Khairani Utari (INA YES to USA YP 16–17)

I feel so lucky for what I have right now. I am so thankful for everything. I do not have any idea how I will miss my host siblings, my host family, my friends, or my school when I come back to Indonesia. I really love them so much. They may be a stranger when the first time I met them, but now they have a place in my heart. I may hate to waiting the school bus in the morning because it is cold outside. But, I believe the things I hate in here, I will miss it too when I leave.

I do believe too that I will miss my choir class. I really love this class. Missing how Mrs. Loy led us for stretching, or the funny choreography Mr. Renaud made. I still remember how my teachers’ and friends’ faces when the first time I came to choir class. They were really excited and hoping me to have this class until my 3rd trimester or the whole year. But, when 2nd trimester started and I got my schedule, I did not have choir on the list because I choose another class. Then, 2 days later I met my counselor and I said that I want to have choir class. Yes, I have it until my 3rd trimester. My host family always excited everytime I told them that I will have a concert for choir class. It is another reason why I want to have choir class again beside I love the class.

I never involved in any choir concert or choir competition before. My first choir concert was on fall season. I was not nervous, but I was excited because it was the my first time and I may not experience it in my school in Indonesia. The second concert was in December. We called it Christmas Spectacular. Yes, it is for celebrate Christmas. Even if I am muslim, I still do singing on the concert except for one song that I think I should not sing due to my religion. Christmas Spectacular was so awesome! We have 4 times of shows which the one shows took almost 2 hours. It was tiring, but that was really memorable for me. We also have upcoming concert this February. We have “Better Place” as one of our songs. I love that song, everytime I sing it, I feel like my tears want to drop from my eyes. The song reminds me of my family, my host family, and people around me who I love.

On Christmas, I and my host family went to Upper Peninsula, Michigan to celebrate Christmas with my host dad’s parent. It took 8 hours driving, but after 4 hours driving we stopped in a hotel for one night and continued our way in the next morning. Christmas for me is not about religion, it is about the joy and the happiness. Yes, I did not celebrate Christmas as religion thing. I want to learn about their culture as my host family learn my culture too. On Christmas, the little kids were always happy. They were never so patient to open their Christmas present. I got the present too from my host family, and I was in tear at that time because I felt so loved by them.

I have had a chance to go to Chicago too. We were volunteering in there and then we went to Willis Tower Skydeck Chicago. It is the twelfth tallest building in the world, the second tallest building in the North America and the highest observation deck in the United States. The Skydeck is 1,353 feet above the ground. On a clear day, we can see Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan state. It was so beautiful when I saw those states from the highest level.

I hope that I can come back to United States again to meet people who made my exchange year colorful and awesome.

Elkhart, February 7, 2017

Khairani Liana Utari