Journals from Hong Kong Baptist University
2010-12-31 Farewell, Hong Kong
HKBU students on Lion Rock at sunrise
Time, like sand, slips through my fingers. The last weeks in Hong Kong were precious, and everyone knew it. Yet, our final moments together were complicated by the need to study hard for final exams and the conflicting ways that people handled our inevitable separation. During this exchange program, our group communication skills were tested in and outside of the classroom. Working independently on a class assignment is usually easier than a group project but the latter situation reflects everyday reality. We knew each day that passed in December was another one closer to the looming departure date; for the Linfield crew, that day was the 22nd. At the same time, the fact that our stay in Hong Kong would be over in a handful of days was a foreign concept to me. I had a warped perception of time during the semester that made me feel like one or two years had passed rather than a little more than four months. So, comprehending farewells was nearly impossible for me. For others, however, it was possible. Fellow exchange students very distinctly anticipated and dreaded the parting we were about to face. In spite of the differences in the attitudes we held toward days like December 22nd, I tried hard to feel every grain of sand that passed. Like I mentioned in the first journal, the relationships I developed with people in Hong Kong are what I value most from this study abroad experience. I laugh a bit when I recall my anticipative anxiety toward meeting people and making friends before the exchange program. We were all from different countries, continents, and customs, but our mutual respect and open minds allowed us to get to know each other. After that, I think it was our willingness to communicate as a group, incorporating individual concerns while sacrificing some of our own demands, which solidified our friendships.