AIYEP provides us a chance to stay with a family in Australia. We called them “host family”. We stayed with them till the program ends. This opportunity gives us more knowledge on English and provides more time to practice it. On October 30th, 2010, my host family picked me up at YHA Hostelling International, Brisbane. I was so hesitate about living with Australian but it is time to learn their culture. I told to myself; no worries about the differences. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
The first time I met Chris, Karen and Sisi, I was so happy and excited but I didn’t know why. Chris works as a radiation therapist and Karen works as an Indonesian teacher in primary school. And Sisi is an Indonesian who lives with the family because she works and studies in Australia. After chatting for a while with our coordinator, they helped me to bring my entire luggage to the car. I was ready to stay with my host family. On our way to home, we stopped in China Town to buy halal beef and chicken for dinner. They chose halal beef because they knew that I am a Moslem and I should eat halal food. At home, I met a growing girl with a long hair. Her name is Maddie. She is a good dancer and always performs her dance at kitchen or TV room.
Describing my life with them for three weeks only in 500 words is not enough to cover up all of my superb experiences. Nevertheless, I would try to do this by choosing my best memories with them. Karen, along with Chris and Maddie, had ever been stayed in Semarang, Indonesia and she knew a lot about this country. Even though she only lived in Indonesia for a short time, she read so many books related to Indonesia. Also, she watched Indonesian news and movies e.g. Laskar Pelangi. What a great family for me to discuss issues not only about Australia but also about Indonesia. When I was with Chris, I had a different theme of chatting. We were talking about Australian culture especially social and healthy issues in Brisbane. This was the process of cultural exchange between two different cultures.
Someday, while discussing with them, I saw a sticker wrote “Woman Can Do Anything” and realized that Karen can do Chris’ job and vice versa. Chris can cook variety of food including Indonesian food. They shared the house work and both of them could make the atmosphere of this house warmer. When Karen was sick, Chris took Karen’s job and did everything well. I loved that part. At home, Maddie and Karen always go to bed early at 8.30pm because Maddie is a student. As a student, she should be fit everyday to learn new things at school. Anyway, in Australia, school starts at 9am till 3pm.
Since I had so many things to do in Brisbane, I got sick. Worried about my healthy, my host family accompanied me to the clinic. Thankful to their love, kindness and attention, I could heal over very quickly. I spent my last day in Brisbane on having fun at Dream World with Chris, Sisi and Indah. That was awesome. At night, my host family arranged a special dinner for me. It was the best dinner that I have ever had. I was so happy but I felt sad at the same time as it was my last night with them.
On the morning, Chris gave me a farewell hugged because he wouldn’t be at Roma Street Station to see my leaving to Noosa. I, along with Karen, Maddie and Sisi, went to the station to catch the bus on the third floor. Before leaving for station, I checked my Facebook and found a comment on Ali’s status from bang Hendra WMS. He said if our families shed tears when we live, it means we have an unbreakable bond with them and vice versa.
While the bus started moving, I saw Karen and Sisi shed their silent tears. Also, I burst into tears and tried to remember the memories of what I had done with my family in Keperra and Brisbane. Since that time, I am proudly to say “They are my precious family” and my second house is located at 7 Aramac Street, Keperra. On a final note, I hope that I would be able to visit this house at the other time and share with them more about Indonesia. Also, I hope for your visit to Indonesia and my province, Riau.