Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sayonara, Hayato!

My family enjoys having homestays who come to Canada from Japan or Korea to learn English. We’ve been doing it since last year. It’s always been a very pleasant experience for us. This is why they leave us feeling bad, which is how we feel right now about Hayato.

On Monday, Hayato, our 16-year-old Japanese homestay, left for his home country. He stayed with us for a mere 12 days, but he blended quite well with the family. My boys hit it off with him quickly. They played and laughed a lot. Hayato loved playing the guitar too, sometimes jamming with Mickey till late at night. We were able to go together to the pool, the mall, the beach, the church and the park at the US border. Mickey took him to downtown Vancouver, English Bay and Metrotown mall.

Having a homestay really means extra work for me – driving, preparing lunches, cooking and maintaining the house in order.  But it pays off in terms of the cultural exchange that transpires between our guest and our family. I find it very enriching.  It is quite delightful to see his progress in speaking in English within the short time that he is here. My boys are also better behaved around our guest. That’s a bonus!

Hayato, like Jong Heon and Yo Hei, is now part of our growing global family. It’s a privilege to be part of these boys' Canadian memories.


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