Growing up as a military kid (an “Army brat”, shall we say, though I never really warmed to the term), my family had to do our fair share of hails and farewells, both in the official ceremony context and simply on a personal level. Whenever we moved to a new place we knew it was for a set amount of time (10 months, in my shortest experience; 4 years in the longest), after which we’d pick up, head elsewhere, and start again. The hellos and goodbyes that went along with such a lifestyle were just part of the deal, especially since many or even most people we knew shared our tendencies.
The teaching-abroad business is quite the same, in that regard, with the transience being, if anything, more pronounced. In the eight months (eight months!!!) I’ve been here nearly everyone who was holding down the fort upon my arrival has gone. The last of the “OG crew” (as I’ve probably annoyingly frequently referred to it in the past few weeks) to go were David and Lize, when they hopped a train to Bangkok last Wednesday night. They were, I think, the first people I met in Thung Song, and David and I became particularly close sharing an office throughout all the crazy happenings during our term at Satree Thungsong. They will be missed greatly.
The flip side of all this, of course, is that you’re given a chance to meet so many great people and build up a network of friends around the globe; whom you might have a chance to drop in on someday, or whom you might be fortunate to have pay you a visit. This happened simultaneously with David and Lize’s departure when Luke, an old coworker from China, swung through for a few days.
Hitting up the local waterfalls with David was always a favorite weekend passtime (weather provided, of course), and we knew Luke to be of adventurous and nature loving stock (learned this on our unforgettable trek of Huangshan), so going to our newly favorite Plew(/Plio/Pliu… no direct transcription from Thai to English and we’ve seen all three) Waterfall seemed like just the way to spend what ended up being both of their final evening in Thung Song.
Anyway. Many happy trails and returns to David and Luke. Very happy to have had you both in my life!