I have less than 10 hours left in this city, and to tell you the truth, it is kind of bitter-sweet. I said goodbye to my students last week and it actually hurt! As much as I yell at them (to get out of the shade and start participating in gym class), and push them (academically), and get them mad at me, and get mad at them, my last day I had the opportunity to show them that I really did appreciate each and every one of them, and they showed me that they respect me and that they will miss me. It’s hard to realize how much of an influence I made on my students, and how if I miss them, that means that they will miss me too. Since it was a Friday after a week of exams, and I teach PE on Fridays, I gave the students an opportunity to relax. I played a game with them for the first 15 minutes of class, but gave them the remaining 30 minutes to talk or play games or do really whatever they wanted to do, within reasonable limits. Some of my M3 students sat on the grass in the shade outside on the field and invited me to sit with them. They surveyed my limited Thai (which I don’t think they realized was THAT limited, but it gave us some good chuckles), and then they asked me about my life at home, and I asked them some questions too. It was so interesting to have an non-academic conversation with them and really get a feel for who they are as people, not just as students. I think they felt the same way, for after that half hour it was so, so difficult to say goodbye. I will admit that I shed a couple of tears since I am not sure if I will ever see them again.
Saying goodbye to the staff at Lertlah was also difficult. I have made friends here that I hope to stay in touch with in the years to come. I have learned to rely on them when things are not going well in the classroom, and also to help them out when they are not having the easiest time either. There are a few people in particular that I look forward to connecting with back in Canada.
Though it is sad to say goodbye, I know that there are some pretty amazing greetings coming at me back at home! I’m so excited to see my family again, and hug my parents, and chat with my sisters, and smother my niece with kisses. I also look forward to seeing my friends and spending the rest of the summer chilling out with them and maybe hitting up some not so nice but totally doable beaches 😉 I look forward to sharing stories of my adventures (which another blog post will come, telling a bit about my week of travelling southern Thailand…) and hearing about things I have missed in my 3 months away.
I am currently lying on my rock solid Piya Apartment bed, anxious and ready to haul my stuff to the airport and head home. I’m okay with leaving this temporary home behind and picking up with the adventures back in Canada with the people I love. However, I am not ready to say goodbye to Thailand all together, but rather, I would like to say ‘see you again, sooner or later’! The beauties of this country will always have a place in my memory, and someday, I will make the opportunity to come back and see this beautiful place again.
But for now… I’m going home.