|The Saitama Sky|
Happy New Year everyone! It's been a while, but what a while it's been – it's a little difficult to believe that four months have zipped by, and that the buds of 2017 are slowly opening, but the months ahead promise to be filled with light and laughter. The pocket of time since my last post has been packed with adventures, ranging from my first solo Japanese flight, a shot at playing taiko, numerous failed attempts at making okonomiyaki and a number of successes at making Hainanese chicken rice, a slew of temporary host families and a shift to Yokohama.
|My farewell card, also known as the board that launched a thousand tears|
Saying goodbye to 2016 was tied up with saying goodbye to Saitama – a place which had, rather unsuspectingly, become home to me in the short span of a few months. Even though I had always been prepared for the day I would have to move, parting was far from easy. Somewhere along the way, the Hippo Families I had been adopted into became my real families, and I acquired a parade of moms, dads, and siblings that I looked forward to seeing every week. The more rational part of me scoffed at how weepy I was getting from just moving two hours away, but somehow the idea of not seeing the same familiar faces week after week was a little hard to bear.
But! As each of my Family members ended up saying to me: また会える！I trust that we'll be able to meet again, be it in a few days, a few weeks, or a few months – as we unfold into 2017, another nine months lie ahead of me. What will come next? Who will I meet? What new families will I end up a part of? Will I end up crying again when I have to move? (The answer is: probably.) However, no matter where I land, one thing is certain: the connections remain, and the thousands of threads connecting me from person to person will lead me to them over and over again – somehow, someway.
Today marks the first day of work in 2017, and the 9th day since my move to Yokohama – a place that has welcomed me with warmth and open arms. My host family has been nothing but kind, and I couldn't have been happier to usher in the new year in such good company – I am even more excited to see the Hippo Families that I will now be a part of, and the language discoveries we will get to make together.
The future ahead is blurry, specked with occasional moments of clarity – events to look forward to, people to meet – but otherwise a meandering path whose end is still unclear. As we take these first steps into the new year, I am filled with hope and anticipation – ready for whatever and whoever 2017 will bring, and of course, in any language they appear in. 大家，我们一起加油吧！
|新年快乐！May the year ahead be filled with peace and hope for everyone~|