Iowa Changed My Life
Mohamad Naufal Al Faruqi A. (INA YES to USA YP 17–18)
August 25th, 2017, at 20.00 I arrived at my new home, my new family. In the morning they invited me to go pick corn from the field. It was so cold. With no tools, we used our hands and we picked many corn one by one. That was so fun. I threw many pieces of corn to Eddie (my host brother). After that we went home and peeled all our corns. I ate fresh uncooked corn. It was so good, tasted like milk. My dad told me, there are 3 rules for our family. First, learn something new everyday. Second, do your best. Third, enjoy it.
First month, I still don’t get it about what they said. One and a half month here, we spend our time with camping, bow shoot training, harvest, horse riding, watching movies, welding, and building some projects. My best week here was when homecoming week came. First day at homecoming week, I was so excited. They had an opening ceremony for homecoming, and each grade wore different colour shirts. This shirt color variety symbolizes cohesiveness to participate in all events in homecoming week. Monday night, me and my brother (John) went to school to watch a movie. We watched “Remember the Titan”. It’s about an American football team’s story in the 1970s. Not just about the football game, it’s about respect of each other, with a growing view on society about racism. The African-American football coach came to their team, and taught them how to ensconce. With racism conflict, there was no reason to keep playing together. It was such a good movie.
During homecoming week, we had to decorate a float for a parade. Every afternoon, for 4 days, we went to fairground. There are lots to do. On Tuesday we had future occupation day. I made a costume from cardboard, and tried to be like robot maker. It was a very low budget costume. Some kids in the bus laughed at me, but I didn’t really care. Because I liked building things by myself. At 20.00 we had a bonfire in the fairground. It was a really big bonfire, it really kept us warm. We roasted marshmallows too. It was my first marshmallow in my life. Jadan and John help me roast it. So fun!!!. Next day, it was time for Around The World Day. I wore my traditional dance costume. I little felt a little sense of embarrassment, because the bells in my legs were ringing so loud. But Mrs. Alexis (my local coordinator) told me my costume was so beautiful. She said I would win best costume. My confidence rose up. I remembered when a journalist student from my school asked me to get photos. I told them, they could get photos if they let me teach them some of the traditional dance movements. Their dance was so good. Very Fun!!! On Tuesday, I was so tired, enough to make me save my energy for final homecoming day. On Friday, with a Batik shirt, I started the final homecoming day. At 09.00, we departed from Hampton-Dumont school and went to Hampton Rehabilitation Center. There were 4 different routes for homecoming community service. On my route i met Ann Eddie. She was very nice. She brought me around the rehabilitation center for almost two and a half hours. She told her story to me, about her family, her grandson and granddaughter, and her students. I never forget that she never lost her grip. She always held my hand. When the time to return home came, she was so teary to said good bye. I couldn’t bear to left her, but I had to go. With a last big hug, I left that place. After that, we went back to school and watched an announcement of King and Queen of 2017. The finalist king was Max, and the finalist queen was Kyle. She was very nice. I remembered when she gave me a football shirt while I was supporting a football game. At noon, we had the parade. With a Batik shirt and peci (I lost my Indonesian flag unfortunately) and a nice classic car, I waved hands to everyone in the streets. I remembered, the first time I watched a football game, I yelled so loud. It reminds me about when I supported my school in a basketball game in Indonesia. After that I went to Ames to do the orientation with other exchange students in Iowa.