Visit Guidelines When Gero-Kanayama Students Visit Ketchikan
Kanayama has asked that we NOT take the students flight seeing.(This is because of travel liability for which the town office takes responsibility and pays for.)
Fishing on private boats is OK as long as the student wears a life jacket the entire time.
Your homestay student/chaperone may present you with a gift(s) in appreciation for your homestay. You are not obligated to reciprocate with a gift! If you do, keep initial gifts small: travel size shampoo, soap, etc., and any farewell gift you give should be a token of friendship and memories of their experiences here. If you wrap a gift, please do not use white paper; white in Japan is reserved for funerals. If your homestay wants to cook for you or help with dishes, please let them; invite them to help with meal preparation if they ask. The important thing is to make them feel at home and comfortable while visiting. Gifts do not have to be fancy or elaborate; it is more important that anything you give be memorable (a hand-drawn picture, photos, etc.).
It is not necessary that your homestay student has their own room, but please make sure that privacy is available when needed.
Most Japanese bathe in the evenings, and their style of bathing is very different than in America. Be sure to explain/show how the bathroom works (i.e, shower and bath fixtures and drains). Show them where to find the light switches.
Because of very limited laundry facilities (very small washers and no indoor dryers), most Japanese are used to having laundry done each night. Please do not feel like you need to do laundry each day, but make sure that your homestay knows this and also where to put dirty laundry, and that they have enough clean clothes for the next day. (If you separate lights and darks, make sure that your homestay understands that not all of his/her clothes may be done at the same time.)
Use your dictionary; it’s a great way to learn some Japanese and get your communication across!
Play games, share family photos, include them in church activities, do fun things together, and make your homestay feel like part of your family. This should be a memorable time for them!
Be aware that your homestay may not bring up problems with you, but may mention them in their group meetings. If this happens, the escorts will probably be clued in and may call you to let you know what has been discussed. Please don’t take this a personal criticism of your home life; it may only be that your homestay does not understand the American way of living. The escorts and chaperones are there to help bridge any problems that may arise between you and your homestay.
Please try to be on time when picking up your homestay from activities; the last thing your student needs is to feel as though he/she has been abandoned or forgotten in a foreign country. If you are detained, please call the escorts to inform them; they will not go home until every student has been accounted for.
A great rule of thumb is to care for your homestay like you would hope your child will be cared for while in Japan!