I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The BEE Event

Left to right: Ryan (Maibara ALT--he hosted the male riders on Sept 10th; Fun--a Chinese exchange student from Hiroshima, currently riding with BEE; Colin--former Jet from Fukui, native Scotsman; Kyle--Hikone Jet and fellow AJET leader; Amiena--another former Fukui JET and BEE rider, American I believe; Katie P--Hikone JET ALT and host of the lady BEEs.

As I've been promising for months, the long awaited BEE Japan Team came to Hikone, Shiga as a stop on their ride across the country. We welcomed them in proper BEE fashion--vegetarian meals (non-veggie meals for non-veggie guests), an all-local and I believe organic dinner. Several environmentally conscious people from the Hikone community came out to show their support, one woman even has a son who travels the world spreading the idea of sustainable living as he goes. He's traveled to India, the Middle East, and many other places, learning and teaching about how to harmonize one's life with nature and society--as he is also an advocate of world peace. (Once I remember his name I will surely add it here.)

Many JET ALTs also attended the event, which I believe was successful because it showed us how important it is to think about ourselves as contributors to a natural system, rather than top-honcho's at the end of the food chain. If the human race is going to survive, we must begin live daily with humility, and remember that our actions significantly contribute the earth and each other.

All in all, we raised a little money for the group's final donation (to an environmental NPO TBA), and gave them a safe, warm hearth for the eve to rest their weary bones. I hope next year when I'm riding I can find such welcomes places as this. Hopefully with the relationships I'm making now with people like Nakamura-san at Moku (the restaurant where we had this event), this kind of thing will be possible in the future as well. It's amazing how much so a small group of aspiring individuals can accomplish!

Enough preaching, on with the photos:
Mike and I played a few tunes for the group, hopefully a little encouragement on the jouney.

They either really enjoyed it, our it bored them to death. I'll let you be the judge (mind you, they'd been riding for 5 weeks, ~100km/day by this point!!)


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