The month of December is for celebrating back home in Canada, and we had a lot to celebrate with this month’s café! Our English topic was travel, which many felt was a much more approachable topic than my usual brain-pickers, and we had our second successful travel café down to neighbourly Shirakawa.
On Thursday, December 14th we kept things in house with a smaller than usual group which provided plenty of time to practice with each other. We even had a couple new faces. We discussed the joys and fears of travel, and what makes a country dangerous, along with who we are as travelers and what sort of things we need to be aware of.

On Saturday, December 16th, the FIA staff and a few expats from Fukushima City headed down to Shirakawa City bright and early in the morning where we set up our café in the Shirakawa Public library, which was a beautifully clean and simple building conveniently located right next to the train station. Our fears of low attendance the weekend before Christmas were squashed when a whopping 17 people showed up to hear the new Coordinator for International Relations in the International Affairs Division talk about New Zealand, some Kiwi English slang, and a quick introduction (and explanation of said introduction) in Maori!

In the afternoon we held our English Conversation Course and the people of Shirakawa seemed happy and welcoming and open to talking about what they do and do not pack for shorter or longer trips. We established stark differences between men’s packing and women’s packing priorities, and talked a little about losing things and getting lost ourselves. It was an afternoon filled with cookies, fudge, laughter, and good times.
We are currently taking applications for our January café! Our topic is Age of Consent and Adulthood, and our country will be Thailand! Hope to see you there!