JET Send Off Reception 2015

It seems like a lifetime ago I was preparing to start a new life in a foreign land. 

I had just started blogging and the idea of moving from the only home I had ever known was daunting to say the least. 

But I made it. 

I survived. 

I grew, evolved and blossomed into the person I was destined to become. 

Somehow, Japan helped me to discovery my true purpose on this Earth.

And for that I am eternally grateful. 

So whenever I can, I try to give back. 

Through the Jamaica JET Alumni Association I have been offering my assistance to the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica every year since my return in 2011 as they prepare to send off new batches of JET participants to the land of the rising Sun. 

This year differed only in the increase in number of participants sent off (over 30) and the performance of the song Sakura done by the JJETAA, Tomoko Sensei and members of the Embassy at the Send Off Reception held at the Ambassador's residence. 

Before the  performance, I had the distinguished pleasure of reciting the English translation of the song Sakura which was sung at the reception.

See the poem below:

We promise we will be waiting for you
For the day we will see you again.
On a path lined with cherry blossom trees, we will welcome you home with open arms
So no matter how hard things may seem, keep smiling
Even when doubt creeps in, i know you will always do your best.
As the view fades away, we can hear the song of the day...

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms -- They are blooming all around, Knowing their destiny is to eventually fall.
Farewell, my dear friends -- It's time to start your journey.
Just know now that in our hearts our friendship remains the same.
In Japanese:



さくら さくら 今咲きほこる
さらば友よ 旅立ちのとき
変わらないその想いを 今

The song Sakura is a popular song around graduation time in Japan. It is a touching dedication to new beginnings and it's similarities with the cherry blossom. 

By the way, every year the Send Off Reception is either held on or around my birthday. A pretty good way to start off the celebrations if I do say so myself.  

Wishing all the new JETs a safe journey and an adventure as full of growth and wonder as mine!

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