What is KumAJET?
KumAJET is the local chapter of the Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching (AJET). AJET is a national volunteer organization of JET Programme participants whose mission is to serve the JET community by building support networks, organizing useful information, and offering resources to enhance the lives of JETs.
KumAJET strives to be a group that brings people together to have fun and make friends here in Kumamoto. Whether you’re looking to do some volunteer work, get out for a night on the town, or explore some of Kumamoto’s scenery, we are the group for you.
KumaJET members include current and former JETs as well as members of the local community. Our events are open to all residents of Kumamoto, both foreign and Japanese. Along with planning our own unique KumAJET events, we provide details about other events going on in the prefecture here and on our official Facebook page.
KumAJET’s main objectives are to connect JETs and Kumamoto residents together to engage in socializing, explore the prefecture, and make great memories here in Japan, all while giving as much back to our communities as we possibly can.
The 2018-2019 Team
Kristina Butke, Webmaster & Web Marketer
Hello and welcome! I’m just your average American otaku who made the pilgrimage to the geek mecca that is Japan. Of course Japan has wonderful anime and manga that is emblematic of Cool Japan, but there’s so much more to Japan than pop culture and creativity.
I’m interested in Old Japan–the folklore, literature, history, spirituality, and traditions that make Japan a wholly unique country to explore. If you see me running around the shrines of Kumamoto Prefecture, stop and say hello as I try to catch ’em all–goshuin, that is!
My role in KumAJET is to make our web presence as spiffy as possible. This includes updating the website with information not only about KumAJET events, but to build a compendium of all the lovely things Kumamoto Prefecture has to offer you. I also design our event advertisements, which you can find on our Facebook page and Instagram.
Chiri Davis, Public Relations Officer
Hey Everyone! My name is Chiri Davis. And, no, I didn’t misspell my own name.
I’m from Detroit, Michigan, USA. Now, I’m currently living in Amakusa, Kumamoto. I will be going on to my 3rd year on JET.
I’m a person who truly loves being around others and making people happy. I’m a party lover and known by some as a city boy. I enjoy listening to bass bumping music, exercising daily, and watching educational YouTube videos. Recently I’m really interested in science and politics recently.
I can speak Japanese on a daily conversation level, but I’m always trying to improve my Japanese more every day.
Kira- Ann Hayashi, ALT Liaison
Yasmin Khanom, Event Photographer
‘Sup everyone! I’m Yasmin, originally a city girl from London, UK. I’ll going into my 2nd year here, living in Kumamoto City.
I’ve come to love the nature and outdoors here in Kumamoto, and over the last year Kumamoto has won my heart with its cute cafes, fun festivals and picturesque landscapes. It’s pretty amazing that we can have beaches, snowy mountains and an active volcano all in one prefecture.
I’m into anime (original eh), good dramas (currently anticipating House of Cards S6), K-pop and love a good road trip.
I’ll be the one holding the camera at most KumaJET events, and I look forward to meeting all of you! Let’s have a fantastic 2018-2019!
Gregory Lambert, KumAExplorer
Kia Ora, my name is Greg and I’m from New Zealand. I love playing sports, camping, and exploring the outdoors.
My goal is to encourage more people living in Kumamoto to join a team as a way to make new friends and see Kyushu.
Drop me a Line if you are interested in Rugby, American Football, Touch Rugby, Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Kickboxing, MMA, Jiu Jitsu or, any other sports that I can help connect you with.
Chris Ott, KumAExplorer
Hey everyone! My name is Chris. I’ve been in beautiful and magical Kumamoto for a bit now, and I am looking forward to sharing with any adventurers or prospective adventurers out there all that Kumamoto and Kyushu have to offer.
So much to do on this island! Swimming in rivers and gorges, inner-tubing, jumping into
waterfall pools, and sliding down natural rock waterslides; beaches, snorkeling, and camping by the surf; spectacular hiking, camping in mountainside campgrounds; exploring on rental bicycles, roller luging, driving hi-speed go-karts, riding Honda dirt bikes, (getting a motorcycle license??); hot springs ranging from the super acidic to the super alkaline, from the super-clear to the super-muddy to the super-carbonated, from the posh and refined to the undeveloped and natural; amazing rural cafes, restaurants, and coffee houses; and more. There is so much waiting to be done and seen! If you are interested in outdoor adventuring and exploring, or have some questions, please shoot me an email : christopherott [at] hotmail [dot] com.
Looking forward to seeing you all on some adventures!
Olivia Poole, Secretary
Hello everyone, my name is Olivia! I’m from the UK and I will be starting my third year on JET in August 2018. I teach at a high school in Kumamoto City.
Living in the city means I am always happy to hang out with visiting ALTs and go for a drink! My hobbies are travelling around this lovely country, going to the gym, and watching rubbish TV.
I am looking forward to planning some great events and sharing this wonderful prefecture with you all!
Caitlin Puzzar, Treasurer & Jiaien Orphanage Liaison
Hello everyone, I’m Caitlin. I’m a Kumamoto City ALT from England and I’m starting my 3rd year this summer.
My role is very behind-the-scenes, so I might seem like an enigma, but don’t let that stop you saying a quick hello. Living in the city means I know an abundance of go-to places, but I love spending time discovering more quaint spots too! If you ever need any recommendations or someone to drag along for company, feel free to ask.
I’m looking forward to meeting you at some of our many events, and hope we can continue to make our KumAJET community a welcoming one.