Man Behind the Dishes

Man Behind the Dishes

Behind-the-scenes interviews with Medora employees | By Jewel Eliese

Medora brings people from all over the world to experience the majesty of the Badlands, the nightly musical, and its wonderful history. To adore it.

This includes the employees.

Recently, we were able to speak with one of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation’s employees. His name is Jhin Xern Yeo but in the United States, he prefers people to call him Jason as it’s easier to say. He is from Malaysia and it took him more than 30 hours and three flights to get to Medora.

1. Do you have family?

We have six members, my parents, an elder brother and sister and one younger sister

2. Why Medora?

It’s a very peaceful and calm place. I personally don’t prefer living in a city because it’s too busy. I would rather feel calm and comfortable. Medora helps me feel that way. After listening to the stories of Theodore Roosevelt, I realized people come to Medora, not just because they want to have a comfortable few days here, but because they might be having bad days and they want to heal themselves, just like Roosevelt did.

3. Where do you work?

I work in the Life Skills Center as a dishwasher. I meet many great people there every day and I get the chance to talk with them when they come to put their dishes there. People call me the “Front Desk Man of the Kitchen” because I get to talk to people.

4. What’s your favorite part of your job?

To be honest, washing the dishes is not an easy job, but when I talk to someone and we greet each other, even though if it’s a simple smile and a hello, it can really make my day. So the best part is the people I see every day.

5. What is the best food you’ve had in the United States?

I have only had the food in the Life Skills Center, but the best food was the BBQ chicken.

6. How do you say ‘hello’ in your native tongue?

I speak Mandarin so how you say ‘hello’ is ‘Ni hao’ (pronounced “nee haow”) 你好 and people reply the same. But if you want to ask, “How are you?” you add the word Ma.  So you say ‘Ni hao ma.’

7. What is one question that no one has ever asked you but you wish they did?

I love to have deep conversations with anyone because I really love to listen to their stories. Because we all have our own stories. I wish people would ask me, “What is your life goal?”

For me, personally, because of University I get to travel to different countries including this trip to the United States, my life goal is to bring my family members to travel just like me. I hope. It’s always me who is the one traveling, and I can’t bring them. I want to be able to show them the BBQ chicken, what it’s like to travel 30 hours and three planes, and the comfortable life in Medora.

It was a pleasure to meet Jason and see his smile daily downstairs. I hope you all will take a moment to say ‘hello, you nice person‘ to him when you drop off your dishes. Not only will he make your day, but you will make his.

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