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Konnichiwa! to our new guest from Japan

Posted Oct 17 2012 5:29pm

We’ve embraced the idea of an exchange student once again, after a good many years. The last one we had was Patric from Sweden, and I remember his favorite thing was to walk by K and her friends watching Titanic and tell them “The boat sinks.”

(oops–spoiler alert!)

But that was probably 13 years ago, and Ayako several years before that, so we thought we might try it again.  We have been blessed with a lovely young woman named Yurie from Tokyo, Japan. She has meshed with the family very well, and we are learning from each other all the time–mostly about cooking!

She’s very active, and so one of the first things they did was all go on a walk up the hill into the woods. Doctor Do-Be-Doo is clearly playing Indiana Jones here; I’m not sure they came home with anything purely archaeological in nature. :)

She’s a very hard-working student, which is a good example for our two at home. Even though she’s still working on her English (which is pretty good, considering!), she decided to take up Spanish here– I’m not sure how she keeps her brain from spinning. And she’s adapted to staying in a family with some special kids. So that warms my heart. :)

But like I said, she loves to cook. Her family has spent considerable time in the US, so she’s interested in all sorts of food. She’s been here almost two months, and we STILL haven’t gone to McDonalds. Can you believe it? But she’s showed us how to make sushi, homestyle–so much easier!!– and Japanese curry, while we’ve made Cuban black beans, Mexican food, Indian chicken and all kinds of stuff. One day we finally had meat and potatoes, and she’s like, “Is this American food?” Poor kid.

And she made her grandmother’s famous cheesecake. BEST CHEESECAKE EVER.

Yurie is very sweet and brought all sorts of nice things for the family, including this stunning kimono for Little Miss. The worn out tennis shoes add such a fashion statement, don’t you think?

This has been carefully hung up and saved for a special occasion, for sure.

We got to go camping in The Vehicle one weekend, anyway, but then Himself got signed up for a community theatre show and all the weekends got blocked out. Yurie and the Doctor got drafted to work back stage and even to have a few lines onstage, too, so it’s been an interesting experience.

She finds that Americans, particularly the students, are not as ambitious and hard-working as those in Japan, which doesn’t surprise me a lot. But we’ve adjusted her school schedule so she has more than just academics, like food, and broadcasting, and she also signed up for intramural basketball and hip-hop dance lessons, so she’s a busy girl!

She’s looking forward to the holidays as much as little kids do, so we’ll have a chance to demonstrate what Americans do for some of these holidays, as far as celebration. Her parents have celebrated Halloween and Christmas before, from their previous time here, so we’ll see if we do it differently. Probably. I bet she’s never had frozen pizza for Thanksgiving. (Long family story waiting to be shared).

We’re hoping to travel later in the year and take her to Florida at Christmas, to Asheville, and who knows where else. The program she’s exchanging with has organized trips as well where she can see all about DC and NYC and other places in a tourist sort of way. Any suggestions as to what’s “not to miss” for a nine-month visitor to the States?


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