This is quite unbelievable and I had just about given up hope but that email for the UPGRADE to the short list finally came today!
I feel that it has been my duty to stay as positive as possible and help keep hope alive as an alternate for all of us when I post in this thread, and given the lack of upgrade news in recent days, I hope to reignite that hope which has kept us going these past months and especially in these past few dark weeks as we all (at least I did) looked longingly at the sight of group A and B JETs departing for Japan, soon to be followed by group C, and felt that our chances of making it to Japan as alternates this year were slipping away through our fingers.
The only information I've received is that while placement and departure date are still unknown, the departure date will probably be in September.
From our shared experience as alternates that have waited and struggled with uncertainty for months, I know that words can only do so much to alleviate, and that hope itself can drag us down paths filled with misery, and that in the end there's no guarantee everyone will get what they hoped for. Nothing short of an upgrade can really lift the spirits of someone in the alternate position in my view.
It's kind of cheesy at this point and has been repeated over and over, but I can't think of anything better to say than that I wish everyone else who has been patiently waiting the best of luck and that the next upgrade will come to you. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been accepted as an Alternate and then getting upgraded just today. I will give it my all as a participant in the JET Program.