This is a recounting from Yoshiki's host family of a very special moment.
Our hosted student, Yoshiki, had barely started eating dinner in a spring weekday at the kitchen dinette table. Hind and I had already eaten because he was late due to a school activity. So Hind had served him food and he began to eat alone.
Already hungry and eager to eat, Yoshiki was focusing on the meal with a visible mixture of excitement, politeness, thankfulness and gratitude. I was feet away, minding other business in the kitchen, while Hind was standing comfortably across the table from him.
“So, what was special at school today, Yoshi?” Hind asked him. It’s a typical beginning of a conversation we usually pose in order to get him to talk. I don’t recall now the exact activity he had done in school that day but it was one that included a student group. The social passion he had recently developed enticed him to participate in several student activities simultaneously. During the course of the year, he was part of cross country, swimming, Asian group, student counsel, and the school musical play.
While busy eating and visibly gratified, Yoshiki was thinking of an answer to Hind’s enthusing question on what was special that day. Perhaps there were several “special” things in his mind then and he was trying to sort them out. Eating kept going on, politely and pleasantly for a short minute or so.
After an internal deliberation, and while the fork is picking a new bite of goodness, comes an intermitting answer with a slow, careful selection of words:
“Just being here is special!” he modestly replied without lifting his head.
Oh boy, I couldn’t help getting thrilled for the deep effect of the genuine answer I just heard! Perhaps, Yoshiki couldn’t find one “special thing” to single out, so he picked the “All-of-the-above” choice!
Well, needless to say that Hind and I elatedly chose to have no rebuttal to the opening question. We heard more than what we dreamed of. Evidently, our hosted student was happy for simply everything! By itself, that fact was more than enough for us.
Now it’s our turn to be happy for everything we did to this young man, all starting from the moment we applied to Ayusa in the summer of 2015!