Wednesday was a halfday at school due to parent-teacher conferences ( I was surprised when I learned the school had them). Like America, halfdays mean fun afternoons, usually hanging out and going out to lunch with friends, here in Japan. On Tuesday, I spoke with one of my friends, Yoshi, who has been wanting to get together to do something fun. I told him to e-mail me the plans (that way I could translate them if I had difficulty). Well, I should have figured that by trying the easy way out, I wasn't going to get it, haha... this is what his e-mail said : "call me" and it listed his phone number! So I called him up. I have been surprising myself all along here in Japan (and it isn't always about what I eat either ). After I talked with him on the phone, I thought back to what I just did and realized that I just had a phone conversation entirely in Japanese... Woah. Anyways, we made plans to meet after school the next day and go to the mall. I was also going to meet his family's foreign exchange student from Brazil (which was a surprise to me that he was even hosting a foreign exchange student).
On Wednesday, we met up after school and went to his house. His home is very close to the school (like 5-10 minutes walking). I met Bernardo, who is 18, and is from Brazil. Unfortunately, he does not attend the same school as Yoshi and me. He is on a much different kind of program than I am on. He is part of a rotary club. He is living in Japan all year as a regular student, and was required to change families three times. I felt that was extreme. The Isse family (Yoshi's family) was Bernardo's 3rd and final host family. He was very nice. It is amazing to note that he speaks Portugese and Spanish fluently, good Japanese, slight English, and can read Italian... I would love to have that capacity of languages! The Isse family has hosted many college students before, but Bernardo is their first high school student. The first thing that we did was meet up with some of Yoshi's classmates at the Saga Castle Museum (right behind the high school). It was very fun, and even though I had seen it before, I think I enjoyed it even better this time. I love castles and ancient buildings. It is amazing to me how well we all communicated. None of the kids had great English speaking skills, Bernardo's Japanese was much superior to mine, but yet not perfect, and I am still at a very premature level of the Japanese language in a conversational aspect. The amazing thing is that we did talk, A LOT, and had a great time. Thinking back, it still doesn't make sense of how it worked, haha. Lots of describing, and added body language I guess! After the museum, we said goodbye to Mari-Chan and her friend, and we headed back to Yoshi's house. At the house Yoshi said we were going to go the mall at that time, and offered to borrow me some of his clothes, since I still had my uniform on. I was very shocked, but appreciative at the generous gesture. I guess that was the closest I was to Japanese fashion all summer, haha. We went to the mall with Yoshi's mom and older sister (who is 21), but split up from them. We checked out some stores and later got some "Sattii WaN" ("31" - Baskin Robbins) ice cream. The day was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to hopefully meeting up with Yoshi, Bernardo, and Mari-Chan again for some other activities sometime next week! The afternoon was a blast, one of the best of the summer. The pics are of Me with Mari-Chan, her friend, and Bernardo, outside the Saga Castle. The next is me with Yoshi and Bernardo, and finally us outside Baskin Robbins (and me sporting some of Yoshi's clothes, haha).