The first year we belonged to RCI we were able to exchange our two weeks in NC for two weeks in Japan. Our son was attending Sophia U. for his junior year in college and at a home stay in Tokyo. We'd never even been out of the country. What an eye opener! From the chewy octopus wrapped in dough sold on the street to the stringy fermented beans served with raw egg for breakfast, our taste buds were stimulated. In Kyoto, our pronunciation of RYO (ree-oh), like our high school Spanish, was met with blank looks by our cab driver, so how could we get to RYOanji, the famous contemplative garden? Or our RYOkan, the Japanese Inn that bridged us until our resort accommodations became available? We experienced illiteracy, as few signs were in English letters in 1991, but the experience was more than memorable and a convincing introduction to RCI.

- Harry S. from Aiken, SC

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