by Risqika, Indonesia 2011-12
It was such a great honor for me to be an ambassador from my home country! I did lot of presentations about my home country in my host city, Chilton, WI. They were so amazing! I was so happy that I got a lot of support from my host family and also from my school. I’m Risqika and I’m a proud Indonesian hosted in Wisconsin.
I did presentations in many places, like public library and public schools in Chilton. In October I got a letter from my consortium about International Education Week, an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of U.S. government efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
In the beginning I did some presentations in my art class. My teacher was so kind to me. She allowed me to use her class as the 1st practice of my presentation. In that class I made some artworks related to Indonesia and I presented them to the class. I was also honored to know that some of my artworks related to my home country are exhibited in the main hallway of the school.
In Thanksgiving my house was full with relatives; three families were there! My Mom suggested I do a presentation at that time. We prepared the laptop and projector for the presentation. It was so great that they really appreciated me. I loved it when they were so communicative and giving great feedbacks for the next presentations.
I did presentations for Chilton Public Schools, starting from Elementary School through High School. The presentations to elementary kids were so FUN! They were so attentive to my presentations and gave good responses. They also asked a lot of things, even some of them are really funny. They asked me things like: Is Komodo dragon really that big? Does it breathe fire? Does it have wings? Do you go to school with horses? Is Indonesia near Mexico? Do you have potato chips there? Do you know Justin Bieber? Do you have girlfriend? Do you know my sister in high school? LOL! Those questions were so funny! The middle school kids were also fun. They were so enthusiastic and nice.
The hardest presentations were in High School. It was very hard to make presentation suitable for them, because they were easily bored with the formal one. That was why I included some funny facts about Indonesia. I also made presentations about living as Indonesian teenager; what we do, what we play, what we eat, and what we think about people in United States. We had great communications, and in the final session of every presentation I gave quizzes. I had prepared hundreds of batik key chains from Indonesia for the ones who could answer my questions correctly.
I still remember when kids in my pod discussed about the presentations in November. We targeted 40 presentations for each kid. At that time I wasn’t confident at all. Chilton was a small city; we didn’t have many institutions to do presentations. My mom was so supportive at that time. She called the city library and public schools and arranged the schedules. I had a lot of presentations! Usually I stayed in one room (computer laboratory in my high school’s library) and every 15 minutes there were new groups coming to the room! Sometimes in one class I did two different presentations too. So in one day I could get more than five presentations! It was a great struggle for me! But I never felt tired at all! I love sharing with kids. They are so cute and adorable!
In the end of November I started counting again how many presentations I had done. I was so surprised! I didn’t realize that I had done seventy seven presentations for more than 1400 people! All I could think at that time was a great gratitude to God, my great host family, my amazing community, and my wonderful friends who had supported me so much! Now I realize that I can speak English more fluently, and I have more confident in public speaking. It’s really helpful because I’m taking forensics this season. I’m not going to finish the presentations on November. I’ll give some presentations again in December until February. I have planned to go to German Club, Optimists Club, Ladies Church Club, and Chilton Catholic School.
Last, I only can say that my November was so amazing! Thanks for YES Program and AFS who gave such wonderful opportunity for me as an ambassador from Indonesia!
PS: December 5th is International Volunteering Day. I want to thank all the volunteers who have worked so hard. I love you guys! :)
PPS: Now the kids in Elementary School really know me well. They always wave their hand when I passed in front of them or say “Hi Doni”. They’re so adorable!