18 June, 2014

World OT Congress #1

Blogging today from Yokohama at the World Occupational Therapy Congress.

Yesterday I attended the opening ceremony, which was very formal, as you'd expect. The surprise was the attendance of the Emperor and Empress of Japan. They didn't say anything, but were present on stage throughout the formal speeches. There were also three politicians who addressed us plus a message sent by the Prime Minister.

I happened to sit next to some Kiwis, and then some Aussies sat with us too. It made the time between arriving and starting pass quickly. We arrived early because the special guests meant we needed to got through metal detectors as we arrived. 

The delight was a performance by a Japanese drum troop called AUN. I'm blogging from my phone or I'd insert a YouTube clip here. Google them, they are very impressive! Funny too!

Then I went to a reception, a so called Cocktail party (casual) with a few thousand others! Very weird. I met no one I knew. At a bit. Chatted to a couple of people. Enjoyed a Chinese dragon dance. And left. Got a bit lost on my way to the home of my OMF colleagues and was terribly tired by the time I got there. I struggled with a headache all day, probably commiserate with my tension at all this unknown activity. 

Today we've gotten into the program. Starting with a delightfully non-academic workshop on the use of origami to promote learning of many skills in children.

Then I attended a very multicultural session with five researchers presenting their different studies. Japanese OT in Vietnam, Malaysian educated in Australia, a Turkish OT, Japanese OT in Nicuagua and a Canadian OT looking at the low percentage of male OTs. Very interesting.

And now I'm eating a homemade packed lunch from my Japanese hostess. We'll see what this afternoon holds. 

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