When I posted that we were hosting a Japanese student, I got a lot of comments, some shocked that we would host again after our less than optimal experience in January. I realized then that I must have really been complaining a lot about those boys. To be fair, it wasn’t ALL their fault. But they did not help the situation any. But, yes, we got over that and hosted again. Back to Asians, who are polite, and we know the coordinators and the program.

Rika is a sweet 15 year old from Japan. We try to be mellow the first couple of days and not totally overwhelm them with our boisterousness. I didn’t even meet her until the next morning as Natalie and I had rehearsal the night Ryan picked her up. She brought us a few gifts and was nice, but quiet.

We have a tradition in our family to always take the exchange students bowling. They usually beat us. It’s a fun activity and we all can loosen up a bit and make some fun memories.
Plus, we all love bowling, even if we suck at it.

Robin and family came to visit us for the 24th of July weekend. I knew that we would have Rika here then, too, but I wouldn’t want to turn Robin away when she was feeling up to a visit, so we just made room.

Robin’s daughter, Sarah, is so friendly and makes everyone feel at ease.

On Sunday, Robin and family took the kids up the canyon to Bridal Veil Falls while Ryan and I cooked a big dinner for everyone.

Rika even wanted to cook for us a traditional Japanese dish. I bought pork and cabbage and she had brought ingredients from home.

John does not look too thrilled to try it, but he did eat a few bites and was not rude, even though it was strange.

Near the end of the stay, the school hosted a family closing social, where the Japanese students told us about their school, taught us some games, and we ate dinner.

On Saturday, her last day with us, it was our city celebration, the Highland Fling. She came with us to the breakfast, watched the parade, and then came back to the park for entertainment and fireworks.

(none of the girls were really excited to meet this princess, but I dragged them over and made them take a picture. Because that’s what moms do).

This experience was SO different from the last one. To make it extra wonderful, I had a carpool, and since their school was in Provo, Cole even did my share of the carpool driving on his way too and from work. I didn’t have to drive ONCE! On Sunday morning, Ryan drove her to school the last time. She had to be there by 5 am. Since I had a meeting before church and was teaching the lesson in Relief Society that day, I really appreciated him doing that drive so I didn’t have to.

Rika was a delightful girl and I hope we keep in touch with her. So, yes. We WILL host again.