Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Visitors From Japan

Some 20 years ago we had a home stay visit by 2 young college students from Japan. When I was in Tokyo a few years ago my spouse and I were able to meet up with one of those young women. She had blossomed, married and had two delightful children and some of our happiest moments in Japan were spent in their company. We've tried to stay in touch over the years. We've sent a few packages back and forth and so we were thrilled to hear that Hajime, Naomi and their mom (our former homestay "victim") were going to come to Minnesota for a visit.  The timing wasn't great for us - things are going fast and furious this month and the next, but we were able to work out a meeting time of a brief 3 hours and we had a wonderful visit! Hajime and Naomi wanted to meet our family. I guess it is a pretty sad form of entertainment when the most exciting thing we can offer is watching the cat, Arbogast, drink water.

Naomi is a big fan of cats and so it was all downhill for her from this, but we did our best to try and find other stuff to do. Of course we made them walk around the garden and another exciting Minnesota activity was looking at the drain field and checking out the products of a hay baler. (We didn't have time for a tractor pull or corn shucking contest! (wink!))

Since Miki had taken intensive English at Saint John's University, we opted to show the children where their Mom had attended school. We dined at the recently renovated cafeteria.

The fresh fruit was a big hit with Hajime and he ate more pineapple than I have ever seen anyone eat in one sitting!

 After lunch we had a little time to walk around the campus and reminisce.

Look at Naomi's beautiful smile!

Hajime's hunting and fishing instincts came out when he spotted the fountain in front of the student center.

 Evidently there were fish in there somewhere.


Miki wanted a picture in front of the church, but the size of the edifice dwarfed them, so I took two pictures - one with the full "steeple" and one of the family.

As the time drew to a close we took a quick look at the beach. You could almost see the Stella Maris chapel across the lake.

 Miki took lots of pictures.

It was their last day before flying out and they needed to get to the airport, so after a very brief glimpse of the beach we headed for the car.

... and then it was time to say "Goodbye".

It was a great visit and far too short!

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