Erika had gotten far enough "inside" the family that they told her their perspectives on the first part of her stay. They communicated that their everyday dynamics were modified considerably because of her; for example, they all had to speak English specially for her. However, Erika herself took the initiative in getting beyond the initial guest status by offering to help in family chores. She began doing these chores without saying anything about it. This required perceptiveness on her part, as she had to figure out what she could do that would "fit in" with the family and actually help them. Carrying out the same everyday duties as the teen-age boys gradually brought about a shift in the "wrapping" dynamics, and Erika stopped having such a "special" role in the family. It was obvious from the family's response that what she had decided to do worked out for them.


Kaarina initially finds it very awkward to be treated like an outsider. However, in contrast to Erika, she immediately wants to change her position to that of a family member. On the second day of her stay she asks the okaasan not to treat her as a guest, and after this, she immediately begins to help the okaasan with housework. While Kaarina's response appears to be successful, we do not recommend doing it, for two reasons. First, it was crucial that Hiyoshi, the host family son, could intervene, explaining his experience abroad in England. Second, Kaarina is actually asking the host family to conform to her expectations of being a guest, even though this is not the family's way of doing things. She ends up (unknowingly) asking the family for a different kind of "wrapping". Instead of accomodating her by cooking special dishes, they must now accommodate her by allowing her to "help". The difference between Erika's helping (which is real) and Kaarina's "helping" which is another way they are giving her deference, is simply in the timing. Kaarina wants to move too soon from soto to uchi―before she is aware of what uchi involves. Erika takes long enough to become aware of where she can provide real help without inconveniencing the family, and then proceeds to do this quietly on her own.   

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