Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Zai Jian Tongxue Men

Time to leave school now and move onto the new pace of life. I met many international students, almost from all over the world in the International Relations program I was majoring at Jilin University, People's Republic of China (PRC). We lived in the same hotel, eat together, attended classes together, party together and the most interesting but frustrating thing was that we all struggled to survive with our poor Chinese language.

But time has come for us to leave each other. Though graduation will be in June 30, 2009 and we all should depart July 31st, 2009, I decided to leave early, June 8, 2009 for Beijing and home bound (PNG). It was so difficult to meet all of them and hugg them so I decided to write this short piece and thank them for their time and knowing them. I would like to share the email I wrote for them with you. Happy reading and please leave your comments.

zai jian tongxue men (Bye Class Mates)

If there is any better moment to say “bye’ this is the moment. If there is any moment to say “sorry”, this is the moment.

Tick, tick, tick, tick, the clock kept ticking away, as we all invested our time in our future endurance. We have partly accomplished and we might not see each other again tomorrow.

Yes, we arrived yesterday from shores away and far apart. And we met in this land of thousand year’s history. For some, it was a surprise, for others, it was mysterious, for the rest, it was amusing, but for me, it is still a dream. My dream is still lingering in my mind.

We came yesterday, lived together, and will depart tomorrow and live apart. We will go to our own respective shores, may be never to see each other again if there will be a dark cloud above to cover the sunshine we long to see.

I hate to hear that we all will go on our different journey, to our mother land…in the Africa, South America, Asia and the Pacific.

But in ones life, and in time immemorial, there is always a journey in life. And that’s what we face today and the journey continues.

I would like to share my thoughts to you through Robert Kennedy’s speech of June 7, 1966 in Cape Town, South Africa.

In a speech that skillfully placed the South African struggle for freedom in the context of the worldwide campaign to break down the barriers of nationality, race and class, Kennedy expressed his fundamental philosophy. He spoke not only to the students of South Africa at the time but to the youths of the world.

When I though of you all, I feel in my heart that Kennedy also speaks to us now.

“Each time when a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”

Kennedy spoke in 1966. Since then, the “ripples of hope” that have been created may not be obvious today as we face many struggles.

And this is our turn, as students who will depart soon to play our little but yet genuine roles to bring hope and smiles to those who are around us. And we shall together send forth the “ripple of hope” today.

I am sure, we don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night in misery. Nor our children to cry in the midnight due to terror and fear. So together, we can create a world where we can all smile and be happy.

Well, life path is not always easy. There are ups and downs. I personally went through that while being in Jilin. I have been down in the deepest of life but God still raises me.

Some of you may have felt the same.

Former U.S. President Richard Nixon’s speech always gives me encouragement when I am down with life.

In his 9 August 1974 speech when he voluntarily resigned before he was impeached due to Water Gate Scandal, he stood tall and proclaimed that life is not meant to be perfect but at the end of the tunnel, there is always a light.

“It is only a beginning, always. The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been down in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

If we have been down in the deepest valley in our life in all manners, I believe that we will one day reach that highest mountain and appreciate how wonderful it was to experience those sad moments.

For those I have hurt in any manners, intentionally or unintentionally, I fervently pray before my God’s throne to ask you to forgive me. From within my heart, I say SORRY!

For those who have been beside me, during those days when I was into problems, trials, tribulations, I pray to my God that He shall shower you with blessings everlasting. From my heart, I say THANKYOU.

For those who are my best of all friends I have made here, it is sad I will leave you soon. That is life and it’s inevitable. I don’t know the best word to say here, but sadly, I will miss you. Let’s meet in Heaven tomorrow.

For the new students who will be left behind, I wish you a happy study, good health and enjoy Changchun as much as you can because when that time comes for you to leave, you will miss Changchun like me now.

Thank you one and all for being such a good friend. I thank God for knowing you!

Mathew Yakai
Papua New Guinea
Graduate – Summer 2009


Anonymous said...

thaks bro, good luck to u. life is life, the world is like big but small too. Hope to see u another place, other life.Yaya habib from Mali west africa

Anonymous said...

From: Gor Sargsyan (
Sent: Thu 6/04/09 3:03 AM
To: (

Mathew it's me Gor writing to you!realy it's thats sad to leave Your friends and You have managed to found and create with them!i am agree with your touchable expression!i left china month ago,now i missing the life with my classmates! Good luchk Mathew

Gor Sargsyan

Anonymous said...

Good morning Mat,

I didn't get to wish you a safe trip yesterday so thought I'd do that this morning. Well have a safe trip and takecare and I hope to hear from you real soon what your new job is like. And if I do go home and your there as well, then maybe we could meet up. Anyway, you take it easy na toktok long u some time .