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.