Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Deadly Food Allergies in Japan

先週はALTの先生の研修がありました。福島県のALTは福島市で会いました。研修は楽しかったよ! 私の友達クリスチエンさんに会いました。クリスチエンさんはフランスのカナダ人です。クリスチエンさんは西会津町のALTの先生です。西会津町はすごい田舎ですよ。西会津はとても遠いので、クリスチエンさんにあまり会えません。でも彼は好きです。彼は日本人と結婚しました。彼はとても危険な食べ物のアレルギーがあります。


Sorry everyone! I am still way behind on posting the happenings in this end of the world. Last week, all the JET programme teachers assembled in Fukushima City for a regional conference. As usual, it left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t a complete loss when one guy I knew hospitalized himself for a food allergy.

It started off fairly simply. I was eating lunch with Christian Lapierre. Christian is a French Canadian doing what I do in Nishi Aizu. Nishi Aizu is one of the most isolated and rural places I have ever seen in Japan. For those of you not familiar with Japanese geography, picture Fredonia, Arizona or Gunnison, Colorado surrounded by terraced, snow covered rice fields. He described his new hometown as “a drinking community with a farming problem.” Amusing and very dramatic, he is probably an excellent teacher. He’s a quality guy, and I like him. The only problem is, he has a terrible set of deadly food allergies that force him into the hospital every once in awhile.

Our lunch started off innocently enough. I tagged along with him and a bunch of others at a Chinese restaurant. He gave the server a 5 minute detailed explanation of what he could and could not eat, followed by an interrogation about what was in each item he was considering ordering. He finally got his food, and begin eating, only to discover the servers had overlooked or been mistaken about something. He went to the bathroom to hack it up, but after being unsuccessful, we took him to the nearest hospital. Because it was only a couple minutes away, we walked. On the way, he explained what to do with an enormous adrenaline syringe should worse come to worse.

In the end, he was OK, and only late for the second half of the seminar that day. I felt bad for him though.

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