Well, I have about three days left in Japan before I make my return to the States. I really can't believe that I'll see my family and friends in THREE DAYS. Holy cow. That's amazing. But as excited as I am to go home, I'm just as sad to leave Japan, which has truly become my home across the world. Last week I had a farewell party with my co-workers, friends and some students. It was incredibly fun. We started at the Ale House, owned by our student and home of the "Brianna Cocktail." Then we moved on to another izakaya for a few hours. And after that, the hardcore party-ers went to karaoke - for six hours. That's right... 11 pm - 5 am, singing our hearts out. This was not your typical all-night karaoke deal, either, where half of the members are asleep by 3 am. This was six hours of belting out anything from Lady Gaga to Neil Diamond, dancing, and jumping on couches. Ah-mazing.
Me and some of the other foreign teachers in the area.
With Nikki and Aya.
Co-workers and students.
With Masa, the owner of the Ale House.
Jeff, Adam, Masayoshi.
Aya, Noriko, Yurie, Akiko.
Brianna and Brianna Cocktail.
Masaki - crazy face.
At the second party.
A little swing dancing.
As you can tell from these photos, I am so blessed to have met and become friends with all these incredible people. I will definitely miss them when I leave.
And if you want to see more photos and read more about my party, check out the Ale House blog. Written by "Master Masa" himself (pictured her with me, Aya, and his lovely wife, Yoko).
...and I just got home from my farewell party with my co-workers and students. I was so amazed at how many people showed up (about 55) and grateful for their support as I move back to the States to pursue my next goal of going to grad school. I know I've mentioned it here before and to my family and friends back home, but I just have to say again how thankful I am to have had such great students. There were so many times that I felt so homesick or sad or moody before a lesson, but as soon as I started teaching, my students would say something or give me a big smile that always brightened my day. They have been funny, kind, warm and generous; so patient when I was new and my dear friends as I leave.
I'm not going to lie - there were definitely some tears shed tonight.