July 2014

Hey there Hyogo,

As I sat down to write this, my final Editor’s letter, a huge thunder storm began. Out I went onto my balcony to watch the lights and marvel at the view which just never gets old. Sure, I was procrastinating, I’ll even admit to indulging in a little melancholia. But that’s natural at the end of a journey such as the one we are all currently on.

Nearly two years ago I came to Japan. I had very little idea of what was in store for me, or even what I wanted from the experience. There are many clichés I would like to employ, all of which I hope suit your experience too.

My time in Hyogo has been truly eye-opening; I wouldn’t change a thing – unless it was to make each minute last a few seconds longer. Apart from the friends, memories and love of Japan, what I really want to take back with me is the eagerness to try everything once. I want to return to my home country with the same attitude I have here: saying yes to everything once. It is this that has truly made my experience. Of course it’s also led to a few moments of embarrassment and awkwardness, but those make the best stories.

This week I have a lot of “lasts”. It’s Wednesday and I have already cried three times [wait…make that four], but I’m not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I am proud. Of course I cry because I’m sad, but I wouldn’t be sad if this job and adventure hadn’t meant so much to me. Two years is the blink of an eye and an eternity.

My students often talk about their “precious thing/person/memory”, and I’ve never wanted to use the phrase myself until now. My experience here will always be a precious memory for me and I want to thank you, Hyogo JETs, for being the only ones who will ever truly understand.

Going home is going to be tough. The dreaded “How was Japan?” question already plagues my dreams – how to sum this up in a word, a sentence, a soliloquy?! The only question I can answer without thinking: What was the most difficult thing about living in Japan?

Saying goodbye.

Hyogo, it has been an absolute pleasure to run the Hyogo Times for the last year. I hope you have enjoyed what we have put together for you each month. I know I leave the magazine in safe hands with Dana on the website, Erika on the PDF and my good friend, regular contributor Sean Mulvihill who will be taking over as Editor in Chief from August.

IMG_0606What’s in this issue? Check the contents page yourselves this time – I need to get myself a tissue.


Char x

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