written by Aqmarina Andira from Indonesia
Reflection One: The Land of Dreams
I have never set a foot before in this country, yet somehow everything feels so familiar. The United States of America is indeed the land of dreams. And as a dreamer myself, to visit and to experience living in this country is indeed feels like coming home. I mean, growing up watching, reading, and listening to songs about the States, I am feeling super nostalgic.
The 24 hours and 16,344 km journey from home is totally worth it.
Reflection Two: The Avenue of Hope
“The essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy, the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something we have failed to see, or may see it more accurately. The simple purpose of the exchange program is to erode the culturally rooted mistrust that sets nations against one another. The exchange program is not a panacea but an avenue of hope.” — J. William Fulbright
“Let me give you a hug,” Mae said to me. “I know how hard it is to start and to keep going”. The thing I love the most from a program like this is seeing genuine passion in people’s eyes.
I saw passion in Mae’s eyes when talking about the preservation of traditional Thailand’s music. I saw lots of passionate eyes from young people in this Professional Fellows Program. I saw courage, persistence, and the most important thing is the willingness to keep going. And it is indeed very beautiful.