A Letter to Remember

Syafrie Renaldo (INA YES to USA YP 15–16)

Today is Tuesday April 24, 2016. I sit on the couch in the TV room typing down all my feelings on my laptop. It is 6.35 p.m. and I am home already, even I had my supper. I used to be still at school this time for the tennis practice, but the season is over now. When the season is over, that means no more running, tournament, school team bus, and no more win or lose. Oh Lord, I can’t believe I am missing it already. The sport that I had not been played before, then I decided to try and it just became a common thing to do. Things happened and here is my story of the last 3 months.

Spring has came ! I have been experienced 4 seasons in the U.S. For me, spring is the best season ever, and I am in love with it (thank God I don’t have any allergies). The sun is bright and the temperature is fine, it is not cold also not burning you out. In the beginning of the spring, we got a week out of school, they called it Spring Break. I spent mine by visiting some places and amusement park. It was so fun. A week after Spring Break was Easter. I got to go to other state, Kansas which is about 10 hours’ drive. It was about 1017 kms. Yes, it was a long way and 1017 kms , is like driving from Serang, Banten to Banyuwangi, East Java. It was wonderful trip, I tasted new foods and went to places that I have not been before. We celebrated Easter at a very old church in the land of The Wizard of Oz.

School goes very well, I am already in the last 6 weeks of grading period. It means I have about 20s days till the graduation, of course I am not going to graduate here but I am so excited to see the graduation of my friends. Being an exchange student in a school does not mean that we are special at all, but with the same right as a student of Copperas Cove High School I get a lot of experiences at school, from being part of clubs till be a part of school projects. I was the Senior Student of The Month, January. I couldn’t believe I could get that award and beat other 500s seniors. Well, my American high school prom experience was so nice. I went with my squad, yes I did not have date which is okay. Lol. Formal dresses for girls and tuxedos, suits, ties, also boutonnière for boys. We all looked good that night.

Life as an exchange student is not only living like a normal American teenagers. As y’all already know that we are required to do country presentations, community services, and projects. Thank Lord I got everything done. Last thing I did was my final project. To celebrate Global Youth Service Day, we should plan a volunteer project. I came up with decorating the school hallway to support our Special Education Athletes at the Special Olympics Texas 2016. It went so great. I got a lot of supports and there were 19 students participated with this project and I was so glad.

In about two months I am going to leave this life. High key, I feel something strange deep in my heart. Sad, happy, proud, are mixing up together. I understand that this must be happened, and I should just let it go because exchange program is not just about getting experiences, family, friends and sharing our culture to the host country, but also giving feedback to our community back home and I am ready to make a change.

In the end of my stay, I would spend more time to do things I probably will miss when I am gone.

School, the very big school that made me lost the first time I came. Place which makes me feel like walking in the typical American school movies with the lockers in every side of the wall. Saying “how are you?” and “whatssup?” when we pass by our friends without really expecting answers. Lol. School lunches, sitting with table mates and talking about crazy stuffs. School foods which are actually not that good but yes I am still gonna miss my crispidos, nachos cheese, and the fried rice which has funny texture because it’s so hard. The warmness, friendliness of the teachers and their services also will be missed. Yellow School bus is the best bus I have ever ridden so far, I feel like.

City of Copperas Cove, the city of hills and for family living. It is just full of peace and relax to live here. I have best view from my house since we live on the top of the hill. I open the window every morning and I can barely see almost the whole city. The highway, the houses, and the woods. Walking to school is a good thing to see the side of the city. Crossing the highway, pass by city library, restaurants, and see people doing their activities are the good way to see the business of the city.

My friends, who always lift me up. Spending time with people who I did not know before and finally we just became great friends. Friends always cheer you up but they are the first one who laugh at you, that is true but I am nothing without my friends. No one will laugh at me because of my accent, no one will ask me random questions about my home country, and no one to share foods with. Ah, friendship will last forever.

My Host Family, Lord thank you so much for giving me the best host family ever for me. I couldn’t ask any better. Someone who opened the door for a stranger and finally we are bonding as a family. My Host dad, Mr. John thank you so much for everything you gave to me. The foods that you make, the desserts, we are so sorry maybe we always accuse you for making us gaining weights but no doubt, you are really the best cook. Thanks for the moments we have been spent, the hard time, the happiness. Quality time with you is always be great. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, Easter, were awesome even Uno cards and monopoly every weekends I love it. My Host Brother, Erjan thanks a lot for giving me a chance to be a brother. Never thought before it’s so hard to be a brother. Thank you for the moments we have been spent and thanks a lot for the pranks. Spongebob Squarepants every morning with a bowl of cereal and juice would never be the same without you.

Again, my heart will be elsewhere because I am knowing and loving people in more than one place, but all of the thing that I have been through, the people, and places will be stayed in my heart. My love is also for people who support me back home, and help me to reach this dream. Thank you so much, my family, friends, teachers, and of course my big thank goes to Bina Antarbudaya.

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