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Tears....

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Aug. 8th, 2002 | 01:45 am
mood: nostalgicnostalgic
music: The song in my head is... "Let There Be Peace On Earth"

Well, I was almost right.. it started at 6:30... I got there at about 5:45... And the memories and introductions and shaking hands and congrats started then...
Before the program started I spoke with the girl who is going to hungary and her father... Everything is going well with them and she leaves on the 20th... I'll be going to Moravia next Tuesday to talk with them more at the Rotary meeting there...
And I got my first 2 "problems"... The girl going to Italy has not been able to get her visa yet because the school there hasn't sent the guarantee forms yet... Unfortunatelly, I have only been on the committee for like less than a week.. And I have none of the info I need to help her.. SO I will have to try and get a hold of the people I am taking this all over from to see what I have to do to get thigns moving... As she is supposed to leave in 2 weeks or so...
And then apparently there are problems with the girl coming IN from Italy... I just heard about this tonight, and I know nothing about it.. So I will worry about that when I get to it...
The dinner was ok... I didn't really have that much... Spent a lot fo time talking to different people...
We had 25 students give speeches.. Each speech was supposed to be 4 minutes.. But, how do you fit a full year into 4 minutes? I know that I spoke for at least 8... and then I spoke for about 40 at the local club when I got back and I could have gone on for 5 times that amount of time...
I teared up and cried a couple times... The speeches bring back so many memories... About how hard it is to leave your family here and how you think that is going to be the hardest part... and then you get there and you speak none of the language.. and again, you think that is the hardest part... but then you learn the language.. make more and more friends... get a better grasp on the language.. and then (this is the BEST part..) you dream in the language... I can still remember.. about 3 or 4 months into my year... I dreampt in Japanese.. and I remember getting up the next day, and remembering the dream.. and I remember that I couldn't understand what "I" was saying in the dream... Thats when I knew I had a grasp on the language... I made more friends... and the experiences... I can write in here for pages and pages and pages and pages... even though my year was back in 1994-1995... It seems like it was yesterday when I get around the recently returned students.. the inbound students from the different countries.. or the outbound students...
but, when they got to the hardest part of their years.. the few that talked about it.. I cried... The hardest part of the year.. And the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.. was saying goodbye to the families and friends that helped form what I am today... They were such a great influence on my life... They taught me Japanese... They were there when I was happy... And they were there when I was sad for the whole year...
That was the hardest part...
Then one of the girls that went to Japan got up to speak... The first one was fine.. she was on Honshu and I really didn't relate to that quite as much as I did the other girl...
She went to Sapporo... and just listening to her.. you have no clue the memories that came back.. I knew what she was talking about... I have been there..
I went and talked to her afterwords.. She knows the same people.. She had heard about me.. All the exchange students still meet at the same place that we called "our meeting place" when I was there...
I thought that writing in this would help.. but, it really dosen't... There is so much that I would share in a heartbeat about my time there.. That I don't share... Simply because people don't want to hear it...
They say they do.. even the people that "really really wanna hear it"... they don't... you get to talking for 20 minutes straight and you just barely got off the plane in your stories and you can tell they are bored...
I am so happy that we started the ROTEX club... Cause it lets all of us exchange students get together.. and just tell stories... We can stay up 4 days straight and none of us get tired talking about our years.. and still have more to talk about...
It's a support group that dosen't even compare to anything I can put into words...
Needless to say, I had a wonderful night...
It was a night where I was honored (The chairman gave a little schpeil (sp?) about me being the youngest person on the committee and the first EVER person to be nominated to the committee who was an exchange student myself.... (he didn't mention getting nominated only 2 months after becoming a rotarian.. most people have to be a rotarian for at least 5 years or so...))
It was a night when I cried...
It was a night I met wonderful interesting people...
And it was a night of beautiful memories...

I miss Japan...

But I love the volunteer work I do to allow other students to experience this great experience...

OK... time for bed...

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