25 March, 2010

Nine months gone. Three to go.

Today it's nine months since we left Japan. That means we're 3/4 of the way through our home assignment. Phew! It's gone fast. When we were leaving Japan friends were saying, "A year is a long time to go away." Yes, a long time, but also a short time. Time is a relative thing, really. It has passed quickly because we've striven to pack a lot into it.  That has been evident in recent weeks when we have been able to accept no school friend's birthday parties or able to help at our church's working bee.

Now people are saying, "You're going so soon!" Especially people with whom we're only just building relationships. This is tough. You meet new people, develop new friendships and then you're off again. In a sense it is easier for us than them. We have something we're going to, but they will just have our absence when we leave.

But longer term friends too. Nearly every time we've visited good friends, our boys say - "When can we come back to visit them again?"  In many cases - it'll be four or five years!

So, as the last 1/4 of our home assignment arrives, we've very aware that goodbyes, tough goodbyes, are just around the corner. But thankfully hellos are close too - we have many we miss from Japan and look forward to saying "Hello" to them again.

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