A week before I went back to Indonesia, I had an opportunity to spent my weekend with an American family. So our group we was divided into several smaller groups. Each group contained 2-4 persons, but there was one of us who did not have any partner. She went alone for home stay. The reason why one of us just stay alone but the others were in group were our different preferences, beliefs, and thought. Some of us hate dog and does not eat pork whereas the others feels convenient with them. My small group consisted of four persons and all of us have the same preferences which is NO DOG. (hehehe)
So we went to Cincinnati and met our new home stay family. Lucky us because we’re in De Gregs. Phil De Greg is a Professor of music in University of Cincinnati and her wife is Carol De Greg who works for hospital. She is a nurse. They have two daughter, Nicole and Julia. We were very happy because it was our first experience to be in American real family life. The next 3 days we fulfilled with talking, museum visiting, going to church, dinner of course etc.
In this writing, I want to share to you about our morning talks before breakfast. As all u know that we live in the east side of the world whereas America lies in another side, west side. The 9/11 tragedy brought a big influence to the conversation between east and west. Many youngsters in the east hate America, especially they who come from the Moslem world. Many people in the Moslem world hate Bush due to his policy to attack Afganistan and Iraq. Their invasion did not work and make a much more giant conflict among the civilians.
On the other side, 9/11 also brought a new huge fear to the American. FYI, there is no invasion or war in America before this tragedy. The war that involved America always happened outside and far away from the Uncle Sam’s home land, such as Vietnam war, Pasific war (world war 2), and Gulf war. Therefore, the attack made the civilians panic and believed that their home land was not safe anymore. War was solution for this difficult problem. The US Army searched and attacked the “terrorist” wherever they are. Most American agreed that they have to protect their home by overcome the terrorist. That’s why George Walker Bush was elected for the second period.
However not every single person in America supported this policy. Phil and Carol are two of them. Carol said to us her experience related to this war. One day Carol and Phil went to Brazil where Phil usually visits to make music. When their plane take off, the US Army started to bombed Iraq. Phil and Carol landed safely. Then they went to their friend’s home. While their doing music or other activity (im not sure), a boy walked towards Carol. In his innocent face, the boy asked her,”Why do you start the war?”. To heard that Carol was shocked and then realized that maybe there are many people in the world have the same question and feeling like this boy.
Started from that moment, Carol began to welcome foreigners to stay at her home. She wanted to share that American love peace and hate war. There some guests from Ukraine and other country who has stayed in her home before us. Carol’s idea worked effectively to share her peaceful message and we also felt it. After spent three days in her home, we realized that we’re the same, even we live on different side of the world (east-west). We do love peace and respect the differences between us. It’s not fair to blame somebody who you do not recognize just because their government’s policy, religion, skin, hair or even different place of live.
The home stay program brought us to a new understanding. A conversation between east and west was began and I never stop to share this experience to my friends and people around me. We can make this world a better and safer place not with hate but only love and respect.