|Note as a Host Family for BMX Competitiors
|My First Experience as a Host Family
|Four Days with Luke
On 3 and 4 May 2001, the Pan Pacific BMX Championships Joetsu was held at Kanayasan Race Track. Some 40 foreign riders participated, and 7 riders and coaches from Australia and New Zealand had a chance to stay at Japanese homes of JASJ (Japan Australia Society of Joetsu) members. The followings are the essays of those who accepted Australian riders.
Written by Mikie Nakayama
|At an all-you-can-eat restaurant|
On that day children came back home at last,
so I planned to have dinner together at my
house with Darren. I prepared what to say
to him and came to see him at the competition
venue after his races. But as it took me
time to shop for dinner, I was late to the
venue. So I didn't get to hear that the schedule
for dinner had been changed. Darren tried
to explain to me about it while driving home,
and I was panicking because I couldn't understand
what he said.
What Darren actually said was, "Some competitors and their host family members are going to a shopping mall and later go out to have dinner together. So you don't have to make dinner."
When I understood his words, my next question was: "What shopping mall and when?".
Darren's answer was this: "Yoshi Kondo will call your husband." Darren must have been exhausted trying to convey such an easy thing to me. I was sorry for him about my poor English and wondered if he wouldn't ask me much after that. I really regretted that I hadn't had English lessons from Mr. Kondo.
Anyway through this experience, many good memories and wonderful encounters with Darren and warm hearted people were left in my heart like jewels.
I really appreciate all that Mr. and Mrs Kondo, Ms. Kawazumi, and Mr. Hasegawa did. How about having a reunion named "BMX host family brotherhood"?
Note as a Host Family for BMX Competitiors
Written by Akitoshi Hasegawa
Jamie, Michael, and the Hasegawa family
Jamie was popular because he looked like
a famous actor Leonard Dicaprio. He was a
friendly and outgoing boy. He didn't seem
to be satisfied with his result in the race,
but looked like he was enjoying his short
stay in Japan.
It was surprising how much they improved with using chopsticks day by day. They were quite in favour of the restaurant called "Joetsu Viking," which Mr. Kondo introduced them
I appreciate the way Mr. Kondo took care of us very much. This was a new and great experience for our family with little tension. I really think it's necessary for me to speak English. If I had communicated with them more, I could have exchanged and discussed my opinions to reach a deeper understanding between us. Anyway this opportunity became a great motivation for me to study English.
My First Experience as a Host Family
Written by Yaeko Kawasumi
Grant, the PanPacific Champion
I'm Yaeko Kawasumi. This was my first experience
as a host family. About a week before the
homestay began, Mr. and Mrs.Kondo asked me
to be a host family because host families
were lacking. So I made up my mind to accept
their offer because I have some vacant rooms
now. I think it is only fair as I let my
next-door neighbour's children stay at my
I'm a kind of a happy-go-lucky person and don't think it is too serious that I don't speak good English. So Mr. Grant White (Yogie) must be embarrassed to communicate with us using both English-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries. I feel sorry for him coming from Australia, so far away and looking forward to a wonderful homestay in Japan. But to tell the truth, Yogie spoke very slowly to let us understand what he said and tried to understand what we said. He is kind enough to look in the English-Japanese dictionary to communicate with us. I was worried in case he couldn't do his best in the competition because he was staying at my house whose family members didn't know what BMX was. But despite our anxiety, he got the second prize in his first round race on the first day of the competition and on the second day at second round race, he won. We were very relieved to know the result.
At first I thought it would be rather better for him to stay at a hotel than at my house because we couldn't communicate in English well. But in the end we were happy he came, as he was like one of our family members even after a short stay at my home. Yogie was always friendly to my kids and played with them very often.
We went to the BMX competition venue for two days to cheer for him. We hoped he would finish the race without falling off. We cheered for him like we did for our kids in the school sports.
When I heard that he would leave a day earlier than scheduled, I felt so lonely. I really would have liked to talk with him more and understand him better. I'm ashamed to say that I had tears in my eyes when I saw him off at the station. I also wept at home the day before he left. This was because I couldn't compose myself for the thing I had first experienced. I'm really thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Kondo for giving me this wonderful chance to be a host family. I feel that the encounter with Yogie was wonderful and showed me the necessity of speaking English. My husband and I have begun to study English from the first stage and have also begun to save money for the trip to Australia.
I also appreciate how Ms. Nakayama, Mr. Hasagawa and Mr. and Mrs Kondo took care of the hosts who took part in this program for the first time. If there is another chance, I'd be glad to join you again.
Four Days with Luke
Written and Translated into English by Yoshikazu Kondo
On the afternoon of 1 May, I really enjoyed
a two-hour dinner with Australian BMX riders,
whose ages ranged from 19 to 28. The younger
riders looked a little nervous, upon meeting
their host families for the first time, while
28-year-old riders had a lively conversation
Yasuna, our youngest child, tried most of
all to make positive impression upon Luke.
He smiled, mumbled something and walked up
to him. Tomoyuki, our first son, was too
shy to talk to him and tried to hide at first.
Later, however, he asked a barrage of questions,
such as: "Why doesn't he take a bath
instead of always taking a shower?"
"Why does he eat cereal everyday"
etc. Asumi, our first daughter, who takes
English lessons, didn't say anything to him.
Whenever possible, she hid from him, which
greatly disappointed us as her parents.