Rionaldi Low — KL-YES to USA YP 22/23
“Hi, my name is Aldi, like the supermarket.” is my Go-to phrase of the year 2022/2023. My full name is Rionaldi Low, the reason I said “Like the supermarket.” is because there is quite a popular supermarket in the US named literally ALDI, and makes it easier for people to remember my name. I am legal but not legal enough to drink.
It was one o’clock in the morning, I finally arrived at Falling Waters, West Virginia, United States where I got hosted and started the 10-month long journey. Falling Waters is a small town but constantly grows because it is a strategic location, near Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC.
Being one of the Boyd and Dorsey family is one of the best things ever happened to me. I got hosted by Boyd Family, my parents are interracial and that is what makes it so riveting and unique, as simple as my dad is better in seasoning the food than my mom. LOL, my mom has been a Local Coordinator for exchange students for over 10 years, she is very well informed and wise. My dad works for an elementary school in Maryland, he is the most predictable and yet unpredictable. I have 2 host siblings; one of them is in middle school and the other one is in sophomore year. I had so many experiences to tell but my favorite will always be family events at the farm. The Dorsey family, which is my mom’s side family, has a farm, and we always do events such as Christmas and Thanksgiving on the farm. A warmth, loving, and welcoming atmosphere that filled my heart.
I always believe that during my exchange year, I will have the chance to go to New York. Since I came to the United States, my host family asked, where do you want to go while you are here? I answered, “New York.” It all comes true when you believe, they surprised me during my birthday. We went to teppanyaki restaurant called Nikko, what funny is the almost the whole team is Indonesian, that day is officially my first day met Indonesian, they suddenly gave me this big envelope, says we’re going to the New York in coming spring break. New York is truly a powerful city; it holds an amazing charisma and vibes.
During my last days, Me and my host family with an exchange student from Japan, we visited the Antietam Battlefield which is the bloodiest battle left 23,000 men killed or wounded in the fields. The battle between Confederate and Union, it is one of the reasons why the United States is still together until now.
I also visited Austin, Texas. It was five days trip but it was full of learning. I went to Alamo, which is actually a church but it is also a battlefield between Texians under Sir William Travis and Mexicans under Santa Anna. Now the site is carefully conserved and protected with meticulous preservation.
To close my one last night in the United States, I prepared and organized dinner. I bought Chinese food that they usually have not tried and I plated it beautifully. I also prepared a letter and a family picture of us. We bawled our eyes together since I read the letter, later I could not read the rest of the letter because I kept crying, my host mom ended up reading it out loud the rest.
The reason I chose the title of this article “When You Believe” is because that is the learning essence during my exchange year. There are a lot of things happening but that is because you believe it. I was shocked by the cultural difference, social life, and new adjustment to the family but I believe I can overcome all the setbacks by always enjoying the difference. Thank you YES for making it happen for me.