(2/23) Mothra “Leaps of Faith”: A JETAANY Storytelling Event

women speaking on stage


Saturday, February 23, 7:00 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM.


Hostelling International New York City Hostel, 891 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025


Join us for the first-ever Mothra storytelling event held in collaboration with Hostelling International NYC. Based on the popular art of unscripted, first-person storytelling, “The Moth”, JETAANY is inviting its members and friends to an evening of spellbinding tales. With a single theme serving as the thread to the evening’s collection of recollections, both storytellers and audience members alike will reminisce about their time in Japan. Laugh, cry, and enjoy an evening of stories about “Leaps of Faith” and the JET experience.

Free beer will also be available, with a donation encouraged. Thank you to Lagunitas Brewing Company!


$10 online (early bird special until 2/17), $12 at the door. Buy Tickets Here or via the form at the bottom of this page.

Storyteller Line up:

  1. Ann Chow
  2. Michael Younker
  3. Catherine Khadabux
  4. Steven Horowitz (Co-host)
  5. Alex Varney
  6. MariTi Blaise Lovell
  7. Giuseppe “Joe” di Martino
  8. Kirsten Henning (Co-host)
  9. Zachary Piper
  10. Rick Ambrosio

Alex Varney, CIR, Saga-ken 2011-2013. Raised in Chappaqua, NY, Alex graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Japanese Studies. Currently Alex works at an integrated Marketing Communications firm in New York City where he works with foreign companies looking to do US market entry as well as Startups. He enjoys world travel, staying current with world affairs, and listening to music in a variety of languages.

Ann Chow, ALT, Hyogo-ken, 2007-2009. Most of her stories from her time on JET involve stopping her “gangsta” students setting the schools she worked at on fire. Sadly, for you folks in the audience, that will not be a story she tells tonight. She is an actress who can be spotted in various TV shows, including “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “FBI”, “Bull”, etc., and the upcoming films, “Spiderman: Far From Home”, “Joker” starring Joaquin Phoenix, and “Late Night”, starring Emma Thompson.

Catherine Khadabux, ALT, Ehime-ken, 2011-2015. For most of her 4 years on JET, Catherine introduced herself as “The Tallest Woman in Shikoku.” In that entire time, she never met anyone who could take her title. Now a real life English Teacher in the Bronx, Catherine introduces herself as “The Tallest Woman in The School.”  Her title still remains unchallenged. 

Giuseppe “Joe” di Martino, ALT, Yamagata-ken, 2013-2018. Joe is a translator of fiction, lover of karaoke, and giant nerd.

Kirsten Henning, CIR, Hyogo-ken, 1999-2002. Kirsten works with people at the intersection of leadership, empathy, humor, and healing. The many hats she has worn in life include Barnard College and Columbia University graduate, communications consultant, interpreter, interim executive director, lifelong Girl Scout, improv enthusiast, and JET alumnae. Learn more about her at http://www.kirstenhenning.com/about/.

MariTi Blaise Lovell, ALT, Hokkaido-ken, 2015-2018. Born in Harlem USA, and raised on a taste of city and Southern life. I spent later part of my years between Michigan and New York. And the last 3 years of it between Hokkaido and New York. Clearly the cold calls for me. I’m a city girl that loves the Inaka and I hope to share its charm with you!

Michael Christian Younker, ALT, Ishikawa-ken
. Michael is a cultivator of experiences and champion of dreams. May this be an experience to remember and may all your dreams come true. We all have this moment so let’s fully live it.

Rick Ambrosio, ALT, Ibaraki-ken, 2006-2008. Rick was once kicked out of his familial home for trying to convert all the flooring to tatami. He “moved to Brooklyn” where he slept in karaoke booths and survived on leftover takoyaki (also allegedly). Rick served as JETANNY Twitter handler and was a frequent writer for JETWIT. Rick is somehow miraculously employed by Bloomberg for reasons no one quite understands, and he enjoys climbing tall objects with ropes and starting fires.

Steven Horowitz, ALT, Aichi-ken, 1992-1994. Steven was a JET from 1992-94 in Aichi Prefecture, Kariya City, 17 minutes outside of Nagoya by express train and right next to Toyota City. He is the former Newsletter Editor for JETAA NY, a former JETAA NY Board Member, a current member of the JETAA USA Board of Advisors, and the founder of JETwit.com, the official unofficial JET alumni online magazine and job resource center. In his spare time, he serves as Director of Legal English Programs at St. John’s Law School in Queens, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and 3 kids.

Zachary Piper, CIR, Kochi-ken, 2001-2004. Our next presenter lived in a village of 1200 people deep in the mountains of Shikoku where he mastered the art of nomu-nication. He’s never met an onsen he didn’t like, and secretly dreams of becoming an enka singer.


We need a few amazing people to help with ticketing and guiding guests in shifts between 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Please email us at social [at] jetaany.org; mention the Mothra and your name.


See who else is coming on the FB event page.


Contact social [at] jetaany [dot] org


JETAANY is the New York branch of the alumni association for participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET). JET has been promoting intercultural understanding and exchange for over 30 years. In that time, thousands of stories have been lived and told by  JET alumni, as well as the people they connected with. Through this event, we hope to share the spirit of the JET Program with you and help alumni recall their own fond memories.


Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is a nonprofit, member organization founded on an enduring belief in the power of travel to foster a deeper understanding of people, places, and the world around. Learn more at the HI NYC website.