I begin my 35+ hours of travel back to the United States at noon, but I couldn’t help but pop by my school one more time before doing the final rounds of my apartment and securing my luggage for the long haul to the other side of the globe. This morning I had my final review with my principal (all good, thankfully!) and took final photos with my kids. Over the last 24 hours I have received gifts of all kinds including a necklace and sash from the Philippines (c/o two Filipino teachers), jewelry of all kinds, scarves, a wooden boat and various batik goods.
This morning I was also presented with an ulos from our Bahasa Indonesia teacher. As a Batak, she was also the teacher who took the time during our unit about celebrations to teach our students about the many traditions of her culture. She also taught some of our students the Tor Tor Dance, a traditional Batak dance, that they then performed for parents during our “Celebration Presentation.” I’m honored to have been presented with a friendship ulos and as someone who had many Batak friends while living in Sumatra, it will serve as a really beautiful reminder of all the wonderful people who shared in this journey with me.