Came as a stranger, live as a family

Maulana Sidiq (INA YES to USA YP 18–19)

Hi y’all! My name is Maulana Sidiq, another exchange student from Indonesia to United States of America. Now, I live in a small city named Florence in South Carolina, USA. Before I start to tell you about my story, does somebody noticed why am I using “ y’all “ on the first greeting? If you haven’t known yet, I will tell you that “ y’all “ is the way how people in Southern of America to say “you all”, so we often say “ y’all “ in daily conversation and texting with somebody. It appeared in the first of nineteenth century.

Now, after y’all know what does it mean, let’s see a little bit of my journey in South Carolina. Some people might think American people are individualism and lazy, it is not really true. I had the same thought about American before I came here. I thought nobody would not help me when I get hard in my exchange year, I would never made friends and more other negative thoughts. But when I have been living as an exchange student for these past 3 months, I’M LAUGHING TO MYSELF right now because I ever had that WRONG thoughts. The people are very helpful, fun and sweet. The strangers that
I met become my friends, my friends become my family and now we all are family here! I enjoy the time with them to do some activities.

One of my favorites activity is volunteering. Every weekend I do volunteering in the different places. Volunteering is a requirement from US Department of State if you are one of the exchange students who live in USA. Volunteering is also an activity when you help someone/club/company to do something sincerely and does not get paid. But why am I love to do volunteering?

I love being a volunteer because beside I can help somebody or a club, I also get new friends and get to know many people here. One of my favorites volunteering activity was when I helped a church to make an event called “Bliss Balls”. Basically, this event is a “prom” for disabilities people, they were
having a party. It was really fun. My exchange friends and I were helping them to decorating a big room and the next day we helped them to having fun because some of the disabilities people aren’t able to stand up and they have some problem and they need us.

From this volunteering, I got new friends come from different school and states such as Georgia and Tennessee. But, the most important thing that I learned is loving and caring each other are two basic things to make this live happy and colorful. The other volunteering that I like the most was at Pecan Festival. This festival is one of the largest, and longest-running, arts/crafts and music festivals in the nation presented by The Pecan Street Association.

There was thousands people came and participated in this festival. It was held at Downtown Florence, my favorite place. I was helping Science South- a science organization, to make some experiments and help the people who want to try to do the experiments. I do not like science, I think science is difficult and boring but since I got articipate with them, I see science as a fun and cool thing! But still difficult, hahaha. I also worked as the city-volunteer to organized some stations such as fun games and art crafts. Now, are y’all still have the same thoughts? If yes, I’m going to tell you the other things that I’ve been done with my friends. I live as a high school student as well as an exchange student. My school is West Florence High School. In USA, we have homecoming which is a big event for welcoming all of the students. In my school we had a week of homecoming that we filled with dressing up by following the theme each day, football game and homecoming dance. We also had voting for homecoming queen and pep rally. In the last day of homecoming most of the students were going to football game to support our football team also celebrating the winner of homecoming. And then the homecoming spirit was closed by having a homecoming dance. Unfortunately, my school could not held that dance but the other school is South Florence High School were invited us to join them so we had the same party. We were dancing together at the party and laughing and making friends. I got few friends who became my best friends. They come from another school but our friendship have been good. We decided to join the same club- robotic club and meet every Monday at the club.

Now, what do y’all think? I have something to say is do not over-negative-think. You would never know before you try it! That’s all my favorites activities, I’m still looking forward to do more amazing thing!