Thursday, February 16, 2006

あまい思い出 - Sweet Memories

It's becoming increasingly difficult to blog now (for Kathy, anyways). Our time is rapidly coming to an end. We can already start ticking off our "last time" experiences. For the next three weeks, I'll be teaching each class of my sweet first graders at the elementary school for the last time. As many of you know, work has been a difficult place for me for many months now. The junior high I'm placed at is pretty much officially known now as "the worst junior high in Ota city". (doesn't help that it's also the biggest, at around 600 students). Every day, there are "incidents". Fights, vandalism, scratched cars, broken windows, etc. etc. I have been frustrated to NO END with the complete incompetence of the leadership at our school. But the students have kept me going (well, except for a couple that I regularly wish to inflict pain upon!) And two wonderful teachers that I'm lucky enough to sit with in the teacher's room: Etsuko Ozawa and Sumiko Imayasu. And there's something gratifying about making it through a tough experience like the one we've faced at Minami Chu. The three of us have rallied each other on through good days and bad days, and now we can feel it, taste it: the bittersweet end.

I am poignantly aware of the fact that for each day I gratifyingly check off at Minami Chu, we are one day closer to leaving our sweet home in Japan.

Canadian friends, be patient with us, okay? It will take time...

This is a picture of our friends, the Uranos. I met Mr. Urano in a coffee shop last October. Since then, every couple of months, him and his wife have treated Jeff and I to a wonderful Sunday out discovering our city and the surrounding area. We've settled into a comfortable pattern of first sipping tea at their house, then going to a restaurant for lunch, and then driving and exploring. We are very lucky to have met them. This picture is from a couple of Sundays ago. They treated us to lunch and then drove us to Tatebayashi where we went up a tower, watched some swans, and strolled through an art gallery. Perfect Sunday.


Anonymous said...

Just so you know, I really truly feel sad that you have to leave your Japanese home. I was cheering for the Japanese at the Olympics yesterday...It might be a long time before you feel at home here again. And I'm okay with that.

Suzanne said...

It is going to be so incredibly hard, and I totally understand. You can take as long as you want, and even express your disslike of coming home as often as you want. It is going to suck, but we are here for you, and will try to make coming home as easy as possible. I am so happy that I am going to be here for your arrival. Thankfully I wont be galavanting in May, so I will be there with open arms, welcoming you home. I love you guys and will talk to you in a month.

mariaborito said...

I should be there:(

Barb said...

Dear Kathy and Jeff
Mikiko will miss you terribly. Your family will be very happy to see you and spend time with you. Enjoy your last bit of time there. Take lots of pictures and cherish the friendships you have made. They will stay with you forever.
Barb F.

Jenn Rekker said...

isn't it bizarre to be in such a bittersweet moment? Of course coming home is great, but to leave friends behind, and home as you have known it now for 2 years. My heart does feel the angst for you both. I don't think there is any way around it...but if you perhaps don't anything fun for the next 2 months, don't talk to anyone...well, then leaving might be easier.

Jenn Rekker