August 10, 2008
Japan Experience! 2008 - Day 15 - Sayonara!
With a little free time on my hands at one point, I was able to get a clear picture of the new Airbus AC380 double-decker airliner being flown by Singapore Airlines. I was thinking how it has actual cabins in the front, which led me to think how it must have felt seeing others board ocean liners years ago while friends and family waved good-bye from the docks.
Lawrence Sensei kindly gave up his Saturday to guide Bryce on the trains to the airport as Bryce had to leave a day early to make it back to Vancouver in time for a friend of the family's wedding. I believe his schedule was to arrive in the morning, throw on a suit and go straight to the ceremony. Perhaps he had a brand-new Japanese rice cooker for the lucky couple.
With the summer vacation time about to go into full swing like in other countries, the airport this weekend was a little busier than normal.
Here's the Kimura family seeing off Victor and Claudia before they caught their morning flight to Berlin via Copenhagen. I heard yesterday they got to spend 3 hours in a covered multi-purpose game center playing indoor soccer, basketball and other sports.
Here's Mrs. Hanai with her son Yoshinori and (l-r) Xenia, France and Shirlene. Shirlene was full of emotion when having to leave before the other girls, as she was next off on a flight to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Xenia and France were both last on the same Japan Airlines flight to Vancouver, but they went through security early with Shirlene, which was a nice gesture.
Lastly, our Hong Kong group of Nicholas, Jocelyn and Karen have planned to stay over for one extra week to spend more time privately with both home stay families and friends. I believe their goals are attending a Japanese language school and exploring Tokyo even more. For sure the other students would like to do the same!
To all the JE08 students, thank you for participating and being a great group. I hope you really experienced Japan from the inside out and that you got to do the things you had hoped to do. According to all your final day feedback forms, it seems JE08 went over very well with everyone, which I'm happy to hear.
For all the JE08 parents, thanks for putting your trust in Seiritsu, which I know must have been a little difficult to do due to the long distance. The many emails we received these last two weeks expressing your support, and keen interest in our daily website reports, were much appreciated!
And thanks to all the JE08 home stay families, Seiritsu staff and JE08 cultural activity teachers for putting on a world-class program. Please don't quit your day jobs, because you are all very good at them!
And a special thank you goes out to our regular International staff member Lawrence Sensei, who provided the program and myself with amazing support each and every day. The ever cheerful Lawrence deserves special mention for consistently going beyond what was required to make the JE08 run so smoothly.
In September I will be mailing all the JE08 students a DVD with the hundreds of photos we took, a 1 hour video of the activities plus a 2 minute video promo and a poster for next year's JE09 the students can show their friends.
Also, I'm already planning for next year and I hope to have an announcement up here in the next few days with tentative dates and the possible JE09 schedule, including new activities!
Again, thanks to everyone. I hope all the students arrived safely (I am awaiting your confirmation emails of a safe return) and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again one day soon.
International Education Manager
Seiritsu High School