Oct. 12, 2010
With our favorite items by our side, even a room the size of a closet can feel cozy. Inside talked to four international students about the items they brought from abroad to make Bloomington feel more like home.
Diana Kyllmann carries a giraffe with her at all times.
Her mother gave her a plush giraffe keychain before she left her home in Bolivia.
“We love giraffes and I have tons of giraffes at home,” Diana says of the toy animals, “but I couldn’t bring them with me because it would cost too much. It’s something shared between my mom and me.”
Diana comes from a city almost 12,000 feet above sea level. “My home is in the lowest part of the valley, so I can see the mountains and the city from my backyard.”
She also loves her family’s garden. When Diana was younger, her family kept horses, turtles, llamas, and flamingos on the property.
Diana came to IU to play on the women’s tennis team. Her parents helped her move into her Foster dorm room and the tennis team coaches drove her to College Mall to get items she couldn’t fit in her suitcases.
Diana, who is studying entrepreneurship, says she misses dancing to reggaeton, salsa, and cumbia. To alleviate her homesickness, she keeps pictures and letters from home in her room.
The youngest child and only girl in her family of seven, Diana says she misses family traditions. She keeps a small cross carving nearby to remind her of her Catholic family.
“It’s hanging in my backpack to keep with me every day.”