After giving our presentations and discussing them with a group of local stakeholders who were gracious enough to come and listen to us, we gathered for one final group photo, conspicuously uniform in our identical t-shirts.
It wouldn’t be until just outside of baggage claim in Haneda that I think we all realized that it was really, finally over. These people who we had been thrown together with, who we had spent almost every waking minute with for more than 10 days, our group in the deepest sense of the word, we were about to be separated. Maybe it was just me, but I felt a loss at that moment, a loss that has lingered.
It’s a testament to my classmates that we were able to overcome the stress of the final days and retain such a bond. I’ll remember you all and hope to meet you again. Thanks of course, to Profs. Watanabe and Ito for their leadership and commitment, and most of all Lise, who bore more than she would have expected with unassailable brightness.