About the KAJET Team

President: Ken Guerrero   13323866_10154185523674598_1848590873_o

Hello, my name is Ken. My team and I have a lot of exciting ideas for the upcoming year and we hope that you’ll come to our events and join us for the fun! If you have any questions, please send me a message and I’ll do my best to help.

Hometown: “My parents moved a lot when I was younger but if I had to narrow it down to two places:

1. Cavite City, Philippines
2. San Francisco, California (USA).”

Placement: Kushikino Senior High

What I Like About Kagoshima: “For me, Kagoshima offers a lot of variety and the atmosphere feels easy-going yet electric. For example, when I need to decompress after a busy week, I’ll go to an onsen (hot spring), study at a cafe, or play volleyball at the university. Alternatively, when I’m looking for an exciting night out, I’ll dance until the sun comes up at Duckbill or drink with locals at an izakaya.”

Recommended Place: “Check out Dolphin Industry: Burgers and Craft Beers! This is my absolute go-to. If you’re looking to chat, eat delicious food, and enjoy craft beers from around the world, then you will no doubt have a good time here. Coincidentally, a lot of the beers are from breweries in California, which is awesome. I hope to see you there!”

Vice President: Chris Shaw

chrisHey all, my name’s Chris, I’m from the UK, and I’ll be going into my 2nd year as an ALT from August. I work at a prefectural SHS and live in Kagoshima City.

Kagoshima is an incredible place to live thanks to the sheer variety that the prefecture has to offer. Whether it’s the bustle of the city, the beauty of shrines like Kirishima Jingu, or the ability to get close to nature in Yakushima and Ebino (among many others!). There really is something for everyone, and I didn’t even mention Sakurajima…

My favourite place so far is Arahira Tenjin, a small shrine near Kanoya that juts out into the bay. It may be small, but on a sunny day the blue sea and red torii gate make a beautiful sight. Of course, on a Friday night my local ramen shop comes a close second! I’m looking forward to another great year here, and I hope the rest of you enjoy Kagoshima as much as I do!

Secretary: Clandra Newson

clandraI am from Athens, Georgia in the United States of America. I am currently a first year ALT in the Jet Program. I have been placed in Kimotsuki-cho, in the Kouyama area.

So far, I love the nature, culture, and the people I have met. My favourite place to be in Kagoshima is in Kagoshima city, simply because I have not travelled to many places in Kagoshima. Being that I live in the inaka, a taste of some city life is always refreshing. I am looking forward to learning more and more about this wonderful prefecture.

Treasurer: Ty Harthty.jpg

Hey all, my name is Ty. I’m from Alaska in the United States. I’m currently a first-year Prefectural ALT working at a high school in Soo City.

What I like most about Kagoshima is the wide variety of different activities to choose from. There are numerous beaches, mountains, onsen, and even hot sand baths to enjoy. We even have an active volcano at the heart of the prefecture that we can explore.

One unique place to visit is Tosenkyo Somen Nagashi near Ibusuki City. You can enjoy nagashi-somen year-round here. Instead of the usual chute made from bamboo, the noodles are served in a circular tray with cold water. Near the restaurant is a small shrine, as well as a pond filled with fish. After eating, you can head to one of the nearby sand baths to relax

 

Events Coordinator: Staci Custus

staci.jpgHello! My name is Staci Custus and I am the KAJET Events Coordinator for 2017-2018! I am originally from New York in the United States. This is my first year as an Kagoshima JET and I am a municipal ALT in the beautiful Kirishima City.

What I love the most about Kagoshima is the nature and my students. From watching the mist rise from the mountains after rainfall to gazing over Kinko Bay as the sun sets on a clear day, it is not hard to guess how Japanese artists (like the legendary Miyazaki) find inspiration here. Coming from the suburbs of New York, I’ve spent my life surrounded my flat land with a lot of building on it. Coming to Japan has opened my eyes to the beauty and ferocity of nature and made me realize how connected each of us are to it. And of course, my students are the highlight of being an ALT. Without them, I wouldn’t be in Kagoshima today and with them, I am able to thoroughly enjoy my job and continue to push myself for both them and me.

I have a very strong passion for onsens and so I would have to recommend the Iwasaki Hotel Onsen in Kirishima. The drive to the hotel is absolutely gorgeous and not only are there a variety of baths to try out, but the outside baths overlook the Kirishima forests.

Communications Coordinator: Christine Zawlocki

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Hey guys! My name is Christine. I’m 23 and I’m from Wisconsin, USA. I currently work as a 3rd year senior high school ALT in Kanoya City. In my down time, I enjoy going to cafes, cooking, and running/HIIT to balance that out! I’m the one that will be moderating the site/blog and Facebook group as well as letting you know about all the area events.

The main reason I love Kagoshima is the sheer abundance of nature. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to be surrounded by forests, mountains, and beaches until I got here but now I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to leave.

It’s hard for me to choose, but if I had to recommend one place in Kagoshima, it would definitely be Cafe Konomichi in Kanoya. I’ve become a bit of a regular myself. The owners are super chill and the food is to die for (best chicken nanban I’ve had!). In addition, they have a small branch store near Rina City that specializes in sandwiches, which I’d highly recommend as well!

 

Community Coordinator: Max MacAvoy

maxHey Folks!  My name is Max MacAvoy.  This will be my second year on JET and I am based in the tiny northern mountain town of Yusui.  I will be your Community Coordinator this year.

I come from a U.S. Navy family and spent about 11 years growing up in Japan, specifically Okinawa and Yokohama.  Most recently I am from beautiful San Diego, California, but my home state is Florida!

I am an avid outdoorsman, and a connoisseur of cookouts and barbeques.  I am always ready for an adventure in Kagoshima’s beautiful nature.  Whether it’s a dive in the East China Sea, a visit to a historical landmark, or following a herd of deer through the dense forest of Kirishima that’s where you will likely find me.  My favorite spot in Kagoshima would have to be in the driver’s seat of my little Pajero-Mini exploring some of the backroads of Kagoshima’s inaka.

What I love about Kagoshima is its relative obscurity, yet its profound historical and cultural contributions to Japan.  As an absolute history nerd I am always fascinated to discover just how pivotal this prefecture has been to the shaping of modern Japan.

If you are ever feeling a little isolated in your small town, lost in the big city, or start getting cabin fever on one of the islands let me know and I will be more than happy to make an effort to bring some English speaking community into your life!

 

Contact any of the above KAJET members at kagoshima@ajet.net, or submit a comment in our website’s Contact section.