Today was the last day of teaching on Kikai. I'm a bit sad, I guess. I have to admit that the Jr Hi school where I spent the last 6 workdays was a pretty fun place to teach. The teachers are pretty nice and the kids are quite fun. They are generally enthusiastic and they like to play soccer, as do I. Or I did, up until I twisted my already-aching ankle on Tuesday, which put me out of action for Wed, Thurs, and Fri. That was disappointing, since I'd been counting a bit on playing badminton and ping pong like mad until we leave, so as to make time pass a little faster. 'Cause believe me, it's CRAWLing.
Could be partly b/c I have a pretty exciting itinerary ahead of me. My rapidly-progressing hope is that I'll leave Kikai on 25 July by ferry, hang out all day in Kagoshima, take the night bus to Osaka, take off on 27 July from Osaka for San Francisco, hang out w/ my friends Roberto and Jess there and also see my old friend Damien from France get married, and then fly to visit my brother in Denver around 1 Aug. It just so happens that my parents and other brother were already planning to visit Denver at the same time, so we'll be together until we drive back from Denver around 10 Aug. So yeah.
Oh, did I mention that we're coming back to the US to live for a time? Probably at least a year we'll be back in the Norman area. I'm thinking of it as a furlough, but we have some issues we need to work thru that we can't get done from the mission field. JET didn't end up offering me a job, so that actually remains an option for the future maybe, but I also found a few other possibilities in Japan that sounded pretty attractive. And I have observed that I'm fairly bummed to go back to the US, so here's hoping this is only temporary.
Anyway, I have posted here the pics from my last day at Nichu Jr Hi; all students and staff ate lunch together and I got to give a speech. Mindful of the fact that this is Kikai and that I'm in some respects like the 1st bringer-of-Gospel-goodness to Kikai, I laid on the Jesus thick. The English teacher who interp'ed for me did a fine job though she fell victim to the common but annoying error of substituting "Kami" (god) for "Jesus" except for the very 1st mention of Jesus. I am very intentional, actually, about saying "Jesus" anymore, especially in Japan, but this sort of thing happens a fair amount. Well, what are you gonna do? Learn to make your own speech in Japanese, I guess. At any rate, it was a nice good-bye from them and they all wrote these funny little notes to us saying good-bye. I had taught several of them the phrase "You rock my pants off, yo" and one of them wrote it on his good-bye card.