Saying Goodbye

I wrote this on my last day of classes (Nov 3) but because the VPN wouldn’t connect I wasn’t able to upload it then.

Today is my last day in Xi’an. Well technically tomorrow is but I leave early so I got all my goodbyes done today. One of our Chinese teachers was sick so I did not get to say goodbye to her which sucks, especially because she was a really influential teacher for me. I got to say goodbye to the other teacher and my classmates though which I’m glad about. They’re so cute they recorded a video saying goodbye and each took turns saying something in Mandarin to us. It was kind of funny because I was in the room watching it happen. Later Reggie, Sherin, and I recorded a response.

I didn’t have class today because labs were cancelled so I had said my goodbyes to the students and staff earlier in the week. Instead, there was a closing ceremony today which I thought was really nice of Aegean to arrange. The principal from the school I was teaching at, our Chinese teacher, and a few of the international department staff were there. It was small but it was a nice gesture that brought a lot of closure to the end of the trip.

I was grabbing some last minute souvies for my family from the Muslim market and I found a little thing with my Chinese name on it which I’m really happy about. It’s silly but I think I’m going to miss being called Ning Li haha. After that I went to dinner with Sherin, Reggie, his girlfriend, and the boys from our class. It was a really nice way to end off the trip. We all walked back to the campus together and it was really nice to walk the street of Xi’an one last time. I got to see Zhonglou and Dayanta one last time too and it’s silly but those buildings became something I identified with as much as I would a maple leaf or the Saddledome, so it was almost cathartic to say goodbye to them too haha. The only people I didn’t get to say goodbye to were my Chinese teacher and the lady who owned the restaurant I went to a lot because I loved her potato and rice dish.

Goodbyes are really sad but I got a lot of closure today. I kept thinking about how I really don’t want to come back to Canada, and how I’d much rather stay in Xi’an and keep studying Mandarin, but unfortunately I don’t think the university would let me do field 3 in China.  After today though, I feel like I’m ready to go home. 

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