Yagoto, Aichiken

My host family member greeting me at the Chubu Centrair Airport Arrival Hall
(left to right) Host Mom 'Natasha', me, little brother 'Makun' and Daddy 'Suuusan'
3 ~ 16 Apr 2005

Steven Kiyoda
Real family feeling and a memorable stay with touch

Homestay Again in Aichi
This is my 5th times of leading the group of Malaysian delegates to Japan for the cultural exchange program. It is also the 3rd times for me to homestay in Nagoya and spend another homestay program in Japan again. No special expectation and things that wish to accomplish during this journey, just want to spend my good time with my Japanese host family member. However, this time my new host family member surprise me everyday and make my stay fun and enjoyable.

I was welcomed by my Suzuki's
鈴木 host family in the newly opened airport on March 2005, which is last month. Host Daddy 鈴木崇之 Suzuki Takashi (Suuusan) a construction enginner, host Mom 鈴木香津代 Suzuki Kazuyo (Natasha) a full time housewife and Hippo fellow for Yagoto city. Surprisingly she spoke a fluent Mandarin. Host little brother 将之 Masayuki (Makun) 四年生 greeting me at the arrival hall. My cute host brother drew me a welcome card. It was my first time to receive the welcome card drew by a kid! Thank to Makun.

A Great Match

I received my host family member's photo 3 weeks before my arrival in Japan. Straight away I can easily recognise them. Only Makun look totally different from photo. I had one host sister
 香代子 'Kazuko' and another brother 崇文 'Takafumi' which they both in junior high school time and busy with soccer game practice, tuition class and etc. during my stay.

Host family member treat me very well like a son and brother to them. Especially the little one who always likes to play with me. We play Star Wars light saber and Matrix 360 turning every night. As I like children very much, it is very easy for me to blend into their life. Mom 'Natasha' was so kind to me, after her survey on me. She planned and coordinated a lot of program for me which I have been fifth time visited Japan and haven't done or involve. Such as wearing Kimono, tea ceremony, go to school to study and play with children and etc...... What a great match! What a great family and a great feeling as one of them!

A truly understanding of Hosting and been host

My great dad, 'Suuusan' as his Hippo nickname. He came home every night about 9pm - 10pm. We chat a lot during dinner time and night time. We discuss about Malaysia culture, Hippo culture and just anything and everything. My host family had joined Hippo Family Club more than 10 years and hosted 30 over delegates around the world. They said that, I am the first longest stay history in their house and maybe the last one at this period of time. As children had growth up and there are now at high school. 'Kazuko' sister and 'Takafumi' brother are busy to prepare their examination to enter university in the coming year. Therefore, concentration in study and support from family is very important. From conversation, I had discovered and learned a value lessons and thought from them. It is about, what do most of the members of Hippo Family Club can share with the international delegates. Do you know? It is something most simple and beautiful thing from the earth. It is inside you, me and everyone. They wish to share the heart to heart exchange value. Either host family or people been host, both must appreciate the value of each other which designated to be as family member. In short I called it 'LOVE & CARING'. What the lovely and wonderful feeling that you shouldn't miss to experience it yourself.

Too many wonderful memories with my host family member
The rest of the days we spent time together just like a family. I joined tea ceremony, wearing Kimono, attended junior high school open ceremony, a visit to 'Makun' primary school and become a primary school student to play and study together, I do magic performance in school classroom, a visit to AICHI EXPO 2005, shop in the newly open 'Villaggio Italia' shopping centre, been placed to another 3 new hippo families members house when my Mom need to work on certain day, visited Higashiyama Zoo, Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium to see dolphin performance, go gym, play bowling, a family ping pong game, lunch under the Sakura blossom tree, joined various Hippo Family Club activities, where I met more friends, cooked a few type of Malaysia spicy foods for family as there like spicy foods very much, taking bath together with host brother and etc. It is not what I am expected in this juouney but certainly over my expectation. From a normal journey to a wonderful and memorable journey. Thanks to my lovely Suzuki's family member and all Hippo Family Club member who make my stay painted with beautiful colors and happiness.

Language and Cultural Exchange with kid

My little host brother 'Makun', 10 years old. His is very curious about anything and everything. Can you believe him; he designed his own name card and prints it out for me in home PC. When I thought him magic, he quickly wants to know how to do it and later he performs in front of 15 hippo family members and 35 students in his classroom. He is so cute, helpful, caring and intelligence boy. I enjoyed most of my day with him. He also very talkative and always want to talk to someone about his opinion. As his English understanding level is limited. So, his is my best Japanese teacher, as I learned a lot of Japanese language and new word from him. Thank to him, now I am able to memories most of the Japanese words. He also asked me to help him to do self introduction in Bahasa Malaysia. 2 days before my return to Malaysia. I remember 'Makun' had asked me, 'When is Steven coming back to Nagoya again' in softly and sadly tone to me. Makun! I missed you so much for all the joys we had together. We will certainly meet again!

Homestay - Best experience & frinedship that money can't buy
So, this is my best homestay experience I ever had. The best decision made to homestay again in Nagoya. Each of our homestay experiences is unique and special. This trip I am really shares my heart with my Japanese host family. I sincerely hope there also feel the same as I do. Looking forward to see them visit Malaysia soon. I would like to thanks to all Hippo Family Club members in Yagoto city, ie. Charko
ちゃん, Risakoちゃん, Tomorinちゃん, Takoちゃん, Makoちゃん, Chrisちゃん, Madonnaちゃん, Shamieちゃん, Sueちゃん, 滝川小学校平松先生, all children and those we met during my stay in Japan.

best regard and love you all by Steven Kiyoda


A lovely family group photo at home

I was invited to attend host brother 'Takafumi' Junior High School Ceremony. He is so excited and proud with his new school black coat. Big boy now!

I prepared the Malaysia spicy food as one of my skills to share with my family during dinner time

My family member are all okay with spicy foods. Actually they like spicy foods very much, don't let their acting cheated you

little brother 'Makun' so close to me. I felt like a real brother to him. We have chance to sleep together too

Attended different area of Hippo Family Club gathering, where I have chance to meet more friends

lunch under Sakura blossom tree with hippo family club members and families

kimono wearing and tea ceremony especially arranged by my dear mom with hippo member. This is my first experience and the best

attended the primary school class with a group of cute and active children. This is my little brother classroom mate

the magic that I taught 'Makun', he actually practice it so many times and perform it in front of class
a great discover and experience to visit AICHI EXPO 2005. You shouldn't miss it. Worth to be here!