Nobody likes to say goodbye. Unfortunately today I had said many because it was my last day at Tama High. It felt bittersweet to be leaving - I mean who doesn't like to end school? It was much more difficult to say goodbye to everyone than I thought it would be. I've only known them five weeks but their kindness and patience was genuine and I appreciated everything they have done for me. I actually made a speech in front of the entire third grade thanking them and the teachers for welcoming me and helping me with my Japanese. It was just hard to know that I'll never see any of them ever again. I guess this is what graduation feels like.
School ends tomorrow (I go to the U.S. Embassy) so my homeroom had a little snack party where they surprised me with two folding fans that they had written goodbye notes on. No one cried (thank goodness) but I still had this terrible indescribable feeling. During the party though I'm proud to say I stepped out of my comfort zone and talked to every single person in my homeroom. Immediately I wished I would've done this the first day instead of observing from the background. Usually I'm terrible with small talk, but it was so easy to strike up a conversation with everyone because I'm foreign and I can use that to my advantage:).
On a lighter subject yesterday Haruka and I visited Tokyo Disney Sea, which is like Disneyland but for big kids. The rides were NOTHING compared to Cedar Point but I loved how everything was themed. I've never been to Disney in the states, so I felt like a little kid taking my picture with Ariel for the first time. I defiantly recommend it if visiting Tokyo.
This weekend I was very busy at my grandparent's house in Tokyo. The big events were making soba noodles, watching sumo wrestling and trying on my first kimono. My grandparents have a traditional house so we slept on mats on the bamboo floor and ate rice and fish for breakfast. They absolutely LOVED showing me Japanese culture and explaining their history.
Overall Friday was the biggest day of my weekend. I visited the Toshiba Science Museum and met the Senior Executive Vice President of Toshiba, Mr. Masao Namiki at Toshiba Headquarters in Tokyo. I learned that Toshiba is so much more than just TVs and laptops - it's about creating new technology, conserving energy, inspiring young leaders and operating a eco- friendly company. The Science Museum we visited was kind of like Cosi but it was also centered around the history and evolving technology Toshiba is working on. We were guided by the Chief Specialist of the Social Contributions Group, Ms. Tokiko Soma. In addition I finally met the other scholarship winner, Michael from Canada. The bento for lunch that day was HUGE and I ended up trying squid and clams for the first time.
That was my weekend summed up. I can't believe I leave for home in six days. It baffles me that I've been looking forward to this trip since April and it's almost over! I'm excited to get home and prepare for my senior year though, so like I said, bittersweet.