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HOME > Exchange page > Post-Programme exchange reports > Post-Programme Exchange and Activity reports > –Reunion trip to India– We got to know lots of wonderful people because Mr. M had experienced a homestay with our family
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–Reunion trip to India– We got to know lots of wonderful people because Mr. M had experienced a homestay with our family

A host family who hosted members of a delegation to Japan from India in June 2010

 In June 2010, we were the host family for Mr. M, who came to Japan from India on the JENESYS Programme. It was the first time that we had been a host family, so we were rather anxious, but Mr. M was a very intelligent, sweet boy, so we quickly came to like him a lot.

 After Mr. M returned home, he sent us an e-mail saying, "Come to India!" So for a long time we wanted to go to India. Finally, we were able to visit India for eight days and have a joyous reunion with Mr. M.

 We were a little concerned about the hygiene aspects and the health of our children, who are at elementary school, but we did not fall ill or have any stomach upsets, so we were able to enjoy India with all our hearts. However, people in India drive more erratically than people in Japan, so our children became a little carsick. I was startled to see how everyone pushes in in front while sounding their horns, regardless of the lanes.

 Mr. M's family gave us a warm welcome, demonstrating generous hospitality. They were kind enough to set aside a whole room for us for six nights. The house was spotlessly clean. (It was much cleaner than my own house!) All of the family were fun, kind people who treated our children with affection. We understood that the reason why Mr. M was such a good boy was that he had been brought up in this wonderful family.

 Mr. M's mother always made elaborate Indian dishes. I feel sorry that we were unable to eat a lot, because the seasoning was completely different from that used in Japan and we were unused to it. Nevertheless, I had a great deal of respect for Indian mothers, who are very hard workers. I always make quick and easy recipes....

 We were also able to visit Mr. M's school. We received a warm welcome there as well. Students wearing badges indicating that they were outstanding students, who even looked intelligent (Mr. M was also wearing one of those badges and, of course, he looked the best to us!) kindly showed us around the school.

 With regard to our family's English ability, I can speak a little, but my husband and children cannot speak a word. The Indian students were so splendid and fluent in English that I even thought I might want my own children to attend that school! I felt it was rather a shame that we could not speak English, but it seems that our children decided that they want to become able to speak English and become like Mr. M, so it was a good experience.

 Although it was a long way away, the family was kind enough to take us to the Taj Mahal, a World Heritage Site. In addition, we were able to ride in many different vehicles, including an auto-rickshaw, a bicycle rickshaw*1, and the subway. They kindly arranged various experiences so that we could see India from various angles, from the tourist spots of Delhi and Sikh and Hindu temples to McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

 We were able to get to know these wonderful people because Mr. M came to do a homestay at our house. It was great. Thank you very much.

 It seems that the JENESYS Programme will come to an end next year, in the summer of 2012, and I think that this is a pity. Actually, until we hosted this homestay, I had never thought of going to India and I knew nothing about it, thinking that it was "a scary country that I can't go to". (I apologize to Indian people for this.) But in just two nights, when Mr. M came to stay with us, India suddenly became "a country I want to visit." Then, when we were finally able to make our reunion visit, Mr. M's family was so good to us and we were able to have a good time, so India has become "a country we love" for all of us, both parents and children. I think that meeting Mr. M was a truly amazing thing for us. I believe that the effects of the links forged by this program are tremendous, so I would like it to continue in the long term.

*1 In India, scooter taxis are called "auto-rickshaws," while bicycle taxis are called "rickshaws." This term "rickshaw" is originally derived from the Japanese word "jinrikisha" (which literally means "human-powered vehicle"), and is one of the few Japanese words to have become commonly-used in India.361.jpg