We finally had our closing ceremony today, after postponing it due to the heavy rains and all the havoc they caused. The principal made a speech and my student, You, also made a speech on behalf of the students. Then I busted out my Japanese speech.
That's right! My Japanese sucks sweaty goat balls!
So I made a speech in very easy English. Afterwards, students and teachers told me they understood everything. So I don't feel too bad about the lack of Japanese.
I've been overwhelmed with gifts. My money envelopes now total 6 and the day isn't over yet. I'm soooo tempted to rip them open to see how much is inside!! But it's the actual things and letters I have received that mean the most to me. I think I could fill one suitcase with all the stuff I have received. I'm even getting gifts from people I hardly know! It's pretty embarassing thanking someone for a gift when you don't even remember their name!
My goodbye enkai was on Tuesday, thankfully before the rains became really bad. It was a great party, but I was seated at the table with the principal and the vice principal...strange conversations from those two!
Then on Weds. my cooking class had a goodbye party for me at a local sushi restaurant. Why is it that I discover a kick-ass sushi place, minutes from my apartment, NOW? The food was amazing!! I didn't know sushi could taste like that, and I love sushi! My cooking class is full of great people, we always have so much fun. One man asked me if there was any Japanese food I hadn't tried yet. I wasn't sure, but I said that I hadn't tried horse yet. So naturally, being at a sushi restaurant, he ran downstairs and ordered up a bunch of horse! As I took my first bite everyone started making horse sounds!! A horse sound in Japanese is not the same as a horse sound in English, so it wasn't so bad! Horse is delicious!!! Bring on the horse! I'll have another order of horse please! Neeeeeeeeeaaaa
My cooking class teacher, Takahashi-san, gave me the most beautiful jewelry box I have ever seen!! I would love to know where everyone is buying these amazing gifts! I have struggled for three years to find nice gifts around here.
We were eating rice with this nasty sticky slimy sauce on top (can't remember the name, you know the slimy potato they have here, it was made with that) and my teacher started talking about her childhood. The slimy sauce made her think of her life during the war, because the slimy potato was a part of their everyday diet then. It turns out she is a survivor of the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima!! I have known a survivor for the past three years and I didn't even know it! She was 5 years old at the time. She wasn't hurt but her older brother died and was buried in some rubble. She was the one who found his body. Can you imagine? She said she was very happy to find his body so that the family could have his bones (ashes?). What a fascinating woman!
Then last night I visited my homestay family, the Takahashi's. Their two oldest children, Masamoto and Norie, are home from their international high school in Shizuoka. It was great to see the whole family together again. I took Norie and the youngest son, Teramoto, to Green Mall to hang out and do puricula. Apparently, Norie has been obesessed with doing puricula with me. It was fun to hang out with them and explore the game center. Dinner was delicious and entertaining! With three boys in one small house I don't know how Matsuko, their mother, keeps sane! They are constantly beating, chasing, and yelling at each other, even at the dinner table. But it's all out of love, you can tell. I will miss this family, I've enjoyed seeing the children grow and mature over the last three years. I have a feeling this won't be the last time I see Norie.
Now I'm just waiting. There are two classes today, to make up for the two classes we missed on Weds. Then my ESS club are having a goodbye party for me. My desk is clean, my lessons are somewhat organized, and (I hope) all the paperwork is finished.
I'll add photos to this post when I get home tonight.