Japan Withdrawl :(
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 14:58
I'm having a really tough time writing this blog post. It's my last blog post and I really am stuck for what to say. Japan was amazing. Simple as!!
I cried leaving my host families, like a baby! I am usually much better at leaving people and saying goodbyes but it was so difficult to leave my host families because they did so much for me and I got so close to them. I loved them and they made every single day in Japan a great one.
My first host family, the Ogawas (on ze left) were to die for.
I became really close to my host mother Yumiko, she was an absolute delight and the two of us just clicked from the start. I think she was really glad to have a girl as a homestay student for once. My host parents had hosted Arann on his stay and Edward from yonks ago so I was a new experience because I was a girl.
One of the things I will really miss about this pair is the comedy and drama that happens when Masao (host father) drives with Yumiko in the passenger seat. The stereotype of women drivers being rubbish and not being able to park is the complete reverse with these two. What's more is how vocal Yumiko is about her husband's dreadful driving and sense of direction! It made for many an entertaining drive :)
But the gem of the family was definitely Emi my host grandmother. I posted her picture on my first blog and on my facebook. I had so many people telling me she looked gorgeous and like a lovely person. She really was. On my last morning with the Ogawas she took me into her half of the house where I'd never been before and showed me her late husband's photographs. He had been a photographer and travelled all over but most of the photos she showed me were of Japan. I was really really touched because they were obvioulsy all of huge importance to her and she shared them with me.
My second host family was a younger one. The Miyaskas.
I had a lot of fun with the Miyasakas because they had children my age. My host mother, Yoshie, was again just gorgeous. I really had a great time with her. She's a craftswoman and makes her own woven baskets. She also cooks wonderful food and is just the most kind hearted, motherly and loving person I've met.
My host father, Kuniichi and I had lots of fun. I taught him to pour Guiness properly, he taught me to make Tako-Yaki (fried octopus dunplings) and we constantly tried to "out tall" each other. He was really cool because he was very involved in the community. He was always getting decked out in traditional gear for festivals and organising people at the sports festival.
My host brothers and sister -I LOVE THEM! I miss them a ridiculous amount. From playing badminton with rackets with holes, to playing the Japanese version of FIFA (and losing horribly I should add), making gloopy rose cakes and watching whacky japanese tv and jumping in a river up a mountain.... I just had such a great time with them all.
My host grandparents who aren't in this picture were lovely too. They had a farm behind the house as we lived in the countryside...ish. The countryside in Japan isn't always what we'd consider the counrty in Ireland. But anywhoo they grew all their own vegetables so we always had lovely fresh veg to eat each day! What's more's my host grandad and I had a shared love of tomatoes! So each morning I woke up to a freshly picked plate of yummy mini tomatoes! I was spoilt so I was!
Coming home to Ireland was a bit of a readjustment... in ways it was just like going to another new host family! The most shocking thing about going home though was one I'd never expect. You see, the toilets (sorry for always talking about the loos in my blogs but it's a huge difference!) in Japan have heated toilet seats and after 6 weeks in Japan I forgot that we don't have this at home in Ireland. This means that for the first week home I got a little shock each time I went to use the loo. It may sound mental but trust me, it makes a huge difference!
And now I'm stuck again... I don't really know what else to say! I can't write about everything that happened because so much happened!!! But I guess I have to say thanks to lots of people, like my host families for one, all the people who made my trip possible like Miyoko Sensei and "da cru" at EIL because they gave me an amazing oppurtunity and I'd like to think I've made the most of it and am ready to go rock the world with my stories and photos from my experience in Japan.
The Miyasaka's dog Kokoa, who is like the crocodile in Peter Pan when it comes to meal times, jumping up from under the table.
Um that's it from me I think! Sayounara! Stay groovy :)