2017-2018: A Year in Review

Despite Hurricane Harvey, JETAA TEXOMA was more active than ever, hosting and participating in the following stellar events to promote cross-cultural understanding and connect JET Program Alumni across Texas and Oklahoma.

2017-2018 Recurring Events

  • 6 trivia nights in Houston: April ‘17, May ‘17, June ‘17, October ‘17, February ‘18, March ‘18.
  • 4 Book Club Meetings: Silence (July ‘17), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (October ‘17), Our Land Was a Forest: An Ainu Memoir (January ‘18), and Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (April ‘18)

2017 Events We Supported or Facilitated

  • May 6-7: Alumni provided information about the JET Program at Japan Festival Houston
  • Jun 24: JET Q&A Session for Departing JET’s, in which alumni advised outgoing JET’s on topics such as health, team teaching, and daily life in Japan
  • Jul 22: 2017 Departing JETs Farewell Reception held at the Consul-General of Japan in Houston’s residence
  • Aug 3-Aug 6: President Tim Roller, Vice President Greg Gaylor, and Treasurer Jessica Holloway represented our chapter at the 2017 JETAA USA National Conference in Washington D.C. and the JET Program’s 30th Anniversary Reunion
  • Aug 19: Austin Alumni gathered for karaoke
  • Aug 31: Hurricane Relief Fund raised $1000 to assist local JET Alumni affected by the storm
  • Sep 16: ‘Houston Strong’ Day of Service for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts
  • Nov 11: Houston Nengajo Party, co-hosted with The Japan-America Society of Houston, educated attendees about the Nengajo custom and helped them create their own
  • Dec 9: Bounenkai 2017 gathered more than 40 Attendees including Alumni members, members of the local Japanese community, and guests from JASH, the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, and CLAIR

2018 Events We Supported or Facilitated

  • Jan 21: Shin-nen-kai 2018 in Austin
  • Feb 11: JET Returnee Reception
  • Feb 17: Austin Alumni Meeting
  • Mar 18: Texas Japanese Speech Contest, to which JETAA Texoma donated a small gift for winners in the haiku category

Houston Book Club Details Finalized

The first JETAA Houston Book Club meeting details have been finalized:

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Time: 10:30 A.M
Place: EQ Heights (1030 Heights Blvd.)
Book: Silence by Shusaku Endo

Please be aware that parking may be limited. For those close enough, car-pooling or ubering may be preferable.

Our Houston Rep, Emily Gurvis, will arrive early to hopefully secure a table, and will also be leading the discussion. If someone else has an interest in leading, please contact her at: houstonrep@jetaatexoma.org

As June is just around the corner, now is a good time to begin sourcing your book. For those of you that prefer borrowing books from the library, consider digital copies, which are also available for loan through various library apps.

Friends (JETA and non) are welcome to join, but please inform Emily in advance so she can anticipate the number of seats needed. And if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, or need to change your RSVP to ‘no’, please reach out in a timely manner. Thank you!

Houston Book Club Announcement

Houston has spoken! The books selected for the first Houston-area book club are, in order of month of suggested reading:

July 2017:  Silence by Shusaku Endo

September 2017:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

November 2017: Our Land was a Forest by Kayano Shigeru

January 2018: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

March 2018:  The Sarashina Diary by Lady Sharashina

April 2018:  Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

The order is subject to change based on member feedback.

If you are interested in reading and meeting about the first book, Silence, RSVP to houstonrep@jetaatexoma.org .

RSVP’s are not binding, but will help us anticipate the number of participants. In your email, please also indicate where you are located in Houston, e.g. Sugarland, the Heights, Katy, EaDo, etc. This will help me to choose a meeting place each month.

At the top of each meeting I will welcome newcomers, give a brief introduction of our book club, and ask you to introduce yourself. We will then segue into the discussion. I would like for members to be active participants! If you are interested in leading the inaugural discussion on Silence, please say so.

After concluding each meeting, another similar announcement will be sent out via the Newsletter and Facebook.

I look forward to meeting everyone.
Emily Gurvis
Houston Rep, JETAA Texoma