11/16 Toni's Blog

Today was our last day of school in Japan. Most of us were happy to finally come back home but we were definitely sad as well. We had a lot of memorable experiences with each other for these past two weeks and hated to see it come to an end.
In school today, we took lots of pictures with and said goodbye to all of our new friends. Hopefully, we will all be able to keep in touch and remain friends for a long time. At the farewell party, we were all excited until the Kojo students performed a song for us. Even though we didn’t understand what they were saying, we could still tell that it was heartfelt. The CGS students’ performance wasn’t as emotional but it was still enjoyable and made all of us smile.
After all of the food and fun activities, it was finally time to say goodbye to our host families. I can’t even put what we felt into words. It was a mix of happiness, sadness, and nostalgia all at once. Everyone was crying and hugging each other, while looking back at when we first met our hosts. I remember it being awkward and scary at first but we were able to adjust to the changes and bond with our host families quickly. We gave and received our final gifts before we left and I instantly cried the second I saw mine. I had told my host sister that I liked Sailor Moon and the card that she gave me had a drawing of Sailor Moon on the cover. On the inside of the card was some of the pictures we took during my stay and our first text message to each other, which was “I’m so happy to meet you!” Along with the card was a bag of origami animals that I made with my host dad and sister. It was a bittersweet moment for me. It actually felt like we were part of their families and the school, making painful to say goodbye.

These past two weeks were undoubtedly an amazing experience for both Kojo and CGS and I would love to do it all over again. I know that I will never forget anybody here and I hope to see them the next time I come back to Japan. I’m also glad that I got a lot closer with the other people on this trip. We’ve been through a lot of bumps together but we were still able to keep moving on, which is why I hope that all of us will remain friends for a very long time. I’m thankful for everyone I met and got closer with and being able to go on this trip. Going to Japan was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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