカゴピザを食べたい!」と感想をくださり、嬉しい限りです。パーティ後日、早速シカゴピザを焼いて報告をくださった生徒さんもいらっしゃいました。誰より一番楽しんでいた Kris が、終わってすぐに次はいつ開催できるのかとワクワクしているので、また近々別の形で今回の反省をバネにバージョンアップして開催できればと思います。


P.S. さて、追加して焼いたクッキーがどうなったかというと… 小麦粉が足らずピザ用の強力粉で焼いてしまったのが要因で鉄板にこびり付いてしまい、とてもお渡しできる状態でなかったため、隠れて Caleb がキッチンの隅で食べたというオチで終わりました。

My cooking history.

I went to college and was trained as a pastry chef for 2 years. After graduating the program, I pursued a degree in nutrition while taking additional culinary courses. During my studies I learned how to manage diets and create menus. I used that experience to write menus for multiple restaurants and bakeries in America. In fact, I still have a menu I created for a restaurant concept that I hope to use one day.

I have a plethora of culinary experience from my time in America, including being a head chef for 2 years at a country club, and a pastry chef at 2-star Micheline restaurant.

I love cooking and I cook all my meals. I enjoy trying new recipes. I will try anything once and then try to improve upon it the next time, if I fail. I’m willing to accept criticism and I always want to improve!

Introducing Caleb Boivin

Hello everyone, my name is Caleb. I am from Georgia in the United States. My hobbies include going to the gym, journaling and trying different coffee shops. In fact, I have been to lots of different coffee shops all over the world! However, Japan is my favorite place on Earth. I want to live in Japan forever! I’m excited to meet all of you! I hope we can have fun learning English together.

My First Job After University

After I graduated from university I was not sure what I wanted to do, but I had a strong desire to travel overseas. A friend told me about an opportunity to work in Antarctica. It sounded exciting and different, so I applied for a job.

McMurdo Station is the main base for the United States Antarctic Program. From this station scientists plan and complete research about the earth, oceans, climate, and animals. The scientists need help so there are many workers supporting the research. There are cooks, drivers, pilots, carpenters, doctors, firefighters, and many other workers. During the Antarctic summer (October to February) there are almost 1000 people living at the station, so there is a lot of work to be done.

I was hired as a dishwasher and was later promoted to assistant baker. It was hard work, but I really enjoyed meeting and working with everyone. Living at McMurdo Station was like living in a very small town on a very isolated island in the countryside. Everything we ate was imported and all of our trash and waste had to be taken away. In October, when the surrounding sea was still frozen, military planes could use it as a runway to deliver supplies and people. Later an icebreaker ship opened a channel, so we could get supplies from ships.

Of course, the weather was cold but we were given special clothing and spent most of our time inside. The warmest it was when I was there was 4°C and the coldest was -30°C. Only once was there a blizzard when the snow was blowing very hard and it was unsafe to go outside. Most of the time it was very dry, and the sun was out 24 hours per day. It was never night time!

The best part of living in Antarctica was the beautiful nature. McMurdo Station is on the sea surrounded by very tall snowy mountains.

Although there are no trees, there are some animals including penguins, seals, and many seabirds. When it got a little warmer and the ice started to break-up we could see whales. My coworkers and the other people at the station were also very interesting. There were old and young people from all over the US. We also had a few international visitors.

After my six-month contract finished I spent some time traveling around the South Island of New Zealand, which is a wonderful place. If you have the chance to visit I highly recommend it! Of course, I will never forget my time at McMurdo Station and the frozen world of Antarctica.

Autumn Trip to Hokkaido

In September of 2014 I took a ferry from Niigata City to Tomakomai in Hokkaido. It was a quiet overnight journey. I always enjoy taking the long distance ferries in Japan.

I spent two nights at a ryokan, or Japanese inn, on Lake Shikaribetsu. The autumn weather was very pleasant and the leaves were just starting to change color. Next I traveled to Sapporo, where I visited the Sapporo Beer Museum and other sights in the city. I ate “Genghis Khan” and other Hokkaido specialties such as fresh ice cream and local vegetables.

From New Chitose Airport, I boarded a plane to Rishiri Island, off the northern coast of Hokkaido. It is very close to Russia. I took a bus tour of the island and met some local people. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. From Rishiri I rode a ferry to Rebun Island and walked along the steep seaside cliffs. There were many amazing views and interesting sights.

My next stop was Wakkanai, the northern most point of Japan. I rented a car and drove through central Hokkaido, stopping in Furano to enjoy the flower fields and fresh fruit. Along the way I stopped at a Reindeer farm and stayed overnight in a farmhouse. I also hiked up Mount Tarumae. It was my first time being so close to an active volcano.

Next was Otaru, it is a wonderful small town and I highly recommend you visit if you have the chance. I ate many wonderful seafood dishes, including fresh crab and squid ink ice cream. Finally, I returned to Sapporo where I went to a baseball game at the Sapporo Dome. It was my first baseball game in Japan and a lot of fun. Overall, my trip to Hokkaido was great and I hope to go back soon!

My First Summer in Japan

In 2014, I spent July to September teaching at the International University of Japan in Niigata Prefecture. The university is located in Minamiuonuma, a very small place with many farms and beautiful mountains. The students came from all around Japan, and many other countries in Asia, to study business English and economics. I had a great time that summer and have many good memories.

There are many rice and watermelon farms around the university. I was very surprised how expensive watermelon is in Japan. Luckily, the farmers would sell us the imperfect watermelons at a cheap price. The taste was delicious! The koshihikari rice grew very fast, from a bright green in July to a golden yellow in September. I would often ride a bicycle after class and enjoy the long summer evenings.

I also enjoyed many festivals that summer. There was a local festival with okonomiyaki and fireworks, and a snow festival at the top of one of the nearby mountains. I even visited the famous Fuji Rock Festival, where I saw many music groups and enjoyed the atmosphere. Niigata Prefecture is famous for Japanese rice wine, known as saké to English speakers. I took a tour of the Midorikawa Sake Company and learned how saké is made.

At the end of the summer I was sad to leave such a beautiful place. In Niigata city I boarded a ferry for Hokkaido. I will write about that trip next time!

Golden Week Trip to Wakayama

Hi Everyone!

I want to tell you about the short vacation I took during Golden Week 2022. This was the first time I have been able to do any extensive traveling since the pandemic began, so I was very excited. I first went to Nagoya by Shinkansen. I spent two days visiting friends and eating Miso Katsu and Tebasaki. It was so delicious!

Next, I took the Nanki (南紀) Limited Express train along the east side of the Kii Peninsula (紀伊半島). I love riding trains, and this was a great journey. The cars have large windows and the view was amazing as the train passed through forests and along the coast. My final stop was Kushimoto. I stayed there for two nights, enjoying sightseeing. Luckily, my hotel was across the road from the Hashiguiiwa Rocks (橋杭岩). I got up early to take photos of the beautiful sunrise. I spent that day visiting Cape Shionomisaki (潮岬) and the southern most point of Honshu. The view was stunning and the weather was perfect. I also learned about the interesting history of Kushimoto. In 1890, the Turkish ship ‘Ertuğrul’ was sunk by a typhoon and many sailors died. The people of Kushimoto helped to rescue 69 Turkish sailors, which led to a strong friendship between Japan and Turkey. Today there is a museum and memorial, and a movie was made about the event, “125 Years Memory” (海難1890). There is even a small Turkish cafe and shop, where I enjoyed a delicious lunch.

Returning to Kobe I took the train from Kushimoto to Shin-Osaka. Again the views from the train were amazing. The trains went along the east side of the Kii Peninsula, passing through Shirahama and Wakayama. I arrived home tired from the long journey, but happy and relaxed. Please let me know if you have any questions!