Google Analyticsというグーグル先生のサービスもあります。自分はこのサイト向けには使ってませんが、こっちもかなり使えるので、ブログのアクセスを増やしたい人などは導入するといいと思います。


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Ideas Worth Spreading (#oij and TED 2011)

If you tweet often, you might have noticed my recent tweets include a hashtag (#oij), and you might wonder what that stands for. Well, oij stands for Open Ideas Japan. A well known brain scientist in Japan, Kenichiro Mogi, has started this hashtag movement on Twitter after participating in the TED Conference 2011 and being inspired from it. He’s called on Japanese Twitter users to post their ideas that could make Japan better on Twitter. Since his call, this hashtag has been one of the most hot topics among Japanese Tweeter users. There is a number of good ideas posted by many Twitter users, and I have been very inspired by these ideas. However, I also think this movement could end up being just a venue for people’s complaints. It is, therefore, up to us (Japanese Twitter users and those who tweet in Japanese) to take actions from this movement. It has shown to me that a lot of people including myself are very frustrated at selfish Japanese politicians who only care about themselves and their abuse of power, job hunting that lasts forever, and the higher educational system in Japan etc.

Speaking of the employment system in Japan, as I stated in my earlier post, it entails a number of contradiction. I can give you an example here from my experience.

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Update – 近況 (3)

This is the continuation of my previous post – Update (2).

I was again confined in San Salvador until further notice. At that point, my knee was actually doing fine. I didn’t have any problem walking around thought it hurt when I took stairs up and down. So I was somewhat doubtful about the seriousness of my knee injury. Because I was planning to take a vacation and go back to Japan in 3 weeks, I thought of postponing my surgery to later, maybe after my vacation. This idea, of course, was denied by my PCMO. I was strongly discouraged to postpone my surgery.

I was really bored, confused and lost. I questioned myself, “what the hell am I doing here” countless times. I would say it was the most difficult time since I came to El Salvador. It seems as thought it’s nice to have a month of vacation in the capital but it was not fun at all.

To my surprise, the Peace Corps headquarter in Washington DC was quick in responding. I was told that I was going to leave El Salvador on April 19th, Monday. And they decided to have my surgery in Washington DC not in Panama.

Of course, things didn’t go that smooth with the Peace Corps. I waited almost 7 months to be invited and assigned. Same thing. On the morning of April 19th, I was all packed and ready to leave. I went to the office to pick my medical record up. Then, I was told to wait for a minute. 30 minutes later, I was told that there was no space in a hotel that the Peace Corps used in DC and on top of that, the surgeon was out of office. Therefore, they postponed my trip and made me stay in San Salvador for another 3 days. I was really tired of waiting and doing nothing in San Salvador.

To be continued….








Update – 近況 (2)

This is the continuation of my previous post – What I’ve been up to.

It was the first time ever that I’ve done MRI. The machine looks very expensive and it was continuously making some noises. With the MRI film, I went to see the orthopedist again the next day.

His prediction was right. It became apparent that my ACL was torn as well as my meniscus was ruptured. He told me that he was sorry but I needed to get a surgery to fix this problem; and he was right. I did some research on torn ACL and found that I could choose not to have a surgery but that means I wouldn’t be able to play any sports for the rest of my life.

On careful thought, I had been having this knee problem quite a while. I fell while I was playing Frisbee with kids in August last year and I heard a pop. Since then, I felt like my knee became extremely unstable that I dislocated it for several times. I didn’t really dislocate it but I felt like it. I hoped to be able to run and jog, to do some exercise and to do some sports again so I decided to undergo a surgery.

The PCMO who saw me the other day told me that he would consult with Washington DC about surgery. I knew it was going to take a long time to communicate with DC and to decide the details of my surgery.

To be continued…







What I’ve been up to – 近況 (1)

It’s been a while since I wrote last time. I just wanted to make a note for what I’ve been going through.

As I mentioned in my last post (in Japanese), I got injured while playing soccer on March 21st. Nothing really happened during the game but my right knee started hurting on that night. It was really swollen too and the pain was growing as time went by. Next morning, it was very difficult to walk so I decided to go to see doctor.

I went to see one of the PCMOs (Peace Corps Medical Officers) and I was told to have X-ray done at a local hospital. With my film, I went to see a local doctor who’s specialized in orthopedics. There was nothing wrong with my bone but apparently my knee is internally bleeding so he got rid of blood by injecting an empty syringe. It was a painful procedure but after that, my knee pain went away. He told me to take a good rest for 2 weeks.

I was staying at a hotel for about 10 days and then our Country Director (CD) kindly invited me to stay at his house. After 2 weeks, I went to see the orthopedist again and after carefully checking my knee, he told me that my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) might be torn. In order to see if my ACL is torn, I needed to get an MRI so I went to another hospital to undergo this procedure.

To be continued…







ピースコー vs. 青年海外協力隊

去る3月21日、ピースコー vs. 青年海外協力隊のサッカーの試合が行われました。多分・・・エルサルバドルでは初の試みだったと思われます。

で、その会場というのがですね、すごいんですよ。最大で52,900人収容できる、Estaduio Cuscatlán(クスカトランスタジアム)。こんなん↓

It's the largest stadium in El Salvador where national teams play.



Team Peace Corps - Picture by Rosellen Marohn


● ピースコー男 vs. 協力隊男 ○

○ 協力隊男 vs. JICAスタッフ ●

○ ピースコー女 vs. 協力隊女 ●

● ピースコー男 vs. JICAスタッフ ○


その後はピースコー、協力隊ごちゃ混ぜにして、エルサルバドル西部に住むボランティアチーム vs. エルサルバドル東部に住むボランティアチームで試合をしました。こっちの結果はあまり覚えてませんが、確か西部チームが勝ったと思います。

Picture by Claudia Martinez


交流会の様子 Picture by Claudia Martinez


我らがCD・ハイメ氏です。 Picture by Claudia Martinez

話のオチとしては、この日あんまり試合に出なかったにも関わらず、研修中から痛めてた右膝が悪化し、夜パンパンに腫れた上に熱まで出してしまい、翌日医者に診てもらったら膝に血が溜まってたそうで、注射器で血を抜き、その後もずっと首都のホテルで療養中です・・・。サッカーゲームの前日に首都に上がったので、それを含めるとかれこれもう11日も首都にいます。今はもうほとんど治って、血を抜いた後しばらく使ってたサポーターや松葉杖なしでも普通に歩けるのですが、階段や段差が若干怪しい。しかも今エルサルバドルはSemana Santaという休みに入ってしまい、学校もないので、逆に開き直って良い気晴らしと思うようにしています。


A truly meaningful developmental project – 本当に意味のある国際協力とは

I’ve been thinking about the most appropriate way to execute project in developing countries because I’ve seen a lot of self-satisfied projects since I got here in El Salvador.

For example, in my town, there is a park built with the fund from some European organization. In this park, I can find many trashcans. However, the biggest problem of this town is trash. In other words, people just throw away trash anywhere, when there are in fact lots of trashcans. There is even trash collection service provided by the municipal government.

Why? Because this organization failed to teach local people how to use trashcans. There had to be some workshops in which the organization taught the importance of using trashcans. Also, the organization failed to collaborate with the local government to have trash collection trucks to pick up the trash.

What is left here is the sign that says “this park is built thanks to this organization.”

I could say that this project is a complete waste of time and money because I believe these types of projects are successful only when they are sustainable.

Is this project sustainable? No, because people already don’t use trashcans.

So the next question is…how can any project be sustainable? I believe the most important thing is to involve local people in projects.

In order to involve local people in your project, it is important to learn their way of thinking. You can’t just push your ideas and values. You have to learn their language, customs, traditions ets to gain their trust. Only after that, can you know their honest opinions. 

Then, they would listen to your ideas and start to cooperate. Some of them may become core members of your projects; in other words, they would continue what you are doing even after you are gone.

In my opinion, there are so many organizations that push their ideas to local people. These organizations don’t care about local people but just their own agendas.

I truly think developmental projects can’t be self-satisfaction.

It may be difficult to satisfy all the people; however, we have to try to satisfy as many people as possible.


(Japanese text follows)