By Dave Ryan Mikhail Go
When I got the news that I was accepted as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Program, I was definitely elated. While waiting for news on my placement and departure to Japan, I would have daydreams of meeting other JETs in person, hanging out and traveling to different places in Japan, doing the Japanese stuff I liked, and practicing my Japanese. I was going to achieve some of my dreams.
However, the long wait, the constant delays, and the rising cases of COVID-19 made me frustrated. I have not been able to go yet because of the pandemic situation. At times, I am envious of current JETs and people who were able to get into Japan. I have been waiting for a year and many months since I was actually supposed to arrive there last year. There were a few times when I would get depressed and question why these things were happening.
Despite being in limbo, I still keep my hope that I will be able to one day teach in Japan and live out my dreams. As a spiritual person, personally believing in God, I am also trying to encourage myself by thinking that things could work in mysterious ways or that there was a plan for me.
But, even as I stay at home and even if I am stuck in my home country, I am glad that I can still experience Japan and the JET life online. I am thankful to be born in a century where we can have conference calls or use voice channels. I had the privilege of meeting other JETs online both in my country and internationally. I also got the opportunity to join Japanese connect groups, such as cooking and language groups, interact with Japanese people, and practice my Japanese with them online. Even writing for the Nagazasshi gave me a sense of life in Japan in some way.
While this may be far from the real thing, doing all of this has allowed me to experience the JET or Japan life in some way. My hope is that, one day, with more vaccines and improvements, I will experience and enjoy the real thing. But for now, I will just continue to wait.