さようなら、こんにちは – goodbyes and hellos

~ さようなら    goodbye~

Saying goodbye is not easy. My first host family and I had only just over two months together but in that time I had made wonderful relationships with them, especially with my host mother Misumi. It felt like such a short time. Not enough time. But I am so thankful for all we got to experience together in my first months in Japan and the gentle care they gave me.

~ 新しいホストファミリー    new host family~

Only when I was moving did I begin to realise how much stuff I had accumulated in just two months. I struggled to fit it all with me in the elevator up to my new home (an apartment). But despite my luggage struggles I was welcomed beautifully by my three young host siblings exploding party poppers as I entered my new bedroom.

10 year old Sora.

9 year old Saki. And last but certainly not least 4 year old Kakuma.

The dining room was also decorated with tinsel and welcome signs made my the kids. It’s nice to have a busy house and kiddies running around. Reminds of home and my siblings in Australia.

My host mum Kei is such a sweetheart and despite me having only been here for a week or so we have already gone out for a lunch date and delicious parfaits.

My host dad Yoshi used to be an underground rapper and the dining room shelves are full of an amazing record collection. He also has this spontaneous way of spending money which I find so endearing and funny. Like just a couple of nights ago he came home having bought a fondue maker out of the blue. That night we ate some delicious cheese fondue!!

In short, I’m having lots of fun with my new host fam.

~ 温泉    onsen~

American exchange student Ivy had her 18th birthday towards the end of the spring holidays. We decided to head to the onsen in Nagasaki for the day for some birthday relaxation. Because it was a Monday it wasn’t very busy so we talked for hours in the outdoor onsen overlooking nagasaki city.

We gave each other salt scrubs, tested out the electric massage, took a sauna and even spent some time knitting (our new hobby). It was a perfect day of relaxation and great company!

~ マディちゃんの誕生日   madi’s birthday~

At the end of the holidays madi and Ivy both had their birthdays, within just a few days of each other. Madi turned 17 so we had a party for her at her house in Unzen. The four of us began the day with a game of tennis (because James played tennis back in Australia and the rest of us beginners wanted to learn!). Afterwards James headed home and us three girls ate delicious ramen for lunch, headed home for our little sleepover party complete with yakiniku for dinner and games of cards. The next day was madi’s actual birthday. We decorated the house and ate lots of delicious party food. Madi’s fam even got her a cake with her face on it!! After our feast we visited the nearby shrine which was completely surrounded by stunning cherry blossom trees. It truely felt surreal.

~ 学校   school~

After the many fun times of the spring holidays it was back to school once more. With the addition of new first years all the clubs  gave presentations in hope to recruit new members. The handball club recruited 3 new first years. And suddenly I’m not the worst at handball on my team anymore!

I had a really fun spring break but it’s also nice to get back into routine with school and see all my friends, many of which are in the same class as me. Lucky!!

— ruby parsons burns —


Christine Merlino

Hello Ruby, it looks like you are having lots of fun learning, exploring and making new friends.

Brenda Larsson

Thank you Ruby for allowing us to enjoy your wonderful time in Japan, keep enjoying, what a wonderful opportunity for you Brenda & David


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