Time flies fast. HIF assigned me two host families for my stay here in Hakodate, so I just recently moved into a new house a few days ago. Second semester will start tomorrow, and to say I’m ready for the homework and daily quizzes would be a lie.
It’s been a month here, and I’ve made some irreplaceable memories. I actually want to dedicate this post to my previous host family, since I am no longer living with them for the remainder of my time here in Hakodate.
Our first outing: We went strawberry picking on a cloudy Sunday morning to early afternoon, and although the strawberries were a bit small, they were very delicious.
The boys played with their friends while I tagged along with my host mother and sister. I remember picking and eating the strawberries constantly, so my tray never filled to the top. I could definitely sense the communal aspect that came along with strawberry picking because people from various areas all joined together in this activity. Some individuals even spoke to me, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Aside from making gyoza and takoyaki (mentioned in my first post), I also had the chance to make bread and pizza! やっぱり作った料理の方が美味しいね〜！Making food was a simple but fun way to bond with my host family and exchange interesting conversations. I definitely want to try these activities with my own family when I go back to America! They’re very easy to make and super delicious as well~!!
Because of the homework load, I couldn’t play with the children as much as I would like to. However, every night before they went to bed, we would play in my room for approximately 30 minutes. Our games ranged from hide-and-seek, blue demon, and zombie tag. It was fun but also a lot of work. Sometimes I can’t keep up with their energy.
July 7th is a special holiday in Japan called Tanabata. On this day, people write their wishes on a slip of paper and hang it on a bamboo tree. In Hakodate specifically, young children are able to go to nearby houses and stores and receive gifts. There’s a special Tanabata song that they sing in order to receive their snacks and/or toys. It reminded me a lot of Halloween, and running along with my host sister and host grandmother was so much fun! My host grandmother talked to me so much, and though I couldn’t understand everything she said, I was able to comprehend the overall meaning. I’m not a talkative person in general, so I appreciated that she spoke to me majority of the time. Besides, she was always laughing and smiling, so I greatly enjoyed her presence. I don’t think I can ever experience a Tanabata like this one since it is special only to the city of Hakodate.
The last family outing that we had was at an izakaya, which is an informal pub. We were placed in a separate non-smoking room that had toys for the children, and it was so much fun! Definitely one of the best nights 🙂 We were able to order unlimited food for the price of 30 dollars, karaoke our hearts out, and dance to the music. The highlight of the night was when my host parents sang I just can’t wait to be king. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I really can’t describe my feelings in words when it comes to my previous host family. I’m so grateful for everything that they have done for me. I wish I can write all the memories down in this post, but it would be so long and, unfortunately, do it no justice. Although I lived with them for only a month, they’ve grown to be a comfortable presence. I feel like myself with them. (They know that I love taking naps more than I like studying). I hope that you, the reader, can understand these feelings I’m trying to convey (though done poorly). Thank you so much Ishii-san <3 I cannot wait to visit you again in the nearby future.