I guess the time goes so fast. I have been here for 5 months and 1 week. I’m still staying in Cincinnati, Ohio. I live in a suburban area called Blue Ash and surrounded by “cities” with tree’s name such as Sycamore, Oak and Peach Tree, which similar with the way people name streets in Indonesia.
Alhamdulillah, everything’s going well. I’ve just arrived from San Francisco with my host family few days before New Year. We went there to celebrate Christmas with my host dad’s family. It was a wonderful experience! I got a chance to see Golden Gate Bridge which usually I just see on TV or magazines. We also visited Oakland Museum of California (OMC), Lombard Street, China Town, Japan Town, Golden Gate Park, and Union Square.
In OMC, there is a world map where we can stick a dot to the country where we are from. So, I stuck a dot on Bangka Island, where I live. I went to Union Square by myself that day, taking Bart train to Montgomery St., San Francisco. I hadn’t ridden a train in the U.S. (except on the airport) before. There, finally I met Indonesian people! They have a store near the street. When I came in, the staff asked, “Hi! Where do you come from?” I said, “I’m from Indonesia.” Then she said, “Oh, apa kabar?” I was so happy at that time. I realized that when we live far from home, meeting someone from the same country feels like family.
At school, now we start the second semester. I feel my learning process in the class is not as tough as before. It is still tough, but I can understand the teacher’s explanation better now. I’m glad that my teachers are willing to help me and understand when I need more time. Also the students in my school, who sometimes help me, and explain things that I don’t understand.
About clubs, I join French Club, Model United Nation (MUN), Environmental Club and Student Task Force (STF). Last week, we have just done our monthly program in STF, volunteering in Ronald McDonald House. That is a place for families whose child is in a treatment in the hospital. They are not only from the U.S. but also from another country, such as Poland, Greece and Austria. We cooked foods for them and served it. In MUN, I joined a conference in Dayton University for all MUN students in Ohio, last November.
Oh yes, in New Year’s Eve, my host family and I went to a New Year’s Eve Party. The adults were chatting, dancing and singing, while the teenagers (including me) were playing card, table tennis and eating cookies. Actually, I wished I could see fireworks but unfortunately, people usually do not buy fireworks in New Year, except in bigger cities. My host mom said there will be fireworks in Labor Day and 4th of July only. A few minutes before 12 o’clock, we watched the celebration in Times Square on TV and counted down together.
Yes, it is 2012 now. The first snow day in Cincinnati was on the 2nd of January. It’s all white, and pretty. It’s also so cold, hehe. But I enjoy it so much and hoping more new experiences here until the end of the program. J
– Anindia Reina Yolanda, YES 2011/2012, Chapter Palembang