Wednesday, March 31

hi there

has it really only been a week since we left? we've been crazy busy with all the typical details of moving house. overwhelming as it is, we are gradually becoming aware of a sparkling glimmer. at first it flits around then you remember its name: excitement. we live here. here. in a pretty little apartment in a huge city. i have a lot to share once it is distilled but my brain sneaked out after i overloaded it with the daunting task of handling immigration procedures with three loud kids following it up with a heaping spoonful of hectic that is commuters at the main train station. so in lieu of sensible writings, let me share something that will always make my eyes dewy, our send-off from the island:

take care. xoxo

Tuesday, March 23

Saying Goodbye to All This

the time to say good bye to gotou is upon us.

this will be our last post from the island.

we are a little melancholy but we cannot think about it now. i only wish we were fluent enough to tell those we are leaving how much we appreciated their kindness, their generosity. we didn't know what to expect when we came but we leave knowing what a gorgeous place gotou is not only because of the beautiful and bountiful nature that meets you in every direction. the island's beauty comes from the warm hearts of the residents, which can make you feel sun-kissed on even the darkest days.

there is not much we can say but どうもありがとうございました。
and instead of さようなら let's just say またね。
we promise, we'll come back to visit. until then, おげんきで!

Friday, March 19

Sayonara Youchien

Look how short their sleeves are now. How much play those smocks have seen over the past two years. In the picture with Sebastian today are Yoshinari-kun and An-chan. Sebastian and Yoshinari-kun have been good friends lately which makes it hard because next week we leave. The last few months they have been trading Pokemon stickers and lots of laughs. And An-chan is one of the five girls in Sebastian's class but I have never seen her play with the other girls. Of course, being the older sister to two little brothers has that effect on you.
So today I was a little sad. But Sebastian is happy because he's heading to a friend's house in a bit with his dinosaurs and video camera. And I have my packing to keep me occupied.
Every afternoon, his teacher walks the kids going home with their parents down the stairs and shakes their hand good-bye. This is the last time:

(Don't mind the conversations in the background, it's the kids that are important...)

Tuesday, March 16

The Middle One

Just in case you thought we forgot about him...


Ah, the sweet return of Spring. And with it, a break from my class work. Just in time to pack the last boxes and make the final arrangements.

Here's one thing checked off the list:

In 10 short days, we'll be in Nagoya.

Friday, March 12

Graduation Day

When we moved back to Japan almost 2 years ago, Sebastian got thrown into preschool in a very sink or swim manner. And folks, the boy did not sink. He swam. Today he was in his finest form. Today he finished kindergarten.

Sebastian, my boy, congratulations. Ganbatte kudasai. We are so, so proud of you.

Highlights from the Day

Here you can see Sebastian receive his "diploma". I had to stop recording to meet him so he could present it to me...

This good-bye song made all the adults cry...

An encore performance, cut short by me having to tackle Nico before he invaded the stage.

Sunday, March 7

Here We Go

Oh, goodness. I never thought I would get teary-eyed writing the following but I am: this is my boy's last week as a yochien-sei (kindergartener). Friday he graduates in pomp and circumstance and will be weeks within starting shogakko (elementary school).
A first grader. Ichi-nen-sei. But at least there's a song involved. He got a hair cut at a salon this weekend and he's been practicing his bow. I took our suits to the cleaners and have ironed my handkerchief. (I know I am going to cry. I am a sucker for graduations like others are for weddings. Part of being a teacher, I suppose.) Now I must practice my speech and charge the camera batteries.

Here we go.
(Deep breath)

Thursday, March 4

there's no good time for it

you know that black smoke monster on lost (aka dead john locke)? that is how the cursed flu struck down this family. a set-back indeed. colette was spared. we're exhausted but anxious. we only have twenty days left.
(looks at calendar)

wait, nineteen. yikes, i've got to run.
cross your fingers for us.

take care.