Hosting Indonesian teens in Roanoke Virginia

Cristo and Bagas riding bikes with their new brothers and sisters

Indonesian participants of Legacy’s Indonesia-U.S. Youth Leadership Exchange (IULX) arrived in Roanoke for the 10 day Host Family segment of their program in the U.S..

During the week the group visited various environmental and service projects as part of their studies, while on the weekends they travelled with their host families to various family recreation sites around the Roanoke valley. The Indonesians quickly “adopted” their host families, with fond memories for all.

Indonesians and their host family

The group singing "Not With Me" in honor of their host families

The week passed quickly for the IULX group and when it was time to say goodbye to their host families,  Legacy International’s Global Youth Village hosted the Farewell Lunch where each of the participants shared one last meal with their families before saying goodbye.

As a tribute to the good times and as a show of appreciation the team decided to perform a variety of songs for their families, Dea on guitar.

After the performance each participant took turns thanking their families for their hospitality and thanking them for the specific experiences each person had that made it memorable.

Many tears were shed and laughter erupted through the crowd as each person shared their memories of the short time they had with their American family group.

More than 300 Southern Virginia families, companies, and organizations have participated in home hosting and program activities for Legacy’s international visitors since 1994. To get involved, read about our hosting experience.

When asked what their favorite host family moment was, the IULX group had many little stories to share. Enjoy the responses from these enthusiastic youth.


Read about their memories with host families in the U.S.:

Tari-School for Visually Impaired …my host parent took me to the community garden. She was introducing me to many different plants by reading the information label on each plant while letting me to touch and smell it. I never visited a garden with such labels before, and it was not only nice but also made me excited to learn more about plants and the environment.”-Eha Lestari See her Sensory Garden at the  School for the Visually Impaired.
“When I stay in Roanoke I stay with a host family. His name is Bill Saari. He is interesting and funny people I have ever seen. When I stay with him he bring me to Downtown, hiking, and to flea market, and I was excited about that and also he introduce me to all his friends and I like all his friends. And next day he brought me to Roanoke Star and I can say “IT’S AMAZING” for me. He is the best person I ever meet.” – Dimas Fatahila
“[My favorite memory was] When we hiking and he [Bill Saari] showed me all of Roanoke from Sharp Top Mountain, and when we talk to each other he show me all of the world and in the best day he treated me to explore all over Roanoke City.” –Ainun
“I had a great moment when I went to picnic with the others families at a lake. I went with my host family, Spike Harrison and Jane Harrison.”
-Izzet
Now, I’m in America. This week I’m staying in GYV with all of teenagers around the world. Last week I stayed in Bedford VA, with Graham family. It was great moment. My first day, we went to “Safari Park”. It was very fun and happy. But the best part in my memory is when I cooked fried rice, ramen and fried banana. It was so fun and they liked it. Ow… they said that it was really really delicious. I was so glad to know them. I hope we can meet again, soon!-Mai
“My memory is when me, my host family and the other host families went to the lake house. It was amazing! and in the evening me and my host family went shopping, then we went to a Mexican restaurant to see their friend’s concert. Then we went to see a country music concert. Another moment is when in every evening we took their dogs for a walk. They treated me really really nice. My host family is John and Kathy Graham.”-Echa
” We went to “Smith Mountain Lake” and to Frank’s friend’s home, I and Upi made/cooked fried chocolate banana and we were very happy because all of host families very..very..very like it. [And another time] when once more…our host family and Robin’s family (our neighbor) had our breakfast together and they also really loved our fried chocolate banana… It’s very memorable experience because our fried chocolate banana was always available for them. He..He.. He 🙂 Thanks for Frank Cuoco and Linda Cuoco.”-Dea Imayta P.
“I was really happy to have this new experience with my host family. They asked me to go to “Relay for Life”, to Natural Bridge, to a country music concert, an Art Museum, a Church, and shopping. They were very kind on me, they always considered me and Dian as their own children. It was absolutely sweet moment to be with them. My host family is Betsy and Chris Bohannon.”-Yusrina Ayu Safitri (Vi-Vi)
My host family is Betsy and Chris Bohannon. Both of them were so nicely to me. They treated me and ViVi like we are their children. We went to Natural Bridge, watched country music tried Mexican and Indian restaurant and went to the Museum. We also went shopping at Wal-Mart, TJ-Maxx, Dollar Tree and went to Downtown. Betsy was so nice and she introduced me and ViVi to all her friends. Chris taught us some words in French. We cooked soto for them and they said it was really delicious. It was unforgettable moment and I hope I can still keep-in-touch them!” -Dian
“The most Beautiful moment with my host family is when we went to hiking with their nice car,  while I looked at the beautiful view, I was very excited. I think that’s my the best experience. Thank you for everything my host family Janice and Larry Davidson.”-Nuri
“Hi everyone, I am Christo and my host family is Band’s family. Band’s family is Sandy Band as my host mom, Barry Band as my host dad They have 4 child, their children has named is Adriene, Camryn, Keaton, and Simon. And also they have a dog. Their dog is named Dharma. Dharma is funny.  I am very happy because the family is happy and funny. I have best memory at the farewell with host family. I am very sad to leave their family, I miss them. I am very touched by them because they told me about ‘our home is your home’ and also Camryn always cried because I left her. I will not forget you all Band’s, I thank you for you all for your support, kindness, love… I love you all.”Christo
“I stayed with Pietermen’s family for 10 days and did a bunch of new and fun activities. Coby took me to ballet performance, my first experience ever. And they danced beautifully. We made a standing ovation right after the performance. It was AWESOME. They always took me to many different places. We went to Tubman art museum, country concert, and a lot more. What I will miss a lot, both Coby and Case of course, but also the discussion we always had right after every meal. The discussion really open my mind up. love them so!!! “-Ria