Homestay at Yugawara Machi

Hey, everyone! How's life been doing these days? I hope you guys had great days. I just got back home (well, not exactly home, but dormitory) after spending one-week-homestay in Yugawara yesterday. Never imagined that I would have such an experience like that before. It was great. The whole week during my homestay period.

Start from the very first day, it was started from Kyodo Station. We (me and the other three girls) took an express Odakyu Line to Odawara. Well, even it was an express one, but it didn't help at all on making short the trip. Yeah, it was a long long long trip. It took about 80 minutes from Kyodo to Odawara. After we reached Odawara Station, we transferred to JR Tokaido Line which was heading to Yugawara Station. It took about 15 minutes from Odawara to Yugawara.

When we arrived at Yugawara Station, I started to feel nervous. Wondering what kind of host family would be my new family. I was so happy when I easily found my host mom because she was holding on a welcome board with my name on it. She also put some greetings in Indonesian language on that board. I didn't talk so much that time. Well, just as usual, i'm not really good talking with 'new person'. But then, after the opening ceremony and brief explanation about the homestay program, my host mom took me to her sister's coffee shop. We started to chat general things that people might talk about at the first meeting. Yeah, it was a bit hard because i'm not used to talk in Japanese. While my host mom often talks with many 'strange' vocabularies that I haven't knew before. Then after spending about an hour there, finally we went to my host family's home. I should say it is a nice house. It is the collaboration between Japanese classic style and modern equipped house. And I also got a nice room with TV, CD player, and air conditioner. When it came to the time for dinner, I was a bit shocked because the family served so many foods. I was a kind of worry that I wouldn't able to eat them all (of course what I mean 'all' here are only those foods on my plate, my bowl, and many others). It took almost an hour for me to eat them all and I was so full after that. And every meal always be like that.

On the second day, I went to some places in Yugawara with the other students. We went to a museum and onsen for feet (maybe it almost like feet hot spring). After that we went to a park (too bad I can't remember the name of the park) and had barbeque there. We also played a 'hitting the watermelon” game. I got it. Yayy. I hit it. Hehehe.

On the third day, me, the other students, and all of the staff Yugawara International Exchange Association participated in Yassa Matsuri. The girls wore Yukata and the boys wore Happi. We were dancing Yassa odori and walking about 1-2 km around Yugawara. I was tired but it was fun though.

On the fourth day, the daughter of my host family came, then we went to Odawara castle and a shopping place. At night, me and my host sister went to see firework display. It was great.

On the fifth day, my host dad asked for a holiday from his office, so we (the whole family) went for a family trip to Hakone. Well, it was a great place. But since the road is a kind of mountainous road (more extreme than Puncak if you know) and I didn't feel well from the beginning of the day, so I vomited several times. Oh I was so sick that day and I couldn't really enjoy the trip. Anyway in Hakone we went to some places. One of them is Musee du petit prince de saint exupery a hakone, which is a museum with French style. My host dad bought me a souvenir from that museum :). We also got on Hakone-Ropeway. We could see a great view from the ropeway.

On the sixth day, we were learning a bit of Japanese culture like tea ceremony, ikebana, and zazen. Well, I enjoyed it even though I didn't really like the tea in tea ceremony. At the night, me, my host mom, and my host sister went to see firework display. Yes you may say 'Again?'. But this time we were gonna see the firework display from a fishermen boat in the sea. It was totally awesome! I was so happy that night.

On the seventh day, we had a farewell party. We should bring food that represent our countries and also we should show our countries' cultures. And I decided to dance and made Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana). That night, me and my host family stayed a bit late than usual. We had a long talk. Yeah, maybe because it's gonna be the last night for me in that house.

And finally on the last day, I felt like I didn't wanna leave. I wanted to stay there longer. But I had to leave. I was crying on the very last time. Yeahh. I had good times during a whole week.


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