Nadhira (INA YES YP 17–18)
August 10th, 2017, the first day I stepped on this place I soon will call my second home. Raleigh, North Carolina. A not so famous state with everything on average. I was not very excited about coming here because I didn’t know whether I was going to love everything or not.
“Hello!”, “Welcome!”, those are the first words that I heard on my first meeting with my host family. Very simple, isn’t it? But it was the start to our daily sarcasm jokes. I live in a family with a wonderful mom, a patient dad, and one cute little brother. Of course, my brother is sometimes annoying. But that’s the point of having a brother, right ?
The first few weeks were super fun with no school, just playing around with my brother, and settling down. I started to get used to Cocoa Puff instead of Koko Krunch, Cheerios instead of Honey Stars, and M&M instead of Chacha! I started to get used to waking up to my alarm instead of my Mama’s voice. It was not hard for me to settle down in this really supporting family. Soon enough, school started. It was fun at first, but a school will always be a school. Homework started to pile up, playing quiz started to happen, and tests that I could not avoid. I was getting a little tired of school. And here’s a story of a wonderful trip I had with my family.
September 10th, 2017, the first time I knew that our family was going to go on a road trip. Where exactly were we going? Up to the north to Pennsylvania. I was told at dinner that I was going to miss school for 2 days because we were leaving on Friday and coming back on Monday. The very next day, I reported to the attendance office about me going to miss a couple days of school. They only asked me to write a short paper about why the trip was educational for me. Not a big deal. I’m an exchange student after all. I can make everything become educational in a way.
September 15th, 2017. Very early in the morning, my very first road trip was going to happen. I remember waking up at 4.30 a.m. because we were leaving at 6 a.m. sharp. Everybody got their luggage packed up, ready to be put in the car’s trunk. I remember Mom packed a lot of snacks, just in case if we get hungry on our way especially my little brother. He can be really cranky when he is hungry. We ended up leaving a little bit late for some reason. Anyway, the 7-hour road trip began.
I think it was Dad who drove first. Mom sat on the passenger seat next to her. And us, the children, sat in the back seat. We started to drive to the north leaving North Carolina behind. We made a stop in Virginia to go to the bathroom and for me to take a picture with the Virginia sign. It was just a quick stop after about 2 hours driving. 2 hours done, 5 more to go. My mom and dad switched places. Mom drove, Dad was being the passenger.
We arrived at Inn of Gettysburg at around 1 p.m. Dad checked in for the room, we unloaded our bags from the trunk and put them in our room. Then we went straight to Gettysburg historic site. We spent our whole day taking a tour there before we had dinner nearby our hotel. That night, we went on a ghost adventure. My little brother has always admired ghost hunters. He was really excited when we just started. But apparently, he’s still too young for it. He cried from fear in the middle of our adventure. Everybody just passed out when our body touched the bed. The next day, we went back to the historic site to finish our tour that we didn’t finish on the first day and then we started our way to Harrisburg.
We got to Comfort Inn by noon. After a quick rest, we went to Dad’s cousin’s farm. Uncle David has a really beautiful farm. It was like farmville, the game! By the time we got there, I saw my grandparents were also there. We all had some light chat. I watched a baby calf just been born, fed the calf, climbed hay stacks with my little brother and just played around, running here and there. Uncle Dave has a corn maze and we came at the right time because the corn was so high at that time. My dad, my little brother, and I gave it a try. It was very hot and the maze was really confusing. We got stuck for minutes in the maze. But in the end, I figured the way out. The fun continues until when night came. We had a bonfire. All of us gathering in one place, Mom made me smores, giggles were heard here and there.
On my third day in Pennsylvania, my parents took me to Hershey’s Park! It was incredible. I haven’t gone to an amusement park in years and I was in love with it. Sad enough, my parents don’t like rides so only my brother and I went on the rides. We spent our time there for almost the whole day. The rides were fantastic. I had a blast. The very next day, we left to go back to North Carolina really early in the morning. Because we had to catch up to my concert rehearsal schedule which is after school. It was the rehearsal to my first concert in the US. And guess what. It was a success!