On March 1st, I had my last day at Kamphaengphet Pittayakom School before my summer vacation. My school had set aside time during our morning assembly to give me a farewell ceremony. My coordinator talked about me for a few minutes before giving my host father the stage. He gave a speech in only Thai about how I act in our home and how I have impacted his family. I only understood parts of it but it was all very kind and I appreciated his words.
I gave a goodbye speech, prepared the night before with the help of Kru Nok, in both Thai and English.
I was rather nervous, as I was speaking in front of over 3,000 people in my third language, so I stumbled a lot on words and took my time. I thanked everyone who made my year so special. I said that I loved and would miss KPP school and that I would definitely come back again one day.
Then, three of my friends came up and gave their own speeches. They talked about their favourite memories with me. They also asked me not to forget them and I know I never will.
The last speech was from one of my closest friends in Thailand, Mind. The second she started talking, I began crying both from disbelief that this was ending and mostly love for her and our experience. She began to cry too not long after and we ended her speech with a close hug. In Thailand, both crying and hugging is rather rare so this was an incredibly special moment between us.
My Chinese friend Yang and South Korean friend Eldo were also leaving so they gave speeches as well.
During the assembly, my friends presented me with flowers and a photo book that my class all worked on. Inside, there were photos of me, us all together, and just photos of them. There was also a list of their Facebooks, as well as messages they wrote me. I couldn’t be more grateful for this beautiful and thoughtful gift. Later that day, my friends also gave me a little bag with a Thai traditional shirt I thought was very cute, handwritten notes, and some rather expensive European chocolates.
My friend Por gave me a painting she did of a photo of my friend group with a little letter on the back. This is now one of my most prized possessions and I love it more than I have words to express.
After the assembly, my best friends all greeted me excitedly. I was also so happy to share this special moment with Sydney.
The school day was mostly business as usual. I attended my last English class, taught by Lewis. Towards the end of class, my classmates staged an impromptu serenade to me. They chose the song, “Photograph,” by Ed Sheeran and asked me sit in front of the class. To be honest, I felt a little shy and awkward by all the attention to the point where I couldn’t even look Lewis in the eyes, who was laughing so hard from my reaction. However, I loved this sweet gesture to show me how much my class would miss me.
They sang a few more songs, like One Direction ones, before giving me the floor. I gave a very impromptu goodbye speech, thanking everyone for their kindness and all the fun memories. I loved my class so much and I felt really lucky to be a part of such a special group of people.