Here are more pictures from Mie's Deep South Goodbye Party, where I said goodbye to a lot of great friends!
Lauren's still around (thank heavens!), but I had to say goodbye to Allison. I remember getting to know her better about a year ago at the JET recontracting conference, and then at the 2006 Sayonara Party. As we were talking and joking, I remember thinking, this girl is really fucking cool. My impression was totally right on, and I'll miss Mie's southernmost "deep south girl". I'm still kind of crossing my fingers that she'll be back!
Emily has left, but only temporarily. She's coming back to Japan to teach in Shiga. This will give Stan and I a great excuse to visit Shiga, and enjoy Subway and Starbucks with our favorite Georgia Peach.
O, Jonathan! Why'd you have to leave?? Another year in Kii Nagashima may have been just what the doctor ordered!
I'll miss Jonathan a lot. I remember when I first met him two years ago, I thought that he looked too much like a pop star to be my friend. It turns out that his cool LA exterior hid a heart of gold. I'll miss our bitching sessions at the various fine establishments in Kii Nagashima. He's another one who I'm expecting to make his way back to Japan before long!
Marisa's Japanese is amazing, as is her ability to replicate Japanese anime theme songs at karaoke! I hope she'll be happy back in Chicago!
My dear, dear Katie. I'll miss her so much! Katie is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She's one of those people whom make you feel all warm and fuzzy when you're around them...and the girl was always up for karaoke!! I was so happy that she joined the Habitat for Humanity team this year! I still giggle when I think how Katie would say "Thanks, love" even while passing heavy Philippino bricks!
O, Spooner (aka Melissa)! She's not leaving, but I like this picture of us. Spooner's neurotic quirks, her willigness to drive 3 hours for a party, and her work ethic in the Philippines have endeared her to me. She's always welcome to a futon at Stan's house!
Delicious kiwi chuhai
I had never had a "nama" fruit chuhai before. Nama means raw in Japanese, so you get a piece of fruit which you juice into your drink. Wow! It takes chuhais to a while new level! I highly recommend it.
After dinner we moved the party to a small karaoke snack bar called Fumiko's. Fumiko was an absolutely hilarious host. She sang along a lot and clapped her hands, and the woman was absolutely IN LOVE with Jonathan! She kept yelling "KAWAII" in her husky, too many chuhais and cigarettes, voice. As soon as she got a chance to hug him, she wrapped her arms around him and looked like she was in ecstasy.