All too quickly, summer has come and passed. The end of the rainy season brought not only Miyazaki’s abysmal summer heat, but a new wave of farewells as well. Saying goodbye is never easy. Everything seems to happen in a rush, all blurred together. Suddenly there are not enough weekends, free time grows sparse, and spending time with friends becomes difficult to arrange amidst the piles of packing and preparation that must be accomplished.
Nevertheless, on July 10, friends from all over Miyazaki managed to come together for MAJET’s annual Farewell Party. This final event of the year is our chance to celebrate all of our departing JETs before they head off on their new adventures. This year, the party was held at the Merieges Hotel in Miyazaki City.
During a delicious dinner of Hawaiian-inspired food, partygoers enjoyed entertaining, thought-provoking, and emotional speeches from representative JETs from each year.
Rurik kicked it off for the first years, expressing sadness at leaving mixed with an understanding that he and others would always feel welcome in Miyazaki.
Larissa and Julian presented for the second years. Rather than giving a traditional speech, the two of them developed a Miyazaki Karaoke song that everyone enjoyed doing together! They were even kind enough to give us the video so future generations of MAJET can enjoy it 😉
Sam brought her own Dr. Seuss-inspired poetry to the room, mixing laughs with sentimental moments and lots of Kaki hugs throughout her speech.
Rick spoke for the fourth years. In his nostalgic speech, he talked about a blog he wrote when he first arrived 4 years ago, and how looking at his old posts showed him just how much he had changed, grown, and made Miyazaki his home.
Check out this fantastic video to see the speeches for yourself!
Thank you to all of our speakers for getting up there and bearing your hearts to us! Your words will stay with us for years to come.
After so many emotional moments, everyone was ready to let loose. MAJET set up a photobooth with a variety of props and accessories. Shenanigans ensued, and our friend Luke managed to capture it all! Below is just a small sampling; check out the full gallery to see all the crazy antics 😉
In his speech, Rurik said, “A year is more than the number of days within.” For those of us who have spent two, three, or even four and five years here, we truly have experienced lifetimes together.
To our leavers, MAJET will miss you, and we wish you the very best in your next adventure and all the ones to come after!
Check out our Facebook gallery for even more photos! (Don’t worry, you don’t need a Facebook account to view the link 😉 )
*Photos by Cassie Conrad and Luke Nicklin
*Speech video recorded and edited by Luke Nicklin
*Slideshows developed by Jodi Dobinsky