My Wonderful Memories!

How are you? I hope that you are doing fine!
Having been asked by Boss to write something for this blog,
I started to look through all the old photographs I had taken.
They really bring back lots of memories!


I am really lucky to have been a part of the Temasek family.
They are such welcoming, fun-loving people!
I remember the 1st time I went on a hike with them.
It was the first time I ate freshly heated pancakes on the top of the mountain!
So amazing! So delicious!
Thank you so much, Ms Yamamoto~


Kobe is a wonderful city.
Located between the mountains and the sea,
I can enjoy the beauty of both easily.
Exploring the city is very convenient by bicycle.
I miss cycling freely everyday.
When a student suggested cycling to Akashi,
I knew I had to try!
It was one of the most enjoyable rides.
Thank you Noa for the inspiration!



Now I am back in Singapore!
It’s great to be back with my family and join in the celebrations.
Recently, one cousin got married and another cousin welcomed his first child.
It’s all very exciting and more events will definitely be coming up!
Please keep in touch and I hope we can meet again!
Until then, have fun in class~

Best Wishes,




Update from Andrea!

Hi ! My name is Andrea. I was a teacher at Temasek Language School from 1991 to 1994. I went back to teach for another 3 months when the school reopened after The Hanshin Great Earthquake in 1995. I left Kobe with my then-boyfriend to go back to SG in May 1995.

We both found teaching positions at Temasek Polytechnic as Japanese language adjunct lecturers when we got back. He subsequently became and is a full-time lecturer there. I was still an adjunct lecturer at TP. We got married in SG soon after we came back and welcomed our first baby boy the year after. I must admit I am not very good at family planning because I intended to stop at 2 but ended up having 3 boys and 1 girl! My eldest boy is now 17, my girl is 16, my second boy is 13 and my youngest is 11.

I was a homemaker until my youngest boy turned 2. I was offered an opportunity to teach part-time at The Japanese School in Changi. Two years ago, I became a full-time teacher there. I teach students who have just come from Japan so they don’t understand much English. They are highly motivated and enthusiastic so it’s fun teaching them.

My family goes to Japan almost every year, sometimes to visit my parents-in-law in Gunma and sometimes to visit friends in Kobe. Last December, we took a trip to Kyushu. It was our first time there. We were able to go around the island visiting most of the famous places like Takachiho, Sakura-jima, Aso-san, Kumamoto-jo and so on. It was a wonderful experience as everywhere was so scenic and breath-taking! We also stayed with a friend in Minami-Aso who has a beautiful house in the mountains!

Anyway, I remember working very hard in Kobe with hours like 1-9pm from Mondays to Saturdays but my 3 years and 3 months stint in Kobe has enriched my life and is filled with wonderful memories. I have learnt so many valuable lessons in life from each of the 7 teachers I lived with those 3 years.

Well, I really hope to visit Kobe again soon!

Andrea Kubo
窪 アンドレア







Hello from Singapore!

A big hello to all Temasek students! Some of you might not know me but my name is Catherine and I was a Temasek teacher from 2002 to 2004. Wow, that was more than 8 years ago since I came back to Singapore! Time really flies. So what have I been busy these past years? Well, I was working as a secretary cum marketing manager in a Japanese company called ISI-Dentsu. It is one of the subsidiaries of Dentsu.

Then I joined a local headhunter company as I wanted to try recruitment industry. Finally I had the chance to work in big beauty company called L’Oreal in Human Resource department.  Besides busy working, I am also busy with my personal life. Going out with friends, spending time with family, travelling to other countries (because Singapore is so small) and of course going around Singapore to look for good food! That’s why some of you might realize that I’ve put on weight! Haha!!

Though it has been 8 years since I came back to Singapore, I will never forget the experience I had in Kobe and at Temasek Language School. I was very motivated by the students as they were so passionate about learning English and Mandarin. I also made a lot of friends during my stay in Kobe. Some of them even attended my wedding in Singapore in 2007 and I am still very touched. Thanks for the friendship and I am sorry if I did not manage to keep in touch with all of you.

I think it is a great idea to have this blog. I’m really happy to know that some of the students that I used to teach are still learning English and Mandarin at Temasek Language School and many of them have improved tremendously. Hope to see you either in Singapore or Kobe. Please take care!

Friends from Kobe for my wedding

Post-wedding lunch with friends from Kobe

Travel photo with my husband, Ben

Yee Fei got married and has a baby

How is everyone doing?

I have experienced a life-changing year in Kobe and want to share my joy with all of you.

I was married last October to Michael, my former classmate in elementary school. It was like a dream come true for me celebrating the event with our families and friends at the Tooth Tooth Garden Restaurant.

Our wedding (私たちの結婚式)

Before our wedding, I thought I would have to return to Singapore after we got married. But in my heart, I knew I wasn’t ready to go back home, because I have become attached to Kobe over the years. So once again, it was a dream come true when Michael’s boss agreed to let him work from Kobe. Since then, we have been living in Suzurandai. I teach in a cosy café nearby, while he works at home.


Christmas party at the café (カフェでのクリスマス・パーティー)

We were blessed with a baby girl this August. Her name is Lim Aiping, Hannah. Aiping means love and peace in Chinese. Giving birth in Kobe was an unforgettable experience. I was impressed by the professionalism of the medical staff at Tomura Ladies Clinic. The meals provided were simply fantastic!

Hannah is born!  (ハナが生まれた!)

My mother was here during my confinement month. Now, Michael and I are on our own taking care of Hannah and the household chores. Many say that it is tiring taking care of a baby, but it has been our greatest joy watching her growing everyday. We have to add that the joy is multiplied when we see Hannah smile, gurgle and coo.

Our happy baby Hannah (私たちのハッピー・ベイビー、ハナ)

Many friends ask us about our future plans. We are not sure how long we will be in Japan, but we would love to have Hannah learn Japanese here. Hope she can join Temasek Language School when she grows up!

Hello from the Bay Area!

Hello from the Bay Area!

After reading the blog entries submitted by other Temasek teachers, I just had to ask Fujioka-san if I, too, could submit something. I was a teacher at Temasek many years ago (1996-1997), but I still keep in touch with Fujioka-san and his family and the happenings at Temasek. I have wonderful memories of my time teaching at Temasek and exploring Kobe, which at the time was undergoing major rebuilding and construction because of the Great Hanshin earthquake the year before. I feel very lucky to have lived in such a vibrant and interesting city.
テマセックの先生方が寄稿されたブログを読んで、私も何か書いてもいいですかと藤岡さんに尋ねました。私は何年も前(1996 – 1997)にテマセックの教師をしていましたが、今も藤岡さんや家族の皆さんと交流しており、そしてテマセックでのいろいろなことも知らせてもらっています。テマセックでの教師生活、そして神戸の街の探訪は素晴らしい思い出です。その神戸は1年前に起きた阪神淡路大震災で復興のための工事が行われていたまさにその時でした。私はそんな活気あふれた街に住むことができてとてもラッキーでした。

When I moved back to the United States, I started working for the government of a small town near San Diego, California. Soon after, I got married to Colin Goodwin (Fujioka-san and his wife attended our wedding in San Diego!). After a few years living in San Diego, Colin and I moved to Northern California so I could attend graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley. We fell in love with the Bay Area and have lived here for nearly ten years.

Now we have two children- Tristan and Mira- who are ages 8 and 6. Colin works as a fourth grade English teacher, and I work as a researcher for the state judiciary. We live about 30 minutes from downtown San Francisco. San Francisco is a wonderful city with many unique neighborhoods and shops, and we enjoy spending weekends visiting the city. And just like the beautiful mountains behind Kobe, San Francisco has many beautiful natural areas that a short distance away from the city. We can easily go for a hike in a redwood forest, see deer, or visit the ocean (but the water is freezing!).

During the summers, we like to take long road trips to visit family or see the sights of the west. I’ve included a family photo of us in Ouray, Colorado. Ouray is in a region of Colorado that was famous for mining in the 19th century, but there are very few mines still operating and the small towns in the area rely mostly on tourism. There are beautiful forests, mountains, and rivers to explore in the area.

I have family members who live in Tokyo, so occasionally, I have been able to visit Temasek and Fujioka-san. Temasek still has the comfortable, family atmosphere that I enjoyed so much when I was a teacher there. It is still a very special place to me, and maybe you will see me there sometime, playing Scrabble with Fujioka-san. He always wins, both because he’s very skilled but also because I’m usually very jet-lagged, so if you see me, please help me!





It’s been a while! – Hi from Karen ~

Hi everyone in Temasek

This is Karen from the class in year 2000. All thanks to Boss who still
keeps in touch with everyone that I get the chance to write something in this blog. I lost a lot of my proficiency in Japanese since I last had picnic and hiking sessions with some Temasek students in 2000.

Recently, I  just quit my job with Panasonic and took some small trips during this break. I went to Sabah (East Malaysia) to support my sister and my boyfriend who took part in the 100km Mount Kinabalu run. We also did a small basic camping trip with a local company. I’m not sure if you would like it because the water for bathing and brushing your teeth is chocolate-colored. It’s safe but an unusual color indeed!

After Sabah, I went to Siem Reap (Cambodia) for the 4th time. I go there every 2 years- it’s like my personal pilgrimage. I’ve always love this part of IndoChina as the people are really nice. Of course, I still take a lot of pictures of Angkor Wat and the temples. Oh yes, I managed to find a horse-riding place and we took the horse for a sunset walk. So, now I’m back, I’m missing vacation again. I think I should find a job first….

I hope everyone is doing well or even better in Temasek with very qualified teachers. Anyone who were in my class previously can feel free to write to me too. Boss has my email.

Everyone, do have fun in class!

My boyfriend at the Sabah race

Our camp hut in Sabah

Horse-riding in Siem Reap

A Peek Into Jessica’s Life in Kobe

Time flies so fast and I can’t believe this is the 6th autumn I’m experiencing in Japan! Frankly speaking, I didn’t imagine I’ll stay this long in here after I finished my contract with Temasek.

Work life in Japan had been full of ups and downs. Due to the poor economic condition, I was in and out of job several times. But I love Japan and wanted to continue working here, at the same time help out at the church I go to. Finally by God’s grace, I was blessed with my current job at a university in Osaka.

I’m working at the language lounge of this university and my job includes helping students improve their communication skills by chatting with them in English (and sometimes Mandarin), creating language games to help students learn English in a fun way, not forgetting planning events and outings for the students from time to time. I really love this job though it can be very tough and challenging sometimes. Nonetheless, it is fulfilling watching students improving in their language skills, at the same time maturing into responsible adults.

I spend most of my free time hanging out with my crazy bunch of fun-loving church friends and helping out at church. Our church’s singles group had a retreat to Mt. Rokko recently. It was a refreshing experience, both physically and spiritually. I love going to the nature because that is where I can feel God the closest and hear HIM the clearest.

I do not know how long I will continue to stay and work in Japan. I’m currently trusting my life to God and following where HE leads me. But while I’m still here, I wish I’ll have the chance to see everyone, my former students, at Temasek again. Till we meet, take care!

六甲山での教会の独身者の集いで Singles’ retreat at Mt. Rokko

My long lost twin sister?!

Church friends, Daniel and Eri’s wedding reception

 Chilling out at Nishimura coffee after the wedding reception

Halloween event at university

A trip to tonomine highland with the Temasek family