Saying Goodbye

golf_and_fon.jpgDaniel, the other teacher from NAU, left Thailand tonight.� He left early because he was offered a job in Korea that starts tomorrow.�The last two weeks have been really hectic for us. We had several joint projects to finish, so we had to spend a lot of long days at the office.� Daniel spent most of his last day in Thailand packing.��He did have some fun though.We met Golf and Fon (pictured left)�at Fairy Plaza�for Daniel's last meal in Thailand–pizza and ice cream.� The four of us meet at Fairy Plaza for�pizza and ice cream almost every week. It's kind of our thing. After pizza and ice cream, we met up with a group of students to take Daniel to the airport.� It was a little sad to send him off.� It makes me realize how little time I have left.

Anyway, It's been a tough couple of weeks.�I've�gone through so many emotions:��stress about having to crank out an entrance exam for the TESOL program in�a week and a half;��frustration with�the many things that went wrong with the test; anger when I learned, once the test was basically finished, that NAU is also�creating an entrance exam for the program and doesn't want to use ours; and, of course, sadness about leaving everyone here.�

farewell_party.jpgBy far, the most difficult evening was Friday night, when the TESOL students threw a Farewell party for me and Daniel.� When I arrived at the party, Tui, the MC, told me that it would be a sad evening and that I would cry a lot.�I kind of laughed uncomfortably and thought "Nah…I'm not leaving for another 3 weeks!� I'm not going to be sad tonight."� I was wrong.�

Several students prepared presentations for us.� There was a really cool traditional dance.� It was followed by a group of girls in crazy costumes lip-singing to "I Will Survive".� After that, the MC announced that Daniel and I were both going to sing a song.� It was the first I'd heard of it.� I think my reaction to the situation really shows how much I've grown in my 10 months in Thailand.� Instead of freaking out and refusing to get up and sing, I sucked it up and sung a duet with Daniel.� Neither of us wanted to sing, and we figured that by singing a duet, we could cut our singing time in half.� So we sang Hotel California.� Very badly.� It was embarrassing and I felt nervous at first.� But it was ok and it made everyone happy.

After the karaoke time, students started standing up to say goodbye.� Probably 75% of our students volunteered to give little goodbye speeches.� Some of the speeches were funny, but most of them were very sad.� Almost everyone in the room was crying.�Of course, I was asked to give an impromptu�speech at the end. I think I came up with some pretty good stuff!� (See how much I've learned here?)

So the Farewell Party was really sad.� There was a lot of full-blown weeping going on.�I felt really uncomfortable.� I really hate saying goodbye to people, and I usually try to avoid heavy, emotional goodbyes.��But, actually, I think it was good.� I've seen many of the students since that night, and said goodbye to them for good.� And these final goodbyes haven't been sad.�It's like we already mourned.� We've already been sad and cried, so we can just leave each other with a smile and a hug.

You can see pictures of the farewell party here. There are even a few embarrasing pictures there that prove that I really did get up and sing in front of 80 people. well…I guess I can't prove the 80 people part.� You'll have to trust me on that one!

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