Sunday, January 10, 2010

Servas in Japan

Chelsie and I recently joined an organization called Servas. We heard about it from a friend that we met here in Korea. It is a type of home-stay program with two types of members, hosts and travelers. Chelsie and I are travelers at this time in our lives but would eventually like to become hosts in the future.

The emphasis of the organization is to promote peace through understanding of other cultures. Individuals who are interested in hosting international and domestic travelers open their homes for guests. Once accepted to the organization, members are given a host list and can contact hosts in advance to arrange a visit.

Chelsie and I planned or first visit in Japan with the Suzuka family. We were blessed by their warmth and eagerness to share their culture with us. Before arriving at the Suzuka residence we met Chelsie's sister in Tokyo. She joined us for the rest of the adventure in Japan and then returned to Korea with us.

We stayed with the Suzuka family for two nights. The second night they prepared a giant pot of their favorite Japanese stew.

The stew had many kinds of fish cake in it, as well as dumplings, noodles, rice balls, and hard boiled eggs.

Roy was the name of the pooch which was definitely one of the family members. I think that he enjoyed having the company in the house.

Mrs. Suzuka prepared a snack that evening for us as well. A hot rice cake dipped in soy sauce and wrapped in seaweed paper. It was quite delicious.

Although their use of English was limited, their determination to make us feel at home was very warming. We bridged the gap one evening with go fish type card games. Laughter seems to be a worldwide language.

Chelsie and Mrs. Suzuka prepare breakfast.

They were so generous with their time. They took us on a tour of their village, and then drove us back to Kyoto to see the famed Golden Pavillion.

That perch would make any rooster jealous.

We couldn't have asked for a nicer family, for our first stay with a Servas host. We are looking forward to catching the inside scoop of more cultures in the future.


Jeff said...

I see there was a baseball game on ... who was playing?

Jesse and Chelsie said...

They were actually watching American baseball. I cannot recall who was playing that night. We did have a short conversation about baseball. It was short because their knowledge of our baseball leagues was greater than mine. I have realized that Asia loves following our leagues. They knew where we were from by identifying the ball teams which play for our state. Kansas City Royals and Saint Louis Cardinals. Ironic.

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