PDA

View Full Version : Adventure Ahead



Rastagirl
02-22-2009, 06:54 PM
I just thought I'd share something exciting that is fast approaching.

My son has been taking Japanese the last 3 years in High School. He's really good at it...at the top of his class and I believe he has finally found his passion. He absolutely loves it! We are sending him on a foreign exchange trip to Japan this summer. He'll be there for 3-1/2 weeks. He spends the first week traveling with the group seeing 4 different cities (they end up in Hiroshima) and staying in hotels, youth hostels, eating at different restaurants, shopping, sightseeing, etc. They'll have 2 Japanese college students as their travel guides. For the last two weeks he'll be going to stay with a host family and going to school with their son or daughter. My son is sooooo excited he can hardly wait. He's thrilled that he's going to be immersed in Japanese and get to use what he's been learning for the past three years.

Now, the part that is fast approaching is that we are going to be a Host Family for a student from Japan. Normally, this is something that would be totally out of my comfort zone...I'm pretty shy and reserved. And our family is fairly private and laid back. But I decided to take a step outside my comfort zone for once in my life, and try something new. Besides, my son absolutely begged me to do this. The student that will be staying with us is a 16 year old girl. We've been emailing back and forth with her for a few months and getting to know each other. She wrote us the sweetest letter and sent a picture of herself. She arrives on March 12th and will stay for a few weeks. I'm getting very excited and a little nervous too.

I've been busy all weekend cleaning out our 4th bedroom, which up to this point has been the junkroom. This week I'm going to start fixing it into a bedroom for a 16 year old girl. She told me her favorite color is pink and she loves rock and roll Western music. Her favorite rock singer is Avril Lavigne, so I went to a local music store and found an 'Avril' poster for her bedroom wall and a music DVD of Avril's newest concert tour. I have a feeling she's going to be wowed with our 72" pull down screen Projector setup, where we watch our movies. The second week that she's here will be during our Spring Break, so we're planning to take her to see the sights... to the Oregon Coast to fly kites and have Moe's famous clam chowder in Newport, to Multnomah Falls in the Coumbia River Gorge, shopping, of course, bowling, miniature golfing, we're planning an X-Box video game and pizza party with my son and his friends.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share some of my fun news with everyone today. :) I'm off now to tackle the boxes of junk to sort through. The good things is I'll have most of my spring cleaning done way ahead of everyone else.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your day....

Fondly,

Lori :)

Angel Oliver
02-22-2009, 07:08 PM
Oh im so excited now for you.Wow! Your son will have an amazing time there and the 16 year old girl will have even more excitement staying with you.Sounds fantastic. Can she speak english or have you had to learn the Japenese language? I will be impressed if you say yes, but im hoping she can speak English. What an experience for you all.And you will gain such confidence from this, just wait n see. S nice to read your happy news. Enjoy it, even though you'll miss your son.....it'll be fab :)

love
Angel.xx

BonusMom
02-22-2009, 07:20 PM
Wow! What a fantastic opportunity! I'm jealous that you'll be ahead of me in my Spring cleaning. Since you're feeling motivate, how 'bout you come to (rainy) California and help attack my Spring cleaning when you're done with yours???

Enjoy your exchange student and congrats for stepping out of your comfort zone.

rob
02-23-2009, 02:52 AM
Lori,

Sounds like one heck of an adventure for everyone. I've never been to Japan, but I'd love to go someday. The worlds largest model kit manufacturer, and the worlds biggest hobby shops are in Japan. Maybe you could pack me into a large suitcase and I'll tag along! A friend of my sisters had a Japanese exchange student for a year, and she was really a great kid. Teens will be teens no matter where they are from, but the Japanese tend to be very polite and respectful as it's a very important part of their culture. And folks over there do love American music, movies, and our culture, so it should be a win win situation for all.

Rob

mountaindreamer
02-23-2009, 07:18 AM
wow lori,

what fun your family will have this spring. I know you must be having a blast fixing a room for a teenage girl. I have always enjoyed making sure that my girls had a "sweet dreams bedroom". have fun, and enjoy the experience.
phyllis

hatlady
02-24-2009, 07:54 AM
How very very cool! Visiting another country does more to expand a person's world view than all the reading can do.... what an opportunity for him! And for your whole family as he shares this adventure!

DrinkofWtr
02-24-2009, 08:23 AM
Dear Rastagirl:

After reading your thread, I now miss Oregon. I lived on the coast at Brookings, and in Beaverton and Tigard in the 80's. Multnomah falls is a killer falls. The lodge there is very quaint also. I remember going to a museum somewhere near there with items from the Russian royal family. There was also a replica of stonehedge somewhere there on the Columbia River's edge.

Rastagirl
02-24-2009, 11:02 AM
Oh im so excited now for you.Wow! Your son will have an amazing time there and the 16 year old girl will have even more excitement staying with you.Sounds fantastic. Can she speak english or have you had to learn the Japenese language? I will be impressed if you say yes, but im hoping she can speak English. What an experience for you all.And you will gain such confidence from this, just wait n see. S nice to read your happy news. Enjoy it, even though you'll miss your son.....it'll be fab :)

love
Angel.xx

Hi Angel...

The student staying with us, Hatsumi, has been learning English a lot longer than my son has been learning Japanese. They start with English very young. She's told us she's pretty good with English, but asked us if we could speak slowly when she first gets here. She's coming here wanting to practice and use her English, so that's what we'll be using mostly. But my son has been teaching me a few words and phrases in Japanese. How 'bout I try them on you?

Hajime mashite... (sorry, I couldn't put the accents on the e in each word) -
means 'I am pleased to meet you'

Watashi wa Lori desu - means 'My name is Lori'

Ohayo...(accent on last o) - means 'Good morning'

Those are the three phrases I'm learning and practicing right now. I want to be able to greet her when we pick her up at the airport.

Thanks for your encouragment and good wishes. My confidence has been upped a notch already since I've found friends here like you.

Lori :)

Rastagirl
02-24-2009, 11:11 AM
Wow! What a fantastic opportunity! I'm jealous that you'll be ahead of me in my Spring cleaning. Since you're feeling motivate, how 'bout you come to (rainy) California and help attack my Spring cleaning when you're done with yours???

Enjoy your exchange student and congrats for stepping out of your comfort zone.

Hi Bonusmom...

Are you flying me down for that Spring cleaning? I'm actually a pretty expensive maid...since I HATE housework, it's gonna cost ya! I might lower my price a bit if you'd be willing to bake me chocolate chip cookies while I'm cleaning. Oh wait....how big did you say your house is? :)

Thanks for your encouragement as well. It's high time my comfort zone got a kick in the behind. Been a long time since I've felt able to do something like this so I am, as they say, 'seizing the moment'.

Hugs,

Lori :)

Rastagirl
02-24-2009, 11:32 AM
Lori,

Sounds like one heck of an adventure for everyone. I've never been to Japan, but I'd love to go someday. The worlds largest model kit manufacturer, and the worlds biggest hobby shops are in Japan. Maybe you could pack me into a large suitcase and I'll tag along! A friend of my sisters had a Japanese exchange student for a year, and she was really a great kid. Teens will be teens no matter where they are from, but the Japanese tend to be very polite and respectful as it's a very important part of their culture. And folks over there do love American music, movies, and our culture, so it should be a win win situation for all.

Rob


Hi Rob...

I have a feeling I'll be visiting Japan myself in the future. My son is interested in possibly being an interpreter and living there. He is fascinated with everything Japanese. He's got 'Manga' books all over his bedroom and a collection of Katanas (Japanese swords) on his bedroom wall. I make sure to remove those when his teenage friends come over....don't want any sword battles in my house. lol

Wouldn't it be cool to visit huge hobby shops....you'd be like a kid in a candy store. If we sent you in my son's suitcase, you'd have to bring 2 or 3 more along to get all your 'toys' home.

Some of the families that have hosted in the past, spoke to us at a trip planning meeting last night. They told us that the Japanese students are extremely polite and very easy to live with...that they are not very opinionated...unlike most Americans. :)

Thanks for your encouraging words, Rob. It's always appreciated.

Take care...

Lori :)

Rastagirl
02-24-2009, 11:39 AM
wow lori,

what fun your family will have this spring. I know you must be having a blast fixing a room for a teenage girl. I have always enjoyed making sure that my girls had a "sweet dreams bedroom". have fun, and enjoy the experience.
phyllis

Thank you, Phyllis....

We are definitely going to have fun...our family was up late last night trying to learn a few phrases in Japanese...with the help of my son. On the ride to school this morning, my son told me that I am the only one in our family that's showing any progress in learning some Japanese. Gave me a boost of confidence...so I'll be practicing my kon'nichiwa's and Ohayo's while I work on that bedroom.

I truly appreciate your encouragement and kind words....

Fondly,

Lori :)

Rastagirl
02-24-2009, 11:51 AM
How very very cool! Visiting another country does more to expand a person's world view than all the reading can do.... what an opportunity for him! And for your whole family as he shares this adventure!

Many thanks for your kind words, as well. I am so thankful that we are able to provide this experience for our son. He's had some struggles with school at times, and when he showed such a passionate interest in Japanese when he started high school, we decided to give him our full support and encouragement. He's kind of a shy kid, so it's neat to see him come out of his shell when he's talking about this trip and upcoming experience. I've been slowly working towards untying the apron strings and sending him off so far away. It's not gonna be easy, but I'm getting there...bit by bit. I know this will be a great thing for his independence....he's going to come back changed for sure.

Thanks, again..

Lori :)

Rastagirl
02-24-2009, 12:01 PM
Dear Rastagirl:

After reading your thread, I now miss Oregon. I lived on the coast at Brookings, and in Beaverton and Tigard in the 80's. Multnomah falls is a killer falls. The lodge there is very quaint also. I remember going to a museum somewhere near there with items from the Russian royal family. There was also a replica of stonehedge somewhere there on the Columbia River's edge.

Hi Drink....

Wow...I finally found someone familiar with Oregon on here. Cool! Our family did a road trip vacation a few years ago and visited Crater Lake, the Redwoods in Northern California, and ended up for 4 days in Brookings. Unfortunately, I spent those 4 days in the hotel when my husband got sick and went to urgent care for antibiotics and then my daughter got pink eye. I didn't get to do anything fun in Brookings.

You're right about Multnomah Falls...incredible beauty. When we had the arctic freeze around Christmas...some photographers took amazing pictures of the falls nearly frozen. It was a beautiful icey wonderland. I wonder if any of those pics have made it on the internet. You should check out google images for a frozen Multnomah Falls. It's incredible. I grew up hiking all over the Columbia River Gorge...it's my absolute favorite place in Oregon. Ever seen the view from Crown Point? Breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your love for Oregon...makes me feel proud to be an Oregonian.

Many thanks,

Lori :)