01 June, 2017

Last night's fancy do

This and the next photo were taken by Ush Sawada, the CAJ photographer.
It was such a privilege to have a professional to help capture the memories.
Last night we attended the banquet that I've been helping organise (since September last year). You can go back and see my post about the initial meeting here where I volunteered to write an email.

Alas it ballooned into much more than a simple email. As of now I have received at least 442 emails related to this and the two other parent-organised events we have going in these few weeks. And I haven't counted the hundreds that I've written, not to mention phone calls and just a few meetings. 

We struggled to find a venue in Tokyo that would hold us all (about 142 people)
 at the budget that we set. But thanks to one Japanese mum we found this
venue on the top floor of a downtown hotel and were able to negotiate
with the staff through her.
Isn't the room lovely? (Photo by Ush Sawada)
In that post in September I wrote "We have cross-cultural issues." We certainly did. We still did last night. But I'm not going to dwell on that because barring one problem, we had a wonderful night in a gorgeous venue with many willing volunteers who helped everything run smoothly. I think the night was enjoyed by the majority of those who attended.

A long escalator as we travelled down to the subway
for one of the three trains on our way home. Though
travelling this way wasn't odd, it was a little odd doing
it dressed up for a banquet. Thankfully I didn't have to
wear heels.
But I am thankful to have it over. As you can imagine a lot of preparation goes into something like this and the cross-cultural, bilingual team added to the challenges. My co-coordinator and I tried to stick by the principle of KIS (Keep it Simple), which meant we tried to keep extra fuss (and meetings) to a minimum. Unfortunately last night my head was mostly taken up with answering people's questions (which were important questions, and someone has to deal with that) and so I didn't have enough personal-social energy left in me to socialise as I usually do at events like this.

I'm thankful too, to my parents who were able to stay at home with our younger two boys (they watched State of Origin football, an important three-game annual series in our home state). It's interesting having overseas visitors stay, you see that what we've become used to is not "normal" to an Aussie. For example, that we travelled by train to this event, in fact we travelled on six trains. This is not abnormal to us anymore, but it was a new thought for our visitors.

Today's a bit quiet, but then tomorrow night is the main event: the graduation ceremony. Thankfully I have almost no responsibilities beyond being a mum (and daughter) tomorrow night.

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