Last year, Bing signed us up to board a Japanese teacher who was in town with other teachers from Japan to learn about American schools.
Yasunami. Or, as he told us to call him: Yasu.
He stayed with us for a week. We had lots of good times, there were lots of extremely hilarious moments as we tried to communicate with our translator app that was not all that accurate.
(He tried to say something like "I will be happy to assist you with any work" and it came out as "Please, take my arm off now.")
He made us a traditional Japanese meal that was truly delicious.
When we told him goodbye a week later, we all teared up thinking that we would never see each other again, although we promised to try to come visit him in Japan and he said he wanted very much to bring his family to America to see us.
We communicated from time to time in e-mails. He had his wife, who was more proficient in English, write his. We sent ours in English as he said that his wife could translate.
We were very surprised a few months ago to receive an e-mail from him asking if he and his family (wife, 8 year old daughter and 3 year old son) could come visit us in August. They would stay with us for a week and then leave for Disneyland for their vacation.
One problem: they were coming during the first week of school. The first week for both Liv and Bing and during a particularly stressful work week for me as we are in the middle of an audit.
Of course, we said yes. How could we say, "Um, sorry...the timing isn't good for us!"
So...next week, on Thursday, we will have four house guests from Japan. Yasu has stressed that they want to "live American." He also asked that his family all stay in one room together, said that they sleep on the floor at home and will have no problem doing so at our house.
I've been cleaning like a demon and forcing Bing and Liv to join me, although Bing protests that since they want to live American, that this means that they want to live as the slobs that we are. I strongly disagreed and handed her the bleach to go clean the toilets. Again.
It will be a week to remember. We've advised Yasu to rent a car since we will be unable to be with them during the day and although he sent an email admitting that he was "very, very anxious and worried" about driving in America, he has done this. We assured him that we will take him on several trial rides with us in front of him to guide him. This seems to have soothed him a little bit.
He has said that his interests are to take his children to the zoo and that he will leave the rest to us. We are bewildered. We are thinking that they might enjoy the farmer's market on Sunday and maybe some trips to local parks. We aren't sure of their money situation, so will try to keep things cheap.
We aren't sure how to prepare the floor for them. The bedroom they will be in has a double bed in it, although we wonder if they will sleep in it? Should we just put sheets and blankets, a comforter out and leave them to it? Find mats for them to sleep on? Unsure.
I am inclined to ask them to cook for us every single night. KIDDING! But, I wonder if they might be persuaded to cook one night, as a treat for us?
I've arranged to have several American books written in Japanese for their 8 year old daughter, who Yasu tells me...loves to read. So far, I have the Little House series and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As for their son, I have some of Liv's old puzzles and picture books that she loved as a child. Building blocks.
I think we are all set. Any more ideas?
I could use some advice.