Last week we had the privilege of having two 12yr old Japanese girls staying with us. They were here on their spring break. They went to English school during the day, and then came home for super and the evenings. We have hosted other students in the last year, but they were all older and out of school. The week went by very quickly as they came on Sat. afternoon, and left the following Sat., very very early in the morning.
They were so very sweet. We had a wonderful week getting to know them as best we could. They had very little English skills, but it was amazing to watch the week unfold. As is part of their culture, they brought us many gifts, all hand picked for each person. They each brought a photo album for us to keep of their homes, families and activities they are apart of.
They were incredibly jet lagged the first night, and I actually had to chase the one girl as she walked out the door and down the driveway in her sock feet. She had woken from a nap extremely confused, and really had no idea where she was. I felt so bad for her. I took her back to her room, closed the door and guarded it for a few minutes to make sure she didn't run out again before she went to bed.
Our children soon found ways to communicate, and jumping on the trampoline and playing Wii became the two favorite activities. It was amazing to watch and listen to the laughter that transcended all language barriers. Feshya of course loved having some other girls in the house, and it was fun to take them all shopping. A little painstaking at moments, but I suppose shopping with three tween girls of any culture could be!
I was also struck with the honor of caring for someone's child whom I had never meet. I thought of how I would feel should I send my children across the world to stay with another family.
When we dropped them off early Saturday morning to say good-bye, tears began to fall as I hugged them good-bye. We came home to special notes written in origami hearts.
What an honor!