Today we spent our last day with our sister school visiting one of the kindergartens that the principal of Ichihara Chuo also owns. We have since discovered that he owns three kindys, two senior high schools, one university and one TAFE college. We were taken on a campus tour of the facility that has two schools and a university before arriving at the Yaehara Kindergarten. We were surprised to discover that Mr Maita (principal) has plans to build another junior high and senior high at the site we visited today. At Yaehara Kindergarten we were all allocated a class to join and participated in activities such as drawing, making fruit necklaces to play fruit basket, playing with toys, playing on the playground, and eating lunch together. We were truly amazed at how well behaved all the students were following the teachers instructions instantly, and even cleaning up after themselves. The biggest surprise came when after lunch all students went to clean their teeth after eating! We were all presented with a momento of Chiba city and our time spent at this special place before we said a sad, but genki, see you again. Some students called out loudly “see you tomorrow”.
Once we had returned to Ichihara Chuo High School we had a brief period of time to fit in some last minute practice of our speeches and songs to perform at our farewell party later in the afternoon. Then it was time to introduce ourselves to the whole school and meet Mr Maita on assembly. Our students did our college proud very ably introducing themselves in Japanese and presenting our sister school with a gift of English books.
After assembly, we once again had a brief break before it was PARTY TIME! We were so delighted to see not only our host buddies, but the students that have visited Faith for the last three years, at this special occasion. We enjoyed time together watching dance routines and singing performances, eating Japanese snacks and taking lots of photos together, until we meet again.
Once again our Faith students did us very proud with Meron chan (Cameron) and Ebi chan (Evelyn) completing solo performances, and then all students joined together to deliver a hearty rendition of Waltzing Matilda. It was sad to think that we would not see our sister school friends again until next year when they visit, but we all have so many wonderful memories together that we will treasure forever!
I am incredibly proud of our students and they way they have represented our college and country for the last two weeks!! I am also so very proud of them for trying to use their Japanese at every opportunity, and even talking to me in Japanese each day rather than English. Such a lucky Sensei am I to have such amazing students who share my passion for this exquisite country and language!
We are off to Disneyland tomorrow before spending our final moments with our new families before we board the plane for our awaited journey home.
(A very proud and blessed) Hyde Sensei