I met Azusa by chance in the parking garage as I was leaving work today. I greeted her with my usual 「あずささん、こんにちは！」 And she was wearing a really cute outfit, so I added, 「あなたのスカートが大好きですよ！」
She smiled and said, "I love that a few people here speak Japanese. It makes me so happy to have people around who understand me."
That made my day. Those 5 years of hard work to earn a rudimentary understanding of the language was SO worthwhile for many reasons, but especially for this moment alone. Sure, Japan is a bit farther away than Ohio, but I can relate to being away from your family and have always felt welcomed by the KC community.
Even when we look quite different or move very far away, wherever we find people who understand us and speak our language (literally or figuratively), we are home. そして、家には全部の人が友達になりますですね。