Well, I have six more days left in Japan. I am ecstatic. I am so pumped that I’m completely packed. My bags are sitting right next to the walls, zipped up, and ready to go.
On Monday (22), I taught my last class in Japan and said farewell to my last school. In Japan, when someone leaves the workplace for good, it’s only appropriate to hold a farewell ceremony. I know at home there are farewell parties/ceremonies but usually for someone who has been with the company for years. Well here, it appears that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with company, you will receive a farewell ceremony and party–which pretty much translates to lots of food, drinks,and speeches.
My July has been full of fun farewell speeches IN JAPANESE ( horrible Japanese but it got the job done), lots of bowing, accepting gifts, and pigging out on amazing food. I still have one more speech to go and it’s the one I’m most nervous about. Mostly because my Japanese pronunciation is pretty bad annnndd it’s in front of the entire CITY HALL (where I go on my office days). My coworker agreed to translate my speech BUT I am a little worried because she doesn’t speak English. I have no idea how she’d do that, but she said she could it. We will see!
Saying farewell to my friends hasn’t been the easiest. While I am excited about returning home, I will truly miss my friends. I built some long lasting friendships and created strong bonds with a few families in the community. I wish I would take them all with me or learn Japanese for a new job , move to Japan to spend more time with them. I don’t think words or gifts can ever fully express how grateful I am to have met them. They truly made my experience in Japan. We didn’t hang out all the time, but when we did, it gave me that extra push I needed to get through my year in Japan. I think what’s most beautiful about these relationships is that my friend manage to make me feel right at home thousands of miles away from my actual home. I felt apart of their family and loved them as if they were my own mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandma. My time with my family and friends taught me about the power of love. You don’t have to speak the same language, share the same ethnic background, or have similar beliefs to express and experience genuine love. ( I might have said this is a previous post but it really is something that has stuck with me and it’s how I sum up my experience here–after reflection).
Sigh…. if only everyone freely loved and showed kindness to one another, we’d be so much better off.
Again, I am beyond blessed. I won’t forget Japan and I WILL be back!
I will end celebrating… woot woot SIX DAYS I’m coming home. 🙂 ……. and will be one busy woman