Back in the late 90's, early 2000's,
Dan & I, and our family hosted International Students in our home.
This was an extremely gratifying experience which our
whole family enjoyed.

Sometimes it would only be for two weeks, as was the case with our very first
student, Chikami, 16yrs old from Fukuoka, Japan.
Megan, (Chika & Molly) & Chikami
This is not something you do to make money...rather, it's about
the learning experience for us and for the students.
We so enjoyed them!
Chikami could speak a little English, but it was broken up and
our girls had such fun learning some Japanese from her as did we!

One evening, she was trying to teach us how to say "I Love You" in Japanese.
Well, we all lost it laughing!
In her language, it came out as "I-ee shitay loo"!
We explained to her what that meant in English and then she
was in on the joke too!

We took her everywhere with us for her two weeks....
Wonderland, Port Dover Beach, out for dinners,
visiting friends and one evening just before she left she made us an authentic
Japanese Dinner!
We've tried to contact her since, but were unable to after the first few times.

When she left, approximately two weeks later, we received a parcel in the mail.
Upon opening it we found this....
Isn't she beautiful?
She stands about 14" high and is made out of a porcelain
which you cannot touch with your bare hands or it will mark her.
She's not normally on this table, but in a glass case in our livingroom.
We found out through researching afterward that when
Chikami arrived back home, her whole family
would have convened and decided, based on how she was treated in Canada,
what gift they would all contribute to for our thankyou.
We did not expect this!  And, were stunned!

 We had several students in between Chikami and the next one, Kats,
who I'm going to tell you about and they came from
Brazil, South Korea and Japan again.

Our most favourite student was 33yrs old and was a banker in Japan.
His name was Katsuhide Aunoma....Kats for short!

This is him at our wedding in 2000.
He stayed with us for three years and was a part of our family.
He learned to play the guitar...just like that....and could play like Eric Clapton!
He came to our trailer with us, went to concerts with us and spent all our special
occasions with us.  He taught us how to cook
Japanese style and was just a sweet, quiet, intelligent man.
But, his student Visa ran out....
(he was here to learn English language and Canadian Banking)
....and he returned to Japan.

He did get married since and has a lovely baby girl!

I would recommend that everyone have the experience of someone
from another country live in your home as part of your family.
It's enriching to your life!
10/20/2011 10:59:05 pm

What amazing experiences and how great that you opened up your home like that!

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