IMG_1837For the last two weeks, I have had a darling teenaged Japanese student named Minami, staying with me as part of a student exchange program through Educational Consortium Institute here in California.

It has been such a delightful time for me and I can tell it has been for her too. Last week we enjoyed American burgers as well as a bit of Japanese fare. And this week she prepared an authentic Japanese meal (by herself) for my family. It was delish!!

What a special experience to share the face of America with a student who is eager to see and learn, and communicate and enjoy our culture. I feel privileged to have been her ‘American mom’ during her stay.

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Minami at the stove preparing dessert!

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Enjoying sushi at Takara in Capitola, California.

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Welcome, Minami, and Soon Sayonara! — 16 Comments

    • Thanks, Jim. It was truly a delight for me. And it was special for Minami to meet you and Michiko and to visit the Japanese Church.

  1. How delightful Karen. So happy your experiences together were happy and blessed. Wonderful to make new friends and memories especially with the young ones! We will see you soon for our fun adventures together. Beautiful photos of special times shared. Don and I send you Love.

  2. So nice to hear about the wonderful time you had with Minami your exchange student.
    Beautiful pictures of your family as well. I also agree with your daughter on what a great hostess you were! All the different
    activities that you provided for the both of you are blessings I feel the both of you will always remember.
    Thank you for sharing
    Love Janet

    • Thanks, Janet. Minami wrote today to say she arrived home safely but misses me and America!! Sweet.

  3. What a wonderful time you had and what a blessing it was for both of you! Our associate minister at my church in Cape Coral is from Japan and she has been awesome. We can learn so much from each others culture!
    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this joyful time and also educational time for both of you!
    Love, Margaret

    • Thank you, Margaret. How interesting that your associate minister is from Japan. I imagine you are learning a lot about her culture. My daughter-in-law is from Japan too, so I am learning as well.

  4. Dear Karen, what a beautiful memory your delightful writing has brought back for me. That’s exactly how I first saw amazing America — as an international exchange teacher sponsored by the American Field Service (AFS) 30 years ago, 1986. It was such a privilege to be in America that the competition was fierce (of course, in the land of billions, essence of life is of fierce competition) and I was the runaway number one out of hundreds of my high school teacher colleagues for the top two allotted quotas. I went to Oregon and had a most wonderful school year there. Your beautiful pictures reminded me of the thousand photos I took with my various host families and friends, who were, like you, the best ambassadors for beautiful America. I’m still in love with America today, and even more as days go by with my deepest gratitude from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being a wonderful host. Jing

    • Jing, what a lovely and heartwarming story about your first adventure in America. I’m so touched. And so happy you have stayed and now enjoy full citizenship.

  5. What a wonderful time for both of you! I had a Japanese roommate in college. It was so fascinating to learn about each other’s cultures.

    • Thanks for sharing, Columba. We can learn so much from others. I hope I never stop learning and growing. It is so humbling to meet and enjoy people from other cultures.

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