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 2019-2020 Team
Kelli Yogi, KumAJET President
Hey Everyone! My name is Kelli Yogi. I’m from California, USA and I am currently living in Kumamoto City. I will be going on my 2nd year as a SHS ALT and I am so excited for the endless possibilities to come.
Those who know me, know that I’m a travel bug who loves feeding my friends and hosting fun events. I’m also interested in photography, art, sports, hiking, cooking, and binging Netflix.
I have never managed a website before, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything! If there’s something you’d like to see on here or if you think something could be improved, please let me know! 🙂
Ethan Barkalow, Volunteer Coordinator
Hi, I’m Ethan and I’m from Boston, MA. I’m a 2nd year ES ALT in Mashiki-machi.
I’m enthusiastic about sushi, skiing and going to onsens. I’m even more enthusiastic about craft beer!
I work closely with Jiaien Orphanage and I’m always on the lookout for great volunteering opportunities and charities. If you come across any that we should know about, please contact us!
I’m excited to spend a fun year in Kumamoto with you all — come to our events!!
Tayla-Paige van Sittert, Public Relations Officer & KumAJET Photographer
I’m Tayla, the new social media person for KumAJET this year. I’m based in Kumamoto City and from South Africa. One of my proudest movements was when it snowed for the first time ever in my small South African town, and all the students were stuck in class learning while this magic happened around us. I knew I had to do something about that so I ran to the principal and negotiated some playtime in the snow for everyone.
Also, I really love Instagram and pretty things so count on me shoving the camera in your face for features on kumAJET. See you!
Patrick Amano Dolan, Treasurer
What’s up everyone! I’m Patrick, a 2nd year ALT from Washington, D.C. I teach at high schools in Tamana, just north of the city.
In many ways, I am a prototypical American (nothing makes me happier than wings and football), but I also love all things involving film and music. In Japan, I like to spend my free time finding new onsen and restaurants.
Kumamoto is an amazing place with a million things to explore. Whether it be artsy cafes or backcountry hikes, this place truly has something for everyone.
As this year’s treasurer, I’ll be the one collecting money at the events (I promise, I’ll keep it safe). If you ever see me around, don’t be afraid to say hello!
Lottie Caddick, Community Outreach Coordinator
Hi! I’m Lottie, a second year ALT from Liverpool, England. I teach at a SHS in Kumamoto City. I enjoy nights out, karaoke, K-Pop, and over the past year have became a fan of outdoorsy adventures thanks to the beauty of Kumamoto (but I’m still not a fan of bugs).
As Community Outreach Coordinator, I’ll be looking for new activities and places to visit.
Greg Rammit, Athletics Director
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, Kumamoto Veteran & KumAfest Coordinator
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.
There’s so much to do on this island! Swimming in rivers and gorges, inner-tubing, jumping into waterfall pools, and sliding down natural waterslides are just the start!
You can find beaches, snorkeling havens, camping by the surf and in the mountains, and spectacular hiking. I also recommend trying out rental bicycles, roller luging, driving hi-speed go-karts, riding Honda dirt bikes, and if you can, getting a motorcycle license and driving around Aso area! Hot springs range 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. There are amazing rural cafes, restaurants, and coffee houses as well. 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!
Annabel Shu, Kumamoto Newbie and Webmaster
Hello hello! I’m Annabel, from Atlanta, GA in the United States. I’ve just come to Kumamoto City as a first year SHS ALT and I’m excited to be here and to explore Kumamoto, Kyushu, and beyond!
I am Taiwanese-American, which essentially just means that I’m overly snobby about bubble tea, as well an instant ramen connoisseur and an avid climber of rocks. I love cheering for my home soccer team, Atlanta United, and for underdogs everywhere (Ganbarou, Roasso!!!). I am also constantly trying to keep plants alive in my home, which works about 50% of the time.
I’ll be this year’s webmaster so any fun n forthcoming blog posts with Usagyuuun GIFs will likely be from me. Please reach out if there’s anything that can be improved or added to the website! So excited to hang out with y’all this year!