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The definition of serenity. Photo by Hannah Richter (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Finalist), Indonesia Semester.

Yak from a homestay family: Like a Dream


When we agree to join Bridge year, we never thought before, an American boy in our house. One house with us, one dining table, one living room with us. When we woke up in the morning that face was really with us. This is like a dream.

We know they were confused and awkward at first. The little Indonesian language they have learned is not enough to communicate with us. The vast geographical distance, language and cultural differences make us think whether we can live and be close to them? To be honest, at first we were not confident about this.

But suddenly our dream came true. These handsome, beautiful and smart kids made us stop breathing. The language they quickly mastered, our culture and habits that they quickly adjusted to make us wake up and quickly catch up with this feeling. We became family, friends and the place where they realized their feelings and goals in coming to this beautiful country of Indonesia.

Time goes by quickly. Morning, afternoon, night passed beautifully with them. Sometimes we were worried because they are late coming home, also when they were sick. We treat them like our own children. We share knowledge about Indonesian traditional medicines such as Kerokan (coin massage) and Jamu (herbal medicine). This is strange for the students who are educated for this logic are carried away by the flow of myths and traditional thinking. Lol.

We are not only close to Sebastian and Jon who we hosted. Of course we are very close to both of them, but all the children who live here are like our children and close to us. We are always worried if we hear that they are sick from their homestay parents. We help each other to take care of all of them. This is what they call the Big Family Bridge year Indonesia Program.

After 8 months have passed, it’s time for us to separate. They must return to their country, their parents, their native communities and culture. That day became the most touching moment. In front of us appear all the memories that we have experienced. We thought maybe we would never meet again. This short time is enough for us to be able to believe that we can love each other. The tears that fell at Yogyakarta Adisutjipto Airport bore witness to our love and longing when they were far from us. This longing even existed shortly after they entered to fly far and long to their home country America. And when we opened the cellphone when they were at the airport they had written “Ibu (Mother), We miss you and Indonesia. Wait for us to come back home someday.”

We cannot wait for you to join our family also – we wish you safe travel and we will be here waiting for you!