Grettel, outbound to Japan

My first host family was the Yonei's. They lived really close to the train station which was convenient, and two doors down lived another exchange student from Australia. The Yonei family was made up of Mr. and Mrs. Yonei and their daughters Shiho and Maho. Shiho goes to college in the UK, so i never actually met her, and Maho left for her own exchange year in Canada a week after I arrived. Mrs.Yonei is an English teacher, which was nice, but it also meant that I used English all the time while living with the Yonei's so my Japanese didn’t improve as much as it would have if my first host family hadn’t known English that well.

The Yonei's house was quite new and very pretty, it was always really clean and smelled nice. I enjoyed studying at the living room table and I loved all the cute and yummy breads they bought me. Mr.Yonei was the president of a branch of a construction machine company, he was a guitar player and really into rock and roll. Mr.Yonei taught me how to play ‘Smoke on the Water’ which was really fun, and lent me a small guitar to practice with while I lived there. He was also really into anime and would often play his favorite shows for me to watch after dinner or in the car. The Yonei’s would always take me to their favorite restaurants which was awesome, I ate so much delicious food my first three months here.

I think a memory I’ll never forget was my first week there, when we sent off Maho at the airport. As she got in line to board Maho started sobbing, which made me recall having to leave my mom and grandma at the airport, and caused me to start crying as well. It was embarrassing at the moment because the tears just wouldn’t stop coming, but when I look back on it, it was a bit funny. No one knew what to do with the crying exchange student hahaha.

While at the Yonei’s house I helped where I could and usually wiped down the table after dinner. I made sure to always pick up after myself and other than that my only chore was to do my own laundry.

The Yonei’s also took me to a lot of events in the city, like a sweets festival, a crafts event, and even an Evangelion anime exhibit. There was always something fun and interesting to do with them. I also attended calligraphy lessons with Mrs.Yonei which were hard but fun. One of the pieces I did even got put in the local calligraphy journal! Recently I saw the Yonei’s at a Rotary event and they gave me t-shirts they had made of my 壁ドン calligraphy, they’re so cool looking!

I had a wonderful time adjusting to Japan with the Yonei’s and I’m very grateful to them for being my first host family.

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