It was my last day at Gifu Kita on Tuesday and I had to give a speech to the entire school, staff and students. As I wrote the speech and practiced it in front of my mirror at home, I always found myself falling into tears at the same spots. I knew that, if I couldn’t make it through the speech without crying at home, it would be impossible to avoid the tears when I was in front of more than 1,000 people, many of whom have become close friends.
Saying goodbye to Gifu Kita was more heart-breaking than saying goodbye at all the other jobs that I have left in the past. First of all, being there has been an amazing experience, aside from becoming a Mama, probably the most influential and life-changing. Second, saying goodbye here is so much more permanent. While we hope to return to Japan, the time frame is unknown. So, unlike when we were saying goodbye back home to come here, we aren’t sure when we will be back and it is likely that many of the people, co-workers and students, that we are saying goodbye to, we will never see again. Strange.
So, that’s why the tears flowed. And, why they continue to do so. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one that cried. It’s good to know that I have made as much of an impact on some of my fellow teachers and students as they have on me. It went both ways.
Many of you have asked about my speech, so even though I am a touch embarrassed, I am putting it here. Watch it if you want, try not to be too bothered by the insanely bumpy footage. The teacher who was filming told me that he forgot he was holding the camera a few times. 🙂