Ohana Amazing Race report: TEAM 4!

Good evening everyone!

Nimo here to fill you all in on our exciting event we had on the 12th of this week. As some of you know, school was closed on Monday the 12th. Every year here at Ohana we do some sort of team building activity, previously we had workshops on team building, but this year was very different. Our beloved Director, Shelley, prepared for us an amazing event known as The Amazing Race “Ohana All-Stars”.  


The teachers and office staff were split up in to four groups of four. Each team consisted of one buds, petals, flowers teachers, and one office staff. My teammate in Team Four were Shelley, Pooja, and Goh-san. All of Team Four were only looking to be the best, First Place. On the day of the race we were handed a pouch with 5 envelopes labeled 1 to 5, we started the race by all opening the first envelope. After going to the destination stated and completing the task we would open the next envelope to go to the next destination. Each team would go to the same locations but at different times. Shelley knew the locations and the tasks, for she is the one that prepared the whole race. She swore a vow that she would not say anything during the race to put our team in any advantage. She kept her word.

          Working with Shelley, Pooja, and Goh-san was a very special experience. Honestly, I was very nervous. I was brewing up topics to talk about in my head until the day of the race, I was afraid of making silly mistakes. To my surprise the whole race ran smooth as butter and I wasn’t nervous at all and found myself just purely having fun! I took the role as the navigator, checking the times of trains, google mapping the locations, Shelley was our spearhead, sprinting through the crowds in Harajyuku. Pooja brought her selfie stick to help snap the pictures easier, but her phone died in the first 15 minutes of the race. Goh-san brought a large pack of food to help support us physically and mentally with her gentle smiles. We were very confident in taking first prize. We even had the “Turtle and the Hare” syndrome where we were planning on taking a victory walk over Rainbow bridge, but to our surprise we were beat by a whooping 10 minutes! We missed our victory, but needless to say we had a great time with the race overall and got to further know our fellow teachers in the school and bonded with them!


Here are some comments from my fellow teammates


I loved competing in The Amazing Ohana race and believe that our team was the best. We coordinated well and was on top of things most of the times. I loved the healthy competition and the strive to arrive first at the pit stops. I love the format of the game that we get clues and go to the correct spot, but it was easy to travel thanks to the google maps. It was quite amazing to race by travelling in a taxi, a train and on foot as well. The clues provided for each stop was obvious, however the most challenging part for was waiting in line for an hour to buy dorayaki. It was quiet an amazing experience.


I had a great time with the race! We really did our best,  we all ran through the city, and cooperated with one another. I was very confident that we would win but other teams were faster. I think the reason why we lost is because we waited for one hour the dorayaki, as the other teams were much more creative in how to get it.


And last but definitely not least, Shelly

Our Team Building event for this year was a race around Tokyo with four teams of four staff members in each team. Since I knew where we were going, but not knowing what route my team, Team 4, would be given, my experience was one, that I believed, was lacking in surprises. But………..this was not the case. There were plenty of surprises along the way, not the least of which was, that we were not the winners. Being a sports person, with a hunger for putting in my best and being a winner, of course, this was part of the goal. However, the learning experience was one that was so valuable.

My team members, Nimo, Goh and Pooja were joyful, easy to please and negotiate with. Our train rides were filled with plenty of conversation and our walks/jogs/runs/stair climbs were filled with sighs, laughter and constant encouragement. I always knew that Nimo was an incredibly kind, caring and generous human being and to have had the opportunity to witness it, first hand, was incredibly special. While I ran ahead, he stayed a little behind, to make sure that Goh san was with us. Nimo, you are a gem!

Goh san was the real mother and carer to us all. She brought a huge back pack along with dates, mikan and cookies; just in case we were hungry. To be honest, we didn’t even have time to think about out stomachs as we were driven to reach the finish line as quickly as possible.

Pooja, kept the energy level up with lots of animated conversation, sharing with us the many times that she and Sharad have missed trains and Shinkansens, because they were talking so much. “Oh, I think we missed Shimbashi!” says Pooja. “No,” says Nimo, it was not Shimbashi, “Please don’t worry”. He had everything in check, constantly looking at google maps and the subway directions to make sure that we didn’t hit any snags. Our only snag was the 1 hour wait at “Kamejyu”, in Asakusa where we had to buy just one dorayaki! We discovered Jen, Kai, Chiaki and Pauline, waiting in line and thought that they would let us stand with them. OH NO! “Sumimasen, tomodachi janai” was what we heard. They denied that they knew us even when Pooja went to talk to them. They kept on calling the man and lady who were steering the crowds to the end of the line and told them, that we were pushing in. Oh, what competition does to us. Oh, the sides we show to others in different situations. I was so shocked that they could say that they didn’t know me, and the people believed them. My faith in humanity was shattered! I could go through the entire race in details but would rather like to point out what I gained, learned and what was reminded of, from the day. Being part of a team, really is wonderful

Having a sense of belonging and being driven to the same end…..together, reminded me of the days when I played competitive team sports and always did my best, for both myself and the team. Working together to find a solution makes the journey to the end so much easier. No matter how old you are, you always have something to learn from others. Letting go of guiding a team and following instructions from team mates, is truly liberating. Each and everyone of us, has something major to contribute in life and finding, respecting and embracing the skills of your team mates, is so important.

The importance of acknowledging others in their victory and validating them, no matter how they arrived at their goal. Even if you do not win, as long as you truly tried your hardest and did your best, that’s what counts.

At Ohana International School, I am blessed to have an amazing staff who live what Ohana truly represents; embracing difference, seeing the good in one another and creating a loving caring community! Thanks for an incredible day. Seeing the faces at the end, feeling the energy, fun and joy emanating from everyone……….I am ready for round 2.




As you can see the event was much more than just a race. I really enjoyed the race and would like to say, one last time, thank you very much Shelley for preparing for us such a wonderful experience and an opportunity to chat with the other staff here at Ohana!

Stay tuned for another exciting event!


Team 4!

Ohana International School