Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jane: Japanese guests

These young men are Yuki and Kanae, two Japanese students here in Cedar Rapids to study ESL for 2 months at Coe. The students in this program get to do a weekend homestay with a local family, and Kanae and Yuki stayed with us.

We had a great time with them, despite the fact that their English is very weak yet and our Japanese is non-existant (except for Robbie, who remembers some from a summer program). We took them out to see the river and the Nature Center, and we took them to the Band Carnival at Kennedy High School, where Robbie's Jazz band played and Eli won a cake in the Cake Walk.

Besides music, nature, and food, the international languages we discovered were video games and old coins. Robbie played them at Mario Kart on the Wii, which they enjoyed very much. And Eli showed them his coin collection, which they found fascinating.

We took them to church this morning, too. There was a baptism, which is always great theatre. Before we went, Eli asked "what religion are you?" This question was confusing to them. I added, "Are you Christian? Or Buddhist? Or Shinto?" They shook their heads and spoke to each other in Japanese. Then Yuki spoke. "We are Japanese."

I think we will see them again. Kanae was interested in the Maple Syrup Festival, and Yuki thought he might enjoy going to the coin show with Eli.

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