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Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

An introduction letter from Home stay Family

Halo apa kabar?
How are you guys? It’s a pleasure to have a chance to write here.
I’m Endang, I have two kids, Ken (a 7 years old girl) and Arka (a 5 years old boy), and my husband Udin, we are one of the host families in Yogyakarta. We live in the eastern part of the city of Jogjakarta, next to Kotagede which is famous for silver village.

We always excited to have Dragons student in our home. For my husband, it helps him so much to have a brave to communication with his ‘new son/daughter’. For Ken and Arka, it always become such a ‘mystery game’ before you come, guys. If the Dragons student who is coming is a girl, Ken will say “Yesss” I have a new sister. And if a boy who is coming, Arka will say “Horrayyy my new brother” 😄😄.

Since we become part of this community, we have learned a lot. Each time I learn about how to be a good mother for a 16/18/19 years old ‘new kids’. My husband has learned about new cultures, learns about how to teach our daily life and Bahasa Indonesia to his new child. Ken and Arka, they have learned about the differences in this life. The color of the hairs, the skins, and the languages.They always excited to learn new children songs and games, like playing cards ‘crazy eight’, origami etc. Harmony in diversity, that’s what we feel.

Lucas from Colorado. He’s our first son. He told us about his country. So that we can imagine what Colorado is like. Lucas was also joining in the parade of “MERTI DUSUN” it’s a ceremony to commemorate the birthday of the village. Lucas became one of the soldiers on the parade. He was wearing a beautiful traditional Javanese clothes. This soldier we called it BREGODO in Javanese language.

Emily, our sweet daughter from Colorado. She’s very cute. She taught Ken and Arka some children’s games. The games called Crazy eight, my kids really like this card game. She made a wire doll, she played guitar with her host father. She helped me making some souvenirs that I can sell now.

Letty, she’s a mathematics teacher from New York. She loves kids. She played some toys with the kids. We cooked “Bakwan Jagung” (a traditional snack from corn) together. Early in the morning we went to the market to buy the ingredients. We had some chit chat about teaching mathematics, because my husband and I are also from the mathematics faculty when we were in the University.

Charlie, he’s also from New York. He’s a nice and a friendly guy. He loves coffee very much. He doesn’t like vegetables, but I forced him to eat that 😂. We went around the city by a horse cart. We went to “Taman Pintar” it’s like a play ground for kids. We also went to an aeroplane museum. He likes to draw with the kids. Playing hot wheel, playing smart card which is for learning bilingual language Bahasa Indonesia-English.

So, you guys “Selamat Datang!”. Welcome to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. You will have a new family here. The first time, you might not familiar with how the things are here, but soon you will learn that everything is the same. Please Enjoy every single time here. Don’t be afraid, once you come here, you will become one of our son/daughter brother/sister forever.

Seeing you soon,
Endang, Udin, Ken and Arka

* translated by instructor team