Interacting with host families is always a unique and different experience. This is my third time traveling with World Campus – Japan, but I have no procedure on how to deal with new host families. You have to feel your way every time. I have experienced many fun families, we are always very nice and polite to each other. We have a great week together, and you we leave with new impulses and a cool new view on the Japanese and world culture.
Sometimes though, your family seems to match your personality better than other times. One of my favorite English words is “awesome”. I love animals. I love music. My sense of humor is usually hard to understand.
During my stay in Uda city, I was introduced to the Ensatsu family. The procedure on finding host families was to look for a certain item that would be in one of many boxes. Mine was a dog collar. At once I got a vague hope that there might be a dog in my coming family.
When I finally got home with them it turns out they have 4 dogs and 5 cats. The amount of joy that met me every time I entered the house from the animals was great. The family itself too was equally cheerful at all times. My host father’s name was “Osamu”, which sounds just like “awesome”.-a word the whole family immediately caught on to.
They bravely tried my Norwegian cooking, which usually comes with some skepticism.
On host family day they took me to the ninja village in Ueda, a day I know I’ll never forget. They helped me in every way they could when I needed to go see the dentist.
The last night, they even played some songs for me. I played and sang some songs I liked in return, and they listened with great interest. They even made amazing drawings in my “host family book”, that I know I will cherish forever.
It’s a funny thing about likes and dislikes. If there’s something you dislike it’s easy to put your finger on it. But when you really like something, it usually becomes part of you without you noticing at once. All of a sudden, our time together was almost over. I found myself really not wanting to leave.
And now that I had to leave, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to live my life when I come back home. It’s amazing how much joy you can bring to a family just with words, simple jokes, and a smile.
I am so thankful I get to spend time with all of you; Masako, Osamu, Masumi, Akari, Minori and Eri. I will never forget your kindness, honesty and great sense of adventure and humor. To me, those are all the tools you need to be a great world citizen.
And I know leaving the house is a challenge with 9 animals to take care of. But if the opportunity to come to Norway should arise, my door is always open. And I will definitely be back in Uda to see them.
The bond that is created in only one week is amazing.