Friday, May 28, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Yesterday afternoon there was an official ceremony for the teachers to bid me farewell. It was a 2.5 hour affair completely devoted to celebrating me. I'm pretty sure my face has never been so red ever. The event started with me seated in front of a room full of teachers and office staff listening to Ibu Ema translate speeches that people gave about me into English so that I could understand them. Then, it was my turn to give a speech. In a mix of English and simple Bahasa Indonesia I thanked everyone for adopting me into their lives, letting me teach their students, and making SMK N1 Magelang my second home. Then there was a long exchange of gifts. I officially gifted the board games to three student representatives. And was presented with a hoard of presents from the school. Then we had a completely vegetarian feast. All the Indonesian foods I like were there: veggie nasi goreng, lotek, cap cay, kupat tahu, etc. Everyone joked that if I was going to eat vegetables so were they. Then they agreed that they could never be vegetarians. Finally, we had a photo shoot. We took photos inside, outside, in pairs, in small groups, a whole group photo, etc. It was long, it was hot, it was embarrassing; but it was nice, sweet, and heartfelt. It gave my school closure and that was nice.
This morning I woke up at 6:00 to loud knocking and shouts outside my door. In a daze and my pajamas I opened the door to see one of my classes. They had come to give me some final presents and they sat in my house for a few minutes before saying a final goodbye. It's time to go now. I'm not a fan of these long goodbyes. There's no closure when you say goodbye to people constantly, but then keep seeing them again and again. Tomorrow I'm going to Yogyakarta to begin the trip home!

Me and Bu Mila Pak Heru, the principal, and the English teachers

The English teachers: Pak Hari, Bu Dyah, Bu Mila, me, Bu Rina, Bu Ema, Bu Aning, Pak Sugeng
Bu Dyah, Bu Ema, Bu Rina, Bu Mila, me

1 comment:

  1. Adorable. And so true that for a goodbye to be a real goodbye, there can't be repeat versions of it.

    Were there tears? I bawl and sob at goodbye, so I endeavor to avoid them.