Monday, September 28, 2009

"You look happy to meet me..."

I was so excited to meet my host family in Shizukuishi Saturday evening!

Here's a picture that was taken just moments after I was introduced to my host mom (left) and her niece (beside me)...

We ate a delicious dinner together--with other ALTs and their host families--and then listened to people in the community play a Japanese instrument called a koto. (Those are kotos on the stage behind us in the above picture. I'll write more about them and have a couple of videos to share in my next blog post.) Then we went to my host family's house...

My host father took this picture, and that's my host brother beside me.

No one in my host family spoke English, so I had the challenge of communicating with them in Japanese! We sat around their kitchen table for two hours on Saturday night, and I tried my best to understand what was being said. :) I took this video for the purpose of posting it here...

video

In the tour, I said that the room beside the living room was a bedroom, but that's actually a lie. It was a sitting room, and the bedrooms were upstairs, which I never saw.

My host father had a very nice voice, and I enjoyed singing "Edelweiss" with him. (The title of this post is from that song, by the way.) I kept the video running after "Edelweiss" so you can listen to him sing a different song and also talk...

video

After a good night's sleep on the super comfy futon, I was greeted by my very friendly family and a big, Japanese breakfast...


Rice and miso soup, spinach, eggplant, egg, salmon, salad and blueberry yogurt (which isn't pictured).

After breakfast, they told me we were going for a drive. I had told them the night before about my addiction to ice cream (haha), so they took me to an ice cream shop...at 9 a.m.!! I had the mountain berry flavor and immensely enjoyed the delicious, creamy goodness. :)

Just for fun, I had a little taste of wasabi ice cream! (Wasabi is the ridiculously spicy green horseradish stuff that you eat with sushi.) The ice cream definitely tasted like wasabi, but wasn't real spicy. I felt like I should eat sushi with it!


And finally, here's a picture of the outside of the house where I stayed...(quite large by Japanese standards)

Overall, the homestay was a really great time, and I couldn't have been treated any better! They took several pictures of us together, and then (bless their hearts) had the photos developed and put into a little album, which they gave me as I was boarding the train to leave.

Japanese people in general are extremely polite and kind, and the hospitality of my host family was almost overwhelming! Good times indeed.
:)

4 comments:

Dawn said...

Wow, sounds like a great family. I'm going to be watching the videos in a few seconds. Glad it was so much fun!

Lauren said...

Daaayna,
Looks like you had a great weekend! I agree Japanese people are very nice! It's amazing all of the great experiences you are having over there!!!!

Alana Green said...

Isn't Japanese breakfast amazing?

Ariel T said...

Girlfriend, I didn't know you have a host family too! Happy for you :) And what better way to learn Japanese than to communicate entirely in Japanese! You go girl, I'm proud of you :-)