That settles it. Amami Oshima is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. I already knew that but maybe I’ve never said it aloud.
Monday’s national holiday was appropriately Marine Day, or “Ocean Day.” So we rented a beach house for Saturday and Sunday night for mine and Carson’s leaving party (and Jonathan came up from Tokunoshima too!) It was a bittersweet weekend. Perfect beach weather and tons of friends and fun activities mixed with a dash of sadness. Carson and I only have three weeks left in our beautiful island home. While Carson is our Island Unicorn (5 years on JET), I am the…One Year Deer?
Our island family truly outdid themselves this weekend. From decorations to musical performances inspired by our favorite Karaoke sing-a-longs and a delicious BBQ (with S’mores!) and thoughtful gifts and a beachside getaway for two nights…the kindness, effort, and generosity from our happy little island family moved me to tears time and time again this weekend.
But it’s just hitting me now how painful it is to say goodbye again. It’s all too familiar because I just did this a year ago in America. It was so hard to say goodbye to my family and Corey at the airport. I really love my life in America so it was not an easy decision to leave. But I knew I would only be gone for a year. And I’ve been saying this whole time that “a year in Japan is enough,” but each time I hug someone goodbye, it doesn’t feel like it’s enough anymore.At the same time though, I am really looking forward to going home because I have a lot waiting for me. My heart just lives in two places now.
I count my blessings every day that I was placed on Amami and ended up with the best family I could ever ask for here. JET placements are pretty random but this doesn’t feel random that all of us were placed on Amami together. It feels pretty intentional if you ask me.
I danced in a hula festival Sunday afternoon!
Carson, Dan and I went paragliding on Monday! It was the best things to do before I am about to leave. Seeing Amami mountains nestled in between the pacific ocean and the east china sea was amazing. Now I can really say I’ve seen the whole island! At least up north…
The Amami Heart Rock from the sky! Plus one of my knees.
After paragliding, we tried out the new burger shop up north. It was the most American Full my stomach has felt in months!
Bashayama is my favorite beach resort in the whole wide world. I love it like Ching loves Manten and Megan loves the bakery.
This is Kenmun. He is a tree faerie that lives in the Gajumaru trees on Amami. He is not an official mascot in Japan, but he is the mascot of my heart!
I didn`t want the long weekend to end because I have a really long To Do List to get through before I leave. My final weeks are going to be busybusybusybusy. But on my way to school Tuesday morning, I saw a rainbow!!
And the moral of the story? No matter how busy you are, always stop for rainbows.
Island life, island love.