Nima Esnaashari has been living in Hyogo prefecture since 2010. He moved to Japan from the United States. He originally came to Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching, also referred to as the JET Program. This program is sponsored by the Japanese government and places native English speakers in public schools to assist in the English learning curriculum and give foreigners a taste of life in the countryside. It is a good induction into authentic Japanese culture and lifestyle as many of the placements are in remote locations.
Hyogo is in the center of Japan, just east of Osaka and Kyoto. Famed for its heavy industries, Kobe beef, Himeji Castle and home of the national baseball tournament at Koshien Stadium. Hyogo combines over a thousand years of history, natural phenomena such as the world’s largest whirlpool which is visible from Naruto Bridge, and modern conveniences like world class dining.
Nima is supporting Olympic Tennis which will take place at the Ariake Tennis Park on Tokyo Bay. He was originally assigned to check tickets and help with spectator control, but is now preparing for a different role, since venues in Tokyo are now set to have no audience. Regardless of Nima’s new role, he is looking forward to aiding the Olympics to the best of his ability.
I thought it would be a great opportunity to be part of the Olympics while living in Japan. I’ve been here in Japan, a long time. So, I was really looking forward to the idea of welcoming foreign tourists and athletes from around the world to the country that now has become my second home.
This is Nima’s first volunteer experience on such a grand stage, though he does have experience helping people adapt to their surroundings. He volunteered to help foreign students to navigate the campus and get acclimated to university life while attending Towson University in Maryland.
His hope for the Olympics is that it is successful without becoming a super spreader event. We have already seen teams of athletes infected with Covid-19 and keeping the virus isolated is a key to ensuring the success of the games.
I am a people person. I like talking with new people, and I’ve been told that I have a very happy personality. Nima replied, when asked why he thought he was assigned to his role. I am sure his infectious smile will brighten the days of those he comes into contact with despite the need to be wearing a mask.
I was really looking forward to welcoming all sorts of spectators from around the world and to share in the excitement with them and for the opportunity to watch some tennis games live.
Though his role will be slightly altered, his impact on the games will make them memorable for the people he comes in contact with.
I wish everyone success in their roles and events. I hope to see all the events go off smoothly.
So, my Olympic experience is half over, and I am having a memento mori moment. Trying to take in as much as I can in the 10 days of volunteering I have remaining.
Nima Esnaashari has been living in Hyogo prefecture since 2010. He moved to Japan from the United States. He originally came to Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching, also referred to as the JET Program.
Using simple language like, “How are you today?” or “Looks like you’ve had a busy day,” are simple gambits that often lead engaging conversations.