Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Japanese Graduate

proud family by Southworth Sailor
proud family, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Our messed up body clocks awoke us at 4:00 am, feeling rested and full of anticipation. We were quickly stepping on each other, bathing, ironing and dressing. A rice ball and coffee from the local 7-Eleven for breakfast was followed by a 30 minute walk to ICU. As Calvin rehearsed with his graduating classmates, Markus took us on a preliminary tour of the beautiful campus. We joined other families in a waiting area before being ushered into the lovely, traditional chapel. The large pipe organ prelude called the reverent assembly to the task at hand. The graduation ceremony was fairly typical of a Western ceremony with a few exceptions. The audience was very respectful, with only a few family hoots and exuberant graduates. We received a strong sense of pride among the faculty and parents that these students were graduates of a prestigious institution.The post ceremony photo ops were held on the lawn in front of the chapel. Calvin was kept busy posing with all his friends. A well stocked 'tea ceremony' satisfied our starving stomachs. We spent the afternoon getting a detailed tour of the campus from Calvin and Sassa with constant greetings and conversations. Esther was only told to be quiet once! We all decided that Calvin had sold short the gorgeous ICU campus. The spacious grounds and surrounding forest are a stark contrast to the endless city sprawl that surrounds it. We ended the day with dinner at a local restaurant not far from campus. We said goodbye to Sassa for a couple of days, took off our stifling formal clothes and got to bed early to prepare for the start of our country tour the next day.

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