Thursday, July 12, 2007

Homestay/host family

Have you ever experienced doing a homestay? I've been lucky enough to do a homestay here in Japan (6 months), Spain (6 months), Mexico (2 weeks) and Peru (2 weeks). It definitely is the best way if you want to learn more about a culture, have a chance to practice the local language and oh yes, eat good home-cooked meals. BTW, I am tri-lingual now because of these experiences (hahaha, only in my dreams). :) But I do have many happy memories of the nice families I've stayed with.

So now it's time to give back a little. Just last month, Aki and I were asked if we could host a college student from Indonesia for a few days. I had always wanted to do this; Aki was a little hesitant as she hasn't visited Indonesia yet and also didn't know what to expect. Not to mention that she would be the one who would be doing all the cooking, cleaning, etc. But she agreed and we both really enjoyed our "first" homestay student, Wazin. One thing that surprised Aki was when he told her that he was amazed that he could drink the water straight from the tap. It makes you appreciate this little luxury that we take for granted here in Japan. We were both also impressed that he would wake up at sunrise to pray and do it another 2-3 times every day. An interesting fact about Indonesia is that more Muslim people live there than any other country. Anyway, we're really glad we hosted such a nice and polite young man like Wazin.

I really recommend hosting an international student if you can. Sometimes it's difficult for a family to travel abroad. So why not bring the "world" to you. You can learn so much from this experience. And it's also a good chance for you to use your English. :)