It's that time of year again. People start packing, last minute travel plans are made and most of all we say our long, tearful goodbyes. Goodbye to our students who we have come to know and love, watching their abilities grow tremendously over the last year. Goodbye to friends and co-workers who have become more like family than anything else. Goodbye to a community that has embraced us and has dealt patiently with us as we learned Thai and attempted to communicate. And goodbye to a country that has captured our hearts, showing that it truly is the land of smiles.
At this same time last year I was so excited for the opportunities to come. With one more year to spend in Thailand, I was going to make it count. Now as my imminent, "permanent," departure approaches I find it harder and harder to wrap my mind around. Has it seriously been 10 months already? We used to joke that time seems to fly here because we are in a constant state of "June," meaning, since the climate doesn't change our sense of time is always thrown off and 10 months can feel like one. Last year there was a little truth to that statement, but this year, whoa buddy nothing could be closer to the truth.
So here it is. The end of the school year, and the busy string of events and obligations that come along with it make it so I can't deny the end any longer. We had our school graduations and the GES goodbye dinner on friday. My report cards are now done, so both homework and tests are a thing of the past. For my class, this week will be filled with Ministry of Education catch up assignments, crafts, and probably many Disney movies. When friday rolls around I already know it's going to be rough. Last year I bawled on the last day of school even though I knew I was coming back and would see all my students again. This year I'm already preparing myself for many tears. So, I just need to remember, it's only goodbye for now, not forever, and maybe it will be easier than I thought.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." -Dr Seuss