by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Meet the Irawan Family

The Irawans are a family with strong ties to the local community and to their roots in Indonesia. Daniel, Mila, and their two children, Madeleine and Denzel, have lived in 92129 for the past five years. “We like living in Rancho Peñasquitos because we’re so close to Los Peñasquitos Academy, to our church (Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church), the library parks, and shopping. We also love to travel back to Indonesia and visit our family,” said Mila. It takes about one day to travel from San Diego to Indonesia, but being able to spend time with family is worth the long journey for the Irawans. According to Mila, their family mostly lives on Java Island, so that is where they spend most of their time during their trips abroad.

While the Irawans speak Bahasa – the official language of Indonesia – at home and are teaching the children Indonesian customs, they also take part in American cultural traditions. “Daniel loves cars. He used to take his vintage Volkswagen beetle to car shows. Now, he really enjoys biking and will often ride 100 miles in a week,” related Mila. She and Daniel both earned college degrees in Indonesia before moving to the U.S., with Daniel majoring in architecture and Mila in visual arts. Daniel went on to earn a master’s degree in business after moving to San Diego, and both he and Mila are passionate about the arts and photography. “I am a stay-at-home mom and freelance as a graphic designer,” explained Mila.

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The Irawan children are also very active and enjoy taking advantage of what San Diego has to offer. Both Madeleine and Denzel enjoy playing outdoors, swimming, biking, and scootering. “Madeleine is a third grader at Los Peñasquitos Academy. She loves art and won first place in the San Diego water conservation poster contest in 2012 – she received her award from the mayor! Madeleine also likes to read and go ice skating,” revealed Mila. Denzel will soon be going to preschool and is also very artistic, enjoying music, drawing, and coloring.

As a family, the Irawans can often be found at church, visiting the library, and eating out with friends and family. “We love Indonesian food and are very lucky that one of our best friends is the most amazing Indonesian cook in town. The kids eat some Indonesian food, but they stay away from the spicy dishes,” laughed Mila.

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AT-A-GLANCE

Parents: Daniel Irawan and Mila Ariani
Children: Madeleine Irawan (8, 3rd grade, Los Peñasquitos Elementary), Denzel Irawan (3)
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos since 2009
Parents’ Hometowns: Indonesia
Parents’ Occupations: Daniel – Supervisor at the San Diego Safari Park; Mila – Graphic Desiger
Pets: Madeleine and Denzel have two little turtles in their grandparents’ house in Indonesia. Their names are Hermit and Hermes. Grandpa is taking care of them.
Favorite Places to Visit in 92129: Hilltop Park, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Costco, Carmel Mountain Plaza