I just finished my last day of school as a Fulbright grantee and English Teaching Assistant ):
It was a weird mix of emotions because I was really sad, but it was a fun day also! Sophie met me at the train station in the morning and we went to meet her mom at the traditional market. I told Sophie I needed some ginger (which I will totally not smuggle back into America in my suitcase…..) and she told me her mom knows the traditional market well so we would all go together. Her mom doesnt speak any English but she is really adorable (see photo below!!) We picked out some ginger, and she bought me mangos! Then, it was off to school for me!
I sat in the office for a few minutes before I was called into the principles office. All the high up people in the school were there and then Sophie and I. The principal had each teacher say something to me (and Sophie translated). Everyone was so kind and wonderful and said such nice things! Then, I said my goodbyes to everyone and thanked them. Then, it was time to exchange gifts! The principal gave me a Su-Ao scarf, a Su-Ao bag, some really expensive nice tea, and beautiful tea cup and saucer that supposedly makes your tea taste better (so cool!), a keychain handmade by the Su-Ao art teacher, and a big framed certificate for all my work for Su-Ao. So much for being able to fit all my stuff in my suitcases! He went so above and beyond on the gifts! It was really nice though. Then, we took lots of pictures! Most of the pictures are not on my camera, so these are all I have for now…more coming soon when people from school send them to me!!
A little bit later, I went to film my second graders doing their daily exercises. Every day, there is a 15 minute break after the first two classes, and music will play over the loud speaker and the students will all do a synchronized exercise routine. It’s really adorable and I needed to get in on film before I left! So I ran upstairs, got about 1/2 the dance, then, all the second graders noticed I was there and it turned into chaos. But adorably cute chaos that was caught on film! Check it out! The workout is most of the video. If you skip ahead to the last minute you can see where it all went wrong.
After a lot of sad goodbyes, host family pictures, and gift giving, my principal took me back to Luodong. I think I was emotionally exhausted and ended up falling asleep really quickly (at about 1pm…oops). I woke up to the realization that I had to pack. I still really cant believe it. My last day was sad, but not that sad, because for some reason I still feel like I will go to school on Monday. Why wouldnt I? This is my life now. But, weirdly, it wont be soon. It’s almost over and I will not go to school on Monday and I just cant wrap my head around that yet.