Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Back to School

It was like my first day at Maiko. I was excited but also a little nervous. I caught a taxi to school and this time entered through the visitors' entrance and waved to the office ladies at the front. They were so cute. Kurisu! Hei?? I don't think anyone but a few teachers and the principal knew I was coming. They took me into their office and brought me hot tea. I was so overwhelmed I couldn't help but give them hugs. Especially the lady who always helped me when I came into the office. It was so emotional.

Then I ventured into the staffroom and I could feel the tears again. I was just so happy to be there. Many of the teachers were so surprised and Koucho-sensei made me do a speech. I also finally got to meet Kara, my successor. She's also from Perth and it was so good to chat to her and talk about the good and bad things about our jobs.

The graduations ceremony was like every other graduation ceremony but it was so funny to see all my kids again and she how much they've grown and changed. I took heaps of photos and chatted to the graduating students to see what they were going to do after school. It made me feel so proud when they told me they had passed their exams and were going to study English in college so they could travel abroad and speak English fluently. Some even wanted to be English teachers! I remember before I left Japan I taught a lesson about 'What I want to do after I finish high school' and they had to do an English oral presentation about their goals and future aspirations, and now it was really happening to them.

It was such an amazing feeling. As corny as it sounds, it was so satisfying to know that I had a real positive influence on them and that I was able to do my job and help in the development of these kids. Hearing English coming from their mouths and seeing their smiling faces, being thanked by them and even their parents for helping teach them English and taking the time to tutor them after school was rewarding enough.

I was even given my own special bento lunch!

I nearly spent the whole day at Maiko. Even though my Japanese was appalling, I spent time talking to all the teachers and catching up.
On the way back I dropped by the grocery store to buy some stuff to make dinner. I was so surprised when I bumped into Mika-san! (the lady I would meet on the bus or walking on my way to and from school) It was so lovely to see her and I was so glad I had the change to meet her again because I had forgotten to get her contact details when I left last year.
All my other nights had been more or less booked up and so I decided to cook dinner for Cheryl since she was equally as busy. Chicken and corn soup is one of my comfort foods and hot soup is perfect for Japanese winters. We chatted, we ate, we laughed and then she told me about a new onsen opened up next to Porto Bazar. A new onsen in my own (ex)neighbourhood! It was decided and off we went. It's similar to Tatsu no yu at Asagiri station, as in it has a nice outdoor onsen which has a nice night view of the Akashi Bridge.
*sigh* I miss onsens. Ain't nothing better than getting naked, squeaky clean and then soaking in hot baths under a clear night...then buying a milk drink from the high-tech vending machines and dropping by Mister Donut or the 7/11 for snacks.


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