Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's a Small World After All

Well, Taylor has been gone for 12 days. She will be back in 35. How could you not expect me to know that? Since she has arrived we have received one phone call, less than a minute long, to let us know that she was safely with her host family. We've been getting emails from her almost daily. I have to admit, my anxiety has lessened as I get excited for her and all that she is experiencing.

One of the first things that we learned from her was that her host mother, Mama-san she calls her, was actually a graduate of Political Science from UGA. She spent almost 3 years in Georgia, very close to where my parents live. It's a small world! She says that Mama is very sweet and helpful and has shown her around Yokohama personally. I've also heard from Mariko (mama) via email and she has let me know how she thinks Taylor is doing, what a sweetie she is!

Taylor started school there this week, here is an excerpt from her latest email:

but school is fun. everyone tells me i'm cute. tell dori i went to the pokecenter today, and that i bought her a mudkip. oh, and i took purikura. and had bubble tea. mmmmm
yeah. soooo busy. my feet hurt. we take trains everywhere, but we have to walk to the stations first... and me and emma went to this fancy mall place at the harbor today and walked like, everywhere. my feeeeeet
and host fam is awesome. i kind of like that we speak english. i already love everyone :( when mama took me to school, she gave me a hug before she left and i was like...WAAAAH NO DON'T LEAVE. and the house definitely feels like my home. i miss my futon when i'm tired. and i love talking to amiiiii and i speak japanese at school so it all evens out.

So, it sounds like she is doing great. No, I don't know what a mudkip is, her sister probably does. I asked her what purikura is and she said it's kind of like a Japanese picture booth. Or something. Yeah, the day that my kids finally knew more than me came a long time ago. I've accepted it. Anyway, her host mother emailed me today and said this:

She tries to enjoy her life here. She has strong will to take this opportunity to be valuable. She is very positive and tries everything new to her. I feel she is so generous that she tries not to hurt our feeling. I appreciate her kindness, but I don't want her to get stress of what she doesn't want to. I want her to be honest for her feeling, too. So, I try to care about her health as well as her feeling, hopefully.

I told you that she was sweet. I feel so blessed that she ended up with this host family, it seems to be a perfect match. I know that I will not be getting back the exact same daughter than I sent to Japan, I think that I will be getting back a somewhat changed one, but for her best.

The top picture is from one of her outings with Mariko, they visited a Buddhist Temple and a port on that day and the bottom one is her with all her Japanese goodies (junk food?) that she bought at a convenience store.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Birdie flys from the nest

Today marks the beginning of a remarkable journey for one of my wonderful daughters. She applied for and received a scholarship to be an exchange student for the summer in Japan. Kikkoman (the soy sauce) is the sponsor of her trip, and she will be staying with a family who has a parent that works for Kikkoman. My mind is in a million places at once this morning, I'm so proud of her, I'm so worried about her, I'm so excited for her. Thank God this is not as final as when she will go off to college, I know I'm not ready for that.

Of course I bawled when she left for the airport with her dad this morning but she was dry eyed. Only later did I hear from my husband that she cried when it was time to say goodbye and go through security. Her sister and identical twin will miss her as much as me, they are like one person sometimes. It was a rough morning for her as well, but we will get through it and start getting excited to hear about all of the adventures her twin is going to have.

I'll try to add updates about her trip, I'm crossing my fingers for some pictures. The photo at the top of this post is of both of them, the one in the purple is the one who is traveling this summer. The picture is from homecoming. The one at the bottom of the post is of them with their date, which they shared. Yes, shared. Let me just end by saying, I'm going to miss her something awful and can't wait until she is home again, safe and sound.