I left my family behind in New Zealand, only to be welcomed into a brand new one in Japan. As soon as I met each member of the family, I felt so welcomed and cared for that it barely felt like we were strangers.
My buddy's name is Mai Nagamine. She is 16 years old. Mai speaks English amazingly, and I'm really grateful, as it allows us to communicate without any problems. Shes also very humble and extremely kind. She's always willing to help me out and make sure I'm okay. I'm so thankful to be paired with such an amazing, talented person, and I know we're going to build a strong relationship.
Katsuya is Mai's little brother. He is 12 years old. He is a great dancer and baseball player, but he's very shy. I was told that he speaks good English aswell, but he isn't comfortable speaking it. I hope he'll soon be able to be confident when speaking English.
Masaru is the father. Back in Aorere, I heard that he was a police officer and admittedly got scared. I pictured someone really strict and scary. But Mai and her mother told me that he's really funny and relaxed. And when I met him for the first time, I learnt that they were right. His honesty and enthusiasm is what makes him so likable.
Yuko is the mother. She's very kind, and also very funny, always picking on Masaru. She is a nurse, but does a lot of housework aswell. Yuko is also a very good cook, and I appreciate her making my lunch for school every morning and cooking dinner in the evenings.
I feel so lucky, as my host family lived in Kenya for four years, where they learnt to speak English very well. Their house has a Japanese style room (washitsu) which I stay in with Mai. Its very different to Western style rooms but is very nice. The floor is covered with tatami mats instead of carpet or wood. We sleep on futons on top of the tatami mats.
I've only known my family for a little while, but I already feel so welcomed and comfortable with them. Overall, they're definitely not a bad trade off for my real family
(Even though I do miss my friends and family from NZ...Love you guys <3)