Behind the scenes of the Arigato Event

Arigato Event group picture in Isehare
Arigato Event group picture in Isehare

Hi, I am Jørgen Steen from Norway. I am one of the counsellors of World Campus. My responsibility is the technical stuff and the video blog.

So today was Arigato Event day. The busiest day for me. This is because on top of being part of all the activities and the normal work, I also have to make the collect pictures from everyone and make a slideshow from this weeks event. For those who do not know, Arigato Event is a 2 hour event where we dance and sing for our host families to show our gratitude towards their hospitality. And on top of that this was the last day of the session so I also had to film a lot of video blogs.

The day started with a meeting as all days do; we talk about today’s events in detail so the participants know more specifically what they are going to do that day. After that we went to make dream maps.

Dream maps are something that they do in Japan to manifest what you want in your life. It is divided into 4 areas and then you present it like it has happened. We were going to present it at the arigato event. First what you want to have, materials goods. Second is what you want to become. Third is who you want to make happy and who you want to have in your life. You do not use specific pictures from this just like a girlfriend/boyfriend, parents, children etc. Lastly you put pictures of what kind of world you want. So we sat down with some Japanese students and started to cut in newspaper and magazines and glue the pictures on our piece of cardboard. When we all were done we presented some of them as practice for the real deal. About half of us did it serious and the rest kind of joked around with it. Mine was kind of a joke, as I did not have a lot of time since I had to film a special kind of end of the session video blog. “A message to the next year’s participants”. It is to counter the lack of knowledge of what we do in World Campus that a lot of people actually have before participating.

When the dream maps presentation was over we went to make mochi, which were quiet good after I sprinkled them with some sweet sesame powder. For lunch we had Japanese curry. I am not a big fan of that, but this time it was kind of good, maybe it is growing on me. After I hurriedly ate lunch I started to transfer the participants’ pictures to my computer and started to make the slideshow. So while the participants and the other counsellors had the end of the session wrap up, I worked with the slideshow. I didn’t finish in those 2 hours they used, so I continued while they had breaks and practised for the arigato event dances and songs. After I was done I went straight to work on all the technical stuff for Arigato Event. I have to check the volume for all the microphones, the songs we are playing, check that the projector is working as it should and etc.

The Arigato Event was fun and worked out well. After that we had a pot-luck party where all the families brought different kinds of food. There was a lot of good stuff there! While we ate someone performed a sort of geisha dance.

When everything was over I went home showered, packed and hang a little with my host family before going to bed.

Jørgen Steen, Norway

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