Masako is back home in Japan. We miss her already. What a fantastic experience and wow, how quickly time passes!
One month is not enough. A two week visit wouldn't give enough time to really get to know each other, everyone can stay on visiting manners for two weeks. But a month, you really do get to know one anther despite communication barriers. I am so happy to have had the additional time. We had some crazy experiences in the third and fourth weeks, hard experiences and but real life all the same. And real life experienced together grows bonds. When we said our long, tearful goodbyes, Masako asked us to not forget her. How could we? We now have a friend/ sister/daughter living in Japan!!
These deeper bond is evident to me in these photos of our last days. I am not sure it shows to others.
We showed Masako many things I am honored to have experienced with her. Imagine a night sky all lit up Tokyo, now imagine a star filled night sky deep in the heart of Texas (and yes, we did sing her all kinds of Texas songs). We had a trailer ride to the front pasture to see the stars. She was impressed and thrilled with the abundance of stars, the milky way, planes and satellites.
Her favorite food was the Whataburger honey butter chicken biscuit. She loved her steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse, she took my recipe for biscuits and enjoyed my chocolate pie. She made us many of her favorites, and left me her cookbook. I think I will share recipes in another post.
Nick taught her American archery, she was experienced in Japanese archery. We hung out, swam, and shopped, a lot. She loved Target most. And Reece's are her favorite American candy. Nick sent her home with a variety of Walmart selections and other goodies he bought after working. We stopped by Buc-es for other goodies to send home. Her suitcase was as full leaving as it was when she arrived, just over the travel limit.
We went on glow stick lit walks through the woods. We played with the puppies and one day Masako followed Sheila on a walk wherever Sheila led. Her shoes came back a little muddy from the recent rains, but her face was bright and smiling. She met many of my family and friends, went to both celebrations of Mass. We had some deep conversations and times of giggling.
She will be in our prayers as we cheer and watch her life from the other side of the globe.
|Her favorite thing was to show us her favorite recipes.|
|We played all kinds of cards games|
|Looking over the photo album Masako made to show back home.|
|We shared names of books, movies and learned about a new to us social app popular in Asia called SNOW.|
|Tears the night before we had to say goodbye.|
|She wanted a picture with the cows. :) And finally captured one before we hopped in the car to Dallas.|
The LEX and LABO international language programs hosted a departure event where each family told about our visits, the students had chances to tell impressions of their time with us. Heartfelt, lovely, tear-filled, and with most of us excited about enrolling again next year, although it would be bittersweet knowing Masako wasn't the one returning.
We had a fantastic time, a wonderful summer and now excited to keep up with Masako and her Japanese adventure from here. Yes, we do talk about getting us over there for a visit too, who knows!
|Euly had her sign her chalkboard wall in Japanese characters and regular letters.|