Yusriza Nurul Aisya (INA YES to USA YP 16–17)

Winter is my favorite season of all. We do normal activities even though there are heavy snow coming. Early morning in the christmas day, my host mom wakes us up, me and my host siblings, to take a look underneath the christmas tree that we have been built together, and wow! A lot of christmas presents. So we figured that out which gift was belongs to us, and this is so funny. I thought that the letter written on the presents was represent whose it belongs to, so A stands for Angela, but no. A stands for Asian (which is me), B stands for Black (that is Katt-my oldest host sister), L stands for Latino (that is Angela-another host sister of mine) and W stands for White (which is Carolynne-my youngest host sister). It is so nice to have many races live together in the same roof, isn’t it? And I got a lot of stuffs from my host mom, my favorite one is a necklace with my name on it, It is beautiful and so meaningful for me and I never take it off since I wear it. After mys host family had worship in the christmas, we went to Cedar Rapids which is 3 hours by car from Des Moines, because most of the family member were lived in there. We had a great week and had a little party with some games. We spent the winter break in there and then come back to Des Moines.

In January I have a lot of community services include presentations about Indonesia and presenting traditional dance. I used to volunteering in my host mom’s church every tuesday night about 4 hours to cook and serve the meal to the homeless. I also made some presentations that make my friend really want to visit Indonesia and I am happy to know that. Also right after I presenting Merak dance and Robyong dance, they are all really want to know what’s the story behind that, It is interesting for them.

In early February, I have a midyear orientation with IRIS. It is kind of refresh our exchange year and reminding things that we left undone yet so fun. We had a talent show in the last night before we leave. And I was so excited because the Indonesian had a nice collaboration. So I did dance with my traditional dance costume, Devina (chapter Jakarta) sang some songs from the Lentera Kinanti Nusantara’s Farewell Party, Galih (chapter Surabaya) was play guitar. It was amazing and really entertain them and I am so proud to be Indonesian and be able to represent it by showing my talent.

At school, I get new and new friend everyday and always make my day. One day, my friend Rachel invite me to go to the christmas party in her church and introduce me to her other friends. One of them is Lila, she was so excited to know that I’m from Indonesia because Indonesia is her favorite country and she really wants to visit Indonesia. She learn how to play gamelan for about couple years and bought some Indonesian stuffs by online shopping. It helps her to feels close with Indonesia. It makes me glad because I do not meet a lot of young people who know Indonesia.