Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Last Week of School

Monday was a holiday and I spent most of it confined in the house by the typhoon's rain and wind.

Tuesday I woke up and ate only a little bit and was pretty sleepy. I listened to my ipod on the walk to school. Once I got to school I met a new addition to 一組 (my homeroom). Her name is Natsuno. She was an exchange student in Omaha, Nebraska and she spoke fluent English. I talked to her the during homeroom and during Japanese class. In English class I took their endterm vocab test just for fun. Some of it was really easy and other parts where sentences you had to translate from Japanese into English(easy) or from English to Japanese(very hard). I'm hoping for a pass! After the test we headed over to the science room (セミナー) and set up for the goodbye party. We moved tables around and just dilly daleed??? Next period we had to go to the floor above the セミナー because another class wanted to use the room. The floor above was just bathrooms and a giant 畳 (tatami) floored room. We goofed off and just talk unattended by a teacher. I taught my classmates about some gestures American teens might make in pictures ;) and taught them about group hugs, since they don't do them here. Once Gray-sensei came up to our room we played charades, in Japanese. It was harder in Japanese especially because my vocab is so small. After charades we went back downstairs and ate a feast, truly a feast. Everyone brough in some kind of food and or drinks so we had a lot of things to consume. We talked talked talked and took a lot of picures. Towards the end Shiori and Gray sensei gave me a card signed by (almost) everyone in 一組, a pair of Okinawan sandals (I'm not exactly sure what makes them Okinawan sandles but everyone said they were Okinawan sandles) and a bag full of senbei, Okinawan sweets, candy, rice cakes and a folder for the calligraphy I did. I was so overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and thoughtfulness and at the same time about to cry faced by the fact that I will have to leave these people who have been so amazing to me. I started reading what everyone wrote and felt even more sad. I hung out with everyone till about 4 and then left, knowing I would see everyone the next day.

Wednesday: I woke up, forgot to eat breakfast and hurried out the door. My host brother and I slept in late and we had to power walk it to school so that we wouldn't be late for homeroom. Tuesday was the official las day of school but Wednesday was moving day and cleanup. My high school recently built a brand new building (new classrooms) fully equipped with air conditioning. Go figure. I only get to enjoy the air conditioning on the last day. Oh well, I survived. We spent most of the day moving desks, tables, books and bookcases to the new building. That was of course interspersed with lots of idling and chit chat. At 11 we all met up in the gym for a send off-summer break assembly. The principal opened. A faculty member who won't be returning after break gave a speech, followed by Ann-sensei, who's returning to America August 5th and then there was me. I was really nervous.
Here's the speech: 皆さん親切に 私 は とても 感謝 している。ありがとう。 みなさん は やさしかった,北中城高校 大好き。沖縄 大好き。ゴヤ まま。みんな と お別れ することが かなしい。皆さん は facebook を つくって. また 話せる から。あなたたち を わすれない。I stumbled over the last word (wasurenai)
translation: I am very grateful for everyone's kindness. Thank you so much. Everyone was so kind. I love Kitankagusuku high school. I love Okinawa. I like Goya* so so (that garnered lots of laughs) Leaving everyone makes me sad. Everyone make a facebook! That way we can talk again. I will never forget you guys. We finished up with a graduation for the (2) people finishing this year and after that we returned to the (new) classroom. The students were given some summer homework and we finished up. My last day of Japanese high school. I'm really sad and thinking about how I will never see some of the people ever again makes me sad. It makes me sad to read the card they gave me. I am so grateful to all my classmates at Kitanakagusuku koukou. They were unebelievably kind and welcoming. They all took the time to listen to me and try to understand my broken Japanese. Whether it's saving a seat for me or sharing a snack with me, I feel so grateful and blessed to have been with them all and thinkin about leaving makes me sad. I want to cry thinking about it.

At 7 my host mom drove me to Nakagusuku beach to go to a little end of school party/celebration. Only a small part of ichi kumi came: Maki, Shiori, Katsuumi, Norihito, Motoki and myself. Motoki brought fireworks to use on the beach and we waited till the sunset to use them. They were small, minor things. Firecrackers, sparklers, roman candles and this thing similar to a roman candle, funny story. Motoki gives me the candle and asks me if I understand, I answered tellin him that we have fireworks in America. He gives me a lighter and I light up the end wick and wait for it to burn down. When it does burn down the stick starts smoking, embers start flying out and the top of the stick flies off. Apparantly your supposed to stick the thing in the ground or throw it once the the wick burns out. I did something really dangerous apparantly. Lol. I guess thats exactly the reason why firework sales are so strict in the US. I'm really glad they inited me to the beach party! Time is flying by here.

*goya is a bitter green melon that Okinawans often like but foreigners usually can't stand

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