This Sunday I met my host family. The mother (Okasan(mother in Japanese)) came to the school and we met in one of the classrooms with a Japanese student to translate. We went over a list to communicate expectations, like when dinner will be, is there a curfew, what the bath order is, mostly house rules. We were told to expect our host moms to have lots of rules and to be very involved (nosey). I don't have a curfew, but dinner is at 7:00. I am supposed to call or message if I am going to be late or am going to skip dinner to go out with my friends. If I am going out on the weekend I need to let Okasan know in advance etc.
After the meeting we went to the Seminar house and picked up my luggage. We drove a ways then turned down a very narrow road at the end of which was our house. The house was rather larger than I expected, and Okasan said that many many people had lived in it (at least that's what I think she said). I am sleeping in a more recent addition, just two generations old.
|Okasan and Otosan|
It was Otosan's birthday so we went out to eat with the family. They have three grown and married children, at least two sons and I'm not sure about the third (whether it is the son or daughter) One family has a daughter who is in high school ( I think) The two sons have two daughters respectively. They are younger, probably closer to Isaiah and Stuarts ages.
We had sukiyaki that put mine to shame, it was soooo good, and I ate sooo much. It was fun despite the fact that I couldn't understand one word in ten.
It was awkward and tiring talking to someone in another language all evening. Okasan is very talkative but Otosan doesn't talk very much. I find it somewhat restful to be with Otosan because i don't have to talk. It is hard to be with a new family in a new culture. Yesterday I was in the Center for International Education (thus forth to be called the CIE) where my classes are, and I saw a girl in tears about her home-stay family. It wasn't that they were mean to her I think she wasn't expecting what she got, even though they keep telling us that this is how it will be. It is hard. I think that perseverance is key. I keep telling myself and my fellow home-stayers not to hide in our rooms, to get out and interact, but I think that this needs to be balanced with some rejuvenation time. Yesterday I was very tired and the weather is so hot, and Okasan wants me to turn the AC off during part of the night. The worst part was that there was no air moving, but I expressed my desire for a fan, and we decided that I would use the fan instead of the AC at night. Last night was much better, and the weather was somewhat cooler. I had a more relaxing evening last night, and watched some TV with Otosan.
Okasan is a great cook and she gives me so much food. I'm going to get fat.
Yesterday I had my first ceramics class, and my sensei showed my the way Japanese throw off the hump. I can see how throwing clockwise changes the style of throwing. All of the things they do with their right hand I have to do with my left. I am going to have to practice. I am having trouble with my timing in taking the pot off the top of the hump, I'll have to practice that as well.
I have my first Japanese language class today, and then I also have intercultural communication, which I decided to take instead of Japanese Survey of Art, because I took that class at K-State, and I can go to those places with friends.