Tokoname-shi, Shindencho of Aichi

Family Photo with my lovely Yaeo's host family member
23 Aug - 6 Sep 2003

Chong Yoon Kueen
Homestay program does broader my view and having some significant influences in me

Thanks to Steven for making this home stay come true. And many thanks to my family in Shinden-cho, I am indeed honored to be part of the family and I strongly believe our bond will never be affected by the distance between us. Home stay in Tokoname-shi is simply one of the best experiences of my life and I have to admit that to certain extend, it does broader my view and having some significant influences in me.

I was staying with my host, seven-year-old boy named Yaeo Tohru, which I believe is the youngest hosts in the history of Titan Planet Home stay Program and perhaps also the youngest host in the history of Tokoname Hippo Family Muchi-muchi Club. For me, the family (also include Satoru-san, Takaku-san, Itoru-chan and Aki-chan) is the best family that a home stay program can offer.

On the first day of my arrival, the moment I step-out from the arriving lobby of the Nagoya Airport, I had the warmest welcome from this fantastic family. After that, all of us were heading to the internationally famous Suzuka Circuit for a real good time. I was so touched after learning that we were there simply because I have mentioned to them I am a Formula 1 fan in our earlier correspondences.

Although all of us were meeting for the first time, but with the blend of our honesty, integrity and willingness to be opened to each other, the human relationship has become so simple, easy and fascinating. I have to admit that Japanese language is a foreign language that I know little about, and for my family, neither English is their daily language. But our conversations and interactions have encountered little resistant as all of us have the desire to learn from each other. What we did was simply back to the basic, which are the verbal and non-verbal communication, and everything just falling into the right places naturally.

I can never forget the delicious food that my family has prepared for me and the restaurants that we went together. I ate most of the Japanese specialties of spring, summer, autumn and winter seasons, daily food and the best sushi made by my family that I couldn't find a match in Malaysia.

Not forgetting the onsen, in-door swimming pool, firework, fun-park, batting center, yakimono, speed bout festival, the biggest outdoor Buddha statue of Japan, karaoke, TOTO factory, F1 circuit, the Hippo Family gathering in Nagoya city, Chita-shi and Tokoname-shi, the visit to the nursery school, the magic performances and many more have all make their permanent mark in me.

On the final day, I could not believe that my mother has actually shed a tear on my departure. I was so touched and it really reflecting the bond as a part of the family. I am feeling a bit guilty of not being about to express my self well verbally and I will definitely keep them in my heart forever and I looking forward to seeing them again soon.

Believe it, this home stay has educated me a lot, and it may happen to you too.

by: Chong Yoon Kueen - Property Valuation Assistant
Kajang, Kuala Lumpur