Monday, July 10, 2006

Sayonara Weekend

Firstly, thanks to Rona for the comment she posted on my previous entry. Will look out for you at JETAA.

Aaaaah! This weekend. It was really pretty huge. It was happy. It was so very sad. It was relaxing. It was exciting. It was very very.

Friday started with what will probably be the last poker night we'll have. It wasn't as fun as I had expected. We played for too much money, and as a result everyone played very conservartively, and we didn't get much excitement going on. However, I always enjoy my time with Joe, Jordan, Julie and Nate, so from that perspective, it was a good time.

On Saturday, I was met off the stupid-early train by Terlynn and Amber, and we drove aaaall the way down to Ikumi beach, so they could surf, and I could watch, and make sand angels and swim in the ocean. It was an overcast day, but it was good. There's something wonderful about the feel of the sea air in your lungs, your hair going all stiff with salt, wandering around in flip-flops with your skin all sandy, and eating big burgers for lunch after a morning playing hard. It was relaxing in a way I haven't been relaxed in a while.

Saturday night was the Sayonara Party. I had been looking forward to this beause it's the one night of the year when EVERYONE apart from the most hardened recluse comes out. This year, something changed, and while the vast majority of JETs were there, lots weren't and I was quite disappointed. However, the people who were there are ones who have rocked my world this year, so it was all good. First of all I FINALLY got a ride on Noam's motorbike! I was so happy! I never see that Kat, so the first I said when I saw him was "You owe me a ride!". So we went! On the roads surrounding the campground. It was a lot of fun. Noam only had his helmet, so we took it easy. It was exhilirating all the same. On our travels, we spied a massive climbing frame, just begging to be exlored by semi-naked/inebriated JETs. So we went back, grabbed Amber Teralynn and Smitha, changed back into our swimmies (as by this times it was raining), and went to play. Such fun! But I have a well-bruised behind today from going on the damn roller slide.

The party went on as most JET parties do. Rory got too drunk. BJ played some cool tunes. We danced some. Took lots of pictures. Chatted. A bunch of us decided to hit the sack about 11.30pm. And so it was time for my first proper goodbyes.

It hurt a lot. First came Jenna, and I wasn't feeling like I was going to cry at all, since she looked so strong. Then came Amber, who made the mistake of saying "Don't you cry", thus opening the floodgates. And once I started I couldn't stop. It felt so utterly wrong to be saying goodbye to people who mean so much to me, and my head and my heart were all asking me why I was doing this. I had a miserble night, couldn't sleep well, and kept on tearing up. Ugh.

In the morning, it was raining really heavily, but that soon gave way to a blue sky and blazing sunshine. Still feeling down, I had planned on getting home as quickly as possible so I could wallow in self-pity, and get some sleep. But it was really a great day, so I decided to tag along with Nate and Ben who were going climbing in nearby Hiwasa. Teralyn came too, and of course Ben's wife Julia.

It was a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. It was difficult for us girls to get down to the base of the routes the boys wanted to climb, as we were only in flip flops, and the walk called for some proper scrambling. So instead, we clambered up to the top of the cliffs, and secured ourselves a great vantage point. We spent a wonderful three hours or so simply taking in the view of the ocean, watching the boys do their thing (wished to goodness I could have joined in! Oh for my rock boots!), and chatting about all manner of things. It was really a lovely way to spend the day. It was a little overcast, but really warm and breezy, so I am sporting a nice red back today, despite creaming up. Rats.

We then went for dinner at a Canadian burger restaurant, before I headed for the train home. Arriving home at 10.30pm, I was wiped out, emotional, but oddly relaxed.

I simply can't place my feelings now. I am heartbroken that the goodbyes have started, but I also wish they were over already, so that I didn't feel so bad. I think what affected me most on Saturday night was not saying goodbye to people, although that was incredibly painful, but witnessing the way that those who were not leaving were enjoying themselves. For them, Saturday was mostly just another party. I know that they will miss us. But they have a fresh bunch of people coming who will all be equally as special in their own way, and while they'll once in a while maybe think "Gosh, wish Ellie/Amber/Joe was here to enjoy this", they'll be cool, because while we're not there with them, others are. It was hard for me to see friendships growing on Saturday night between people who have a year or two left together knowing that, for the most part, my own friendships with these people have gone as far as they're going to. Even writing that is gut-wrenching. There are one or two people I am leaving, and I so wish I had had more time with them. How I wish for that.

So, to the people reading this who have been with me here, and to The People reading this (I hope The People know who they are): I love you so much, and leaving you will leave a hole in my heart that will never be filled in. Know you are special, know you are amazing, and know that no matter where or when, I will be here for you when you want or need me.

1 comment:

Smitha said...

I don't think it was just another party for those of us staying...we were saying goodbye to some pretty special people, too, and it's strange to know that while I know I'll stay in touch with some, I probably will never see many of them again, despite how well we did get along while we were here. I think the ephemeral nature of JET did kind of hit home that night.

I was pretty surprised as well that more people didn't come out; there were people I was really hoping to see before they left. I did become closer to people that night, which is a nice thing about all these gatherings; despite saying farewell, it's also a way to bind what's left of this group for the year to come. There was a very tangible shift in the feel of the night at a certain point, where everyone started to realize that for some of us, this was The End, and it did feel really different. It was a fun party, but certainly bittersweet as well.

Hannah's really keen on getting a Miyoshi-gun night together, but it's just hard to know when yet, though it has to be really, really soon...