Nick's note: This post was orginally dated October 26, 2005.
Today was our last day in Tokyo. I will always remember Tokyo... and the country of Japan. How the people have welcomed me and my colleagues with open arms. Guiding us when we got lost, humoring us when we mis-spoke, and their general enthusiasm and zest for life. Must be a Zen thing, I don't know. Most of this morning and afternoon was spent on hearing group presentations from the other prefecture groups. We had to give ours, too, of course, and we decided to do it interactive style and have smaller groups participate in some of the activities that were taught to us at Kyouei Elementary. We had a lot of fun presenting it and the other groups had a ball doing the activities.
We had a few hours before our banquet where I did some last minute packing, a short nap, and a quick subway ride with Mary and Sydney to the Hard Rock Cafe for Cokes and to snag souvenir T-shirts.
Finally, it was time for our fantastic banquet to send us back home. We were encouraged to share Japan with our colleagues, students, and families.. and to come back as soon as we could! We all made that promise with all our heart!! We enjoyed many different kinds of foods... even though I ate well, Mary, Sydney, and I still went out for ice cream and a walk around the Imperial Palace grounds. Very pretty at night. I will always miss these two friends and all my other great friends I made--Kara, Bill, CK, Jeff, John, Sue, Cynda-san, Elena, Angela, Harumi, Naoko, Satoshi, and Ikuko... along with anyone else I am forgetting. Tomorrow we spend most of the day in the airport... and then in a plane before arriving in the good 'ol USA. I fly into Los Angeles, and I heard customs there is a pain in the neck, so I'm praying all goes smoothly.
The next time you hear from me, I'll be home. Hopefully. :)
One last time, Sayonara!