Thanks to Dr. Ruebel, I had a list of Ball State alumni living in Indonesia. They were all Indonesians who once studied at the university. Unfortunately, none of them answered my emails. Luckily, before I had to resort to just showing up on doorsteps, I heard from Dr. Caristi. Through a number of different people, he put me in contact with Bagus Hadi, a BSU alum living in Jakarta. After many phone calls and emails, he introduced me to a couple who had both traveled to America on Fulbrights and had both studied at Ball State and lived in Muncie with their three children for three years in the ‘80s.
Props to Samantha and Kristian for sending me some awesome Ball State t-shirts.
It was really terrific to meet them—like a little piece of home. They call the years they spent in Muncie “a dream.”
“Do you know Tillotson Avenue?” they asked.
“Do they still do bed races for homecoming?”
“YES!” I answered.
I think the meeting was as good for them as it was for me. They said they’d spent some time in Ann Arbor, and I frowned.
“I don’t like Michigan,” I said.
“Wait, wait…” said Chuzai. “You don’t like Michigan… because… you are from Ohio. And people from Ohio State do not like Michigan! I remember! I remember!”
They’re both professors at the local university now.
We spent dinner reminiscing about Middletown and McKinley Avenue and chatting about how the campus has changed in the last quarter century.
Cardinal pride extends all the way around the world. Chirp chirp!