This day started with a debate in my family group about whether it was already June 10 or not in the States. I read the discussion with a smile growing in my face.
One year has passed by after the last birthday that I celebrated with my loved ones back then in Jakarta, Indonesia.
And here I am in a completely different world and culture, studying and learning many new interesting things from the U.S. people and its environment.
One year that teaches me something about several things including the power of doing the talk, visioning things, letting go and believing magical things happen to those who have faith in it.
So here are the magical things happening in the U.S. for this one year:
1. Skiing in Eldora Mountain, Colorado and hiking in Boulder with Noor and Paulus
2. Watching the performance of Cirque du Soleil at San Francisco, California, which has been one of my dreams for a long time ago, with a Russian friend, Zamira
3. Going to New York City (Big Apple!) including staying at Queens, visiting Guggenheim and Museum of the Modern Arts, visiting New York Times and walking around Broadways blocks and eating tasty NY pizza with Tyas and Naura
4. Nailing my coding class at my campus (social student goes coding)
5. Reporting minorities such as refugees and immigrants at Lincoln, Nebraska and getting my work published and exhibited at Nebraska’s Museum
6. Visiting Los Angeles and all of its stark contrast places including Skid Row (tents area) and Beverly Hills (!), Hollywood (the shining Walk of Fame and the underground dirty and full of drug addicts train station), Universal Studio and art district in LA with Tera and Iman as well as having reunion with Afghanistan friends Dawood and Rafi
7. Having a Fulbright enrichment seminar at Washington DC (Now I know the capital city of U.S for sure) with Hector and having a reunion with two talented scholars from Afghanistan and Haiti: Rafi and Jonathan
8. Going to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado with the Indonesian student associations at Boulder’s members such as Michely, Niko and Kevin
9. Attending two gorgeous journalism conferences at Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
10. Going to Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheatre at Colorado with Dian, Paska, Iif and Dati
11. Taking Amtrak train to Denver and having a new friend, Hugh (painter from Chicago)
along the journey
12. Taking creative writing for an advanced class at the U.S and nailing it! Best feeling ever!
13. Watching a direct performance of TREVOR NOAH with my American friend, Chelsea
14. Chatting in local pizza and coffee shops at Lincoln, Nebraska
15. Going to Laramie, Wyoming and taking bus by myself (solo backpacker) to finish my novel! And meeting with my host family (Bronson and Evelyn) and little brother from Ecuador, Bryan Medina, there
15. To love and be loved unconditionally by people I meet while being in the States
I cannot express how much grateful I am. And happy birthday to me! 🙂
June 10, 2018