My second home stay was overall a fantastic experience. After coming back to Fukuoka by bus from Nagasaki, we all met in Hakata Station to regroup and disperse to our families. My host family this time consisted of a couple who were around the same age of my parents. They did not have any children, and my host father worked for JTB Kyushu and was actually in charge of one of the schools we did a camp for, while his wife was a home maker. My host father spoke perfect English because he went to high school as an exchange student in Colorado during his senior year, so that was a plus for me. My host mom spoke a little English because the two of them lived in Malaysia for a number of years. Their condo was situated 5 minutes from the sea-side and had a gorgeous view. Though they didn’t have any pets they had numerous stray cats always lurking around their complex, so there was always a lot of cat watching.
The first night I arrived I was completely exhausted; they picked me up from the train station at 6:00 pm, we went to the grocery store to buy dinner essentials, and then we returned to their condo. There, I basically put all of my stuff away, ate dinner with the family, gave them my gifts of rice and peanut butter (my host mom LOVES American peanut butter- a big change from my French host family, who didn’t like peanut butter at all!), and then I went to bed at 9:30 pm; it was glorious.
On our first day we left the house a little after 9:00 am. My host dad took me on a walk along the seaside, which was so nice and relaxing; it was great to talk to him; he pointed out a lot of the islands and surrounding historical landmarks.
Wall built in 1244 to keep out China
Me by the seaside
Then, the three of us picked up my host dad’s cousin, who was keen on hanging out with me because she wanted to practice her English, and we, well, drove. We drove for a total of 6 hours that day; they took me on a tour everywhere; making random stops at random corners, etc. I think the rain ruined a lot of their plans though; eventually we ended up at a school house turned restaurant and shop, where we had a wonderful buffet lunch. YUM.
School house turned restaurant
We stopped at the hospital to visit my host dad’s 87-year-old mother, who is still in great shape I may add, and then went to the grocery store, had dinner and I again retired to bed early.
On our second morning, my host dad had to do some things for work, so my host mom and I hung out alone in the morning; I showed her a lot of my photos on my laptop from Europe, Japan, and my US life. She also showed me pictures of their many travel adventures and living abroad experiences (another reason I want to live abroad permanently one day!) That afternoon when my host dad came home they took me to a Bio Park– a kind of zoo in the Nagasaki Prefecture. It was very beautiful and enjoyable, with a lot of scenery.
My host parents 🙂
That night, my host mom and I rented a few movies and just sort of vegged out Japanese style, equipped with tea, an orange, and Japanese munchies. J
I had to leave at 10 am the next day; I was really sad to leave this family but I hope we keep in touch; I am certainly going to try! They are very wonderful people.