Goodbye, Maiko!

My sister has had an au pair from Japan staying with her for the past few months. Her name is Maiko. My sister lived in Japan for a number of years before she was married; she’s studying Japanese at the moment, and I learnt it for many years at school (though, alas, I fear I’ve forgotten most of what I learned!). We both love Japan – we love the people and the culture.

Maiko was out here to improve her English (which, I have to say, was pretty good to begin with!). But the time has come for her to go home; she’s gone off on a fantastic holiday around the country with her mother for a month before they both return to Japan for her sister’s wedding.

Maiko with a mango!

Maiko loves mangos! New Years Eve, 2012

Before she left, Maiko gave us a little gift. It’s called shisa, and it is symbol of protection and good fortune in Japan. One creature’s mouth is open (to keep the good spirits in) while the other’s is closed (to keep bad spirits away). Maiko’s father, a potter, made it for us. It has our names carved into the back:



It’s one of my most favourite things in the house right now. There’s nothing like a handmade gift; something that is imbued with love and care. Luke, Dexter and I are now connected to Maiko’s family. Whenever I look at it, I see something very special. :) It’s these kinds of gifts that I love the most.

I hope I get to spend more time with Maiko and her family in the future! Time to plan a trip to Japan, perhaps?

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Hi, There! Thank you so much for your sweet messages - I really appreciate it! :)