Probably the heart of the exchange was the homestay program with our host family. Totally a new experience for me. In those 2 days, I learned how to practice non-verbal communication. Sometimes, words just aren’t enough. Thank god for being partnered with a UP Fine Arts major! The whole time we used drawing as a tool to communicate and connect with the children.
Nothing fancy, I just observed an ordinary day in Kyoto. I felt that I was able to fully immerse myself in the Japanese culture. It was simple yet so meaningful. I also got to meet this Filipina (a family friend of theirs) who shared her life story to me. Immediately, I felt at home when we were speaking in our language (Tagalog). That feeling of familiarity in a foreign place was very comforting.
It was really interesting to be part of a japanese/indian family. The fusion of both cultures was just so amusing.
Thank you to the Shaikh family for being so kind and accommodating!