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bloggers abroad

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Blogs from Abroad

Blogs from Santa Clara University students studying abroad.

  •  The Rude and Inconsiderate Embarrassment

    Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 5:50 PM

          I cannot believe how disrespectful one of the students in my abroad program was today.  We were in the middle of Hindi class, and this kid storms in an hour and a half late.  With out a word of apology or explanation, he slammed the door shut, banged his stuff around, and sat in his seat and sulked.  When class was over, our teacher (who is the sweetest woman ever) asked him if anything was wrong and why he was late.  He gave her an excuse that he got lost, placing the blame solely on his auto rickshaw driver and not himself.  He was trying to make it seem like he was the victim because it took him so long to get to class
    and he had to pay for the extra long ride.
          I don’t know if at his school, those actions are acceptable, or if he thinks he can get away with it because we are in a different country, but I was definitely raised better.  I know for a fact that a rickshaw driver does get lost sometimes, but we have been coming to the same place for 3 weeks, and by now we should know if we are in the wrong part of town.  It is our responsibility to be aware of our surroundings and make sure that the driver is going the right way.  In most cases the driver will just ask someone else on the street for directions.  I was so embarrassed for his actions and the way he treated our teacher that I went back and apologized for him.  He is representing all students who study abroad from the US, and I did not want her to think we are all just as rude and inconsiderate.


    Brigitte M. Clark

  •  The Ignorant Foreigner

    Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 5:49 PM

          It is extremely important in India to be aware of the different lifestyles.  Today I made a mistake that made me the ignorant foreigner. I was riding in an auto rickshaw on the way to the market when I saw two kids who were “playing” outside.  They waved to me, and my automatic instinct was to smile and wave back.  To my naïve delight, the girls came up to my stopped rickshaw and started playing the drum and doing acrobatic dance.  I honestly just thought they were being friendly children eager for an adoring audience; a Stewart from Mad TV saying, “Look what I can do…” It was brought to my attention that they were dancing for me for money, and that I waved them over to perform.
          Thinking back on it, why would a little girl be throwing herself on the hot and dirty pavement of Delhi for free?  All the signs were there too: the girls were wearing dirty, torn clothes, and they had no shoes.  Of course they were trying to make money, performing as a means to survive.  I’m curious how many ignorant foreigners make similar mistakes, but do realize what has happened and do not give them money.
    How many times have these children not recieved money for their efforts?


    Brigitte M. Clark

  •  Adventures in Taupo

    Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 5:59 PM

    This weekend four of my friends and I decided to rent a car and drive approximately 4 hours south to the town of Taupo, which, coincidently, is next to Lake Taupo. We could have gotten there faster had we known exactly how to get there, but regardless we made it with out being lost. We came all the way down here to go skydiving. It has always been something I wanted to do. Upon arriving we made dinner in the hostel kitchen then headed out to one of the near by bars to socialize. We turned out to be the only people in the bar. After playing a game of billiards, we were joined by an openly lesbian couple sitting across from us. If there is one thing that I respect about New Zealand thus far it is the lack of sexism and homophobia that exists in America. People here are far more open to LGBTs. I feel like I know more openly gay people here than I do in the states. I enjoy being exposed to this new culture that seems to so hidden from me while I am in the States.

                On a side note, we never did get to go skydiving because the weather was not on our side, regardless I enjoyed the experience and the sight seeing.

     

  •  So Far So Good

    Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 5:53 PM

    I must say that I was expecting to be living with a bunch more Kiwis, but most who attend Auckland University are commuter students.  The ones I am living with are all international or study abroad students.  At first I was disappointed but then I realized the immense diversity I was surrounded with.  I have discovered that the best way to approach a diverse community or any community is to always have an open mind and to ask an appropriate amount of questions.  When first getting to know the other residences of No. 14 Whitaker Place I found many people from all over Europe, North America, and Asia.  While we were having a social gathering of sorts in a neighboring flat one fellow decided that his country was the best country at drinking.  Of course everyone cheered for their own country and a drinking contest ensued.  As the fellow continued to drunkenly rave about how awesome his country was a clear rift started to form isolating him from the rest of the party.  Even his own countrymen were embarrassed by his actions.  I took away from this experience really learning that to be overly enthusiastic for your home country, while a broad, can turn people away from you.

     

     

  •  Green Living in India

    Monday, Aug. 2, 2010 5:48 PM

    When people think of India, they normally think of how dirty it is.  One of the first things I noticed when I arrived are the wrappers from snacks and other food that had been carelessly tossed on the side of the road and in ditches.  Ironically, for the amount of trash in the streets of Delhi, I came to find that India is one of the greenest cities in the world. India has a higher recyclable rate than in the United States.
    The US tries to make a point of having recycle bins in households and public centers, but many times, recyclables get thrown away.  In India they do not recycle at a household level.  Instead they have people called “rats” who dig through the garbage and pick out everything that can be recycled.
           Also, India has less trash by a “no plastic bag” law, sending customers home with bags made out of newspaper or cotton similar to the “go-green” bags we buy in the States.  They are also eco-friendly with water conservation, by washing their clothes by hand, and taking “bucket showers” to wash themselves.  Also, tourist transportation (taxis, buses, and auto rickshaws) are run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) that is more environmentally clean than the alternative fuels like
    gasoline.

 
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