“This is our second time hosting and it is such a pleasure to share with others how diverse families can be in the US.”

                                                                                    The Lopez-Jones family

In 2013, Enrique and Jason Lopez-Jones hosted Kaana from Japan. We think her letter to the local newspaper tells the story quite perfectly:


Hello, my name is Kaana Hayashi, and I am a high school exchange student from Japan. This year, I was hosted by the Lopez-Jones family. Since I am leaving here at the end of June, I want to thank them for everything they’ve done for me over the last year.

I still clearly remember the day my mom got the call from my program, AFS, about my host family in Japan. The volunteer told my mom that I am going to stay in San Francisco and my host parents are gay couple. So they wanted us to take time to talk and to consider about it. But my mother said “What you mean ‘take our time’? Of course she will say yes. Because that sounds amazing!” And she texted me about the call and I texted back her “That is amazing!”

I was so happy because I have no idea about how LGBT people are like since they are not openminded yet in Japan, but as you know to know about a whole new world is always fun. And that was the beginning of my wonderful year. My host family is so nice and sweet. They have five-year old twins, and in weekends we always have some fun family activities such as camping, hiking, biking, and so on. And they have taken me to so many places. I went to LA, Sacramento, Salinas, Eureka, Denver, Squaw Valley, and Mexico twice! Everything we did together was so much fun and I love how they are always happy and love each other so much.

I am so lucky girl because I have been being involved in that happiness and love for a year. I came here to know people and culture I had never known. And San Francisco is the best city for my purpose. It is so diverse and there are people from all over the world in everywhere. I feel like there is a small world in just a ten-mile square space, and I think that is fantastic. San Francisco shows how people who have different cultures can live together and have fun together. That is the biggest thing I learned from this year.

People can love each other no matter your culture, race, and sexuality. I see the prove of those statement through my host family and friends. Thank you so much, Lopez-Jones family! I love you from the bottom of my heart. You are the best family.