Posts Tagged ‘sociology’

Jamaica and the Beginning of the Semester!

Posted By khowley on February 10th, 2014

Before leaving for Jamaica, I was convinced that upon my return the states I would easily be able to explain what the trip was like. Upon arrival, I still felt the same, as the four-hour flight had turned into a three-day adventure. But upon my return to the states, I was instantly faced with the “how was your trip” question, a question that I couldn’t really formulate an answer to. For those who just asked in passing, the answer was “good,” “fun,” “hot,” etc. However, for the lucky ones who I actually had time to talk to, the answer was strikingly more detailed. A one-worded answer just simply didn’t do the trip justice.

The arrival in Montego Bay, Jamaica did not come easily. We began with numerous flight delays and cancellations thanks to a few inches of snow and freezing temperatures that hit the northeast and shut down airports for a couple of days. Not being able to catch a flight, we drove to where our connection was in Philadelphia approximately five hours away from Providence. We arrived very late on Saturday evening, only to get four hours of sleep before our flight to Jamaica on Sunday morning. Luckily, everything seemed to be going well. We hopped on our flight to Jamaica and after sitting on the runway for a while to de-ice we finally took off. Once in the air, we were all convinced that we should be landing in a few hours. No such luck. We were rerouted due to a mechanical issue, put on another flight just to be told that that plane also has a mechanical issue, so we were put onto a third plane a few hours later and finally took off from Charlotte, NC. Around dinner, the next leg of our journey had finally begun.

 

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Upon arrival in Petersfield, the first thing that I immediately noticed is how genuinely friendly the people were. All of our house moms had been awaiting our arrival with the students who didn’t have flight problems with authentic Jamaican food. We were fortunate enough to have access to Wi-Fi at the community center to contact our parents, which was good because many of us were becoming pessimistic on whether or not we were ever going to make it. Our house moms fed us, and then took us back to their individual homes where we would be living for the next week.

Living within the community of Petersfield made the trip so much more meaningful. Admittedly, I was curious about all of the stereotypes that I had heard about Jamaica upon arrival, and although I didn’t necessarily believe them, I wondered if our experiences would be anything like those who have gone to stay at resorts. It would take days to fully put into words everything I want to say about the openness of their community, but no words would ever do it justice. I just wish that everyone that went to Jamaica on vacation, also took a step back to realize that what they see in Negril or Montego Bay, or the violence they hear about in Kingston, is nothing like the rest of the country. We went to Jamaica to educate the community about autism, but we left with so much more than that. My house dad, with his many words of wisdom, reminded us to never wait for time because it will never wait for us or that “emotions are like blown glass, they heat up before turning into something beautiful.” Our house mom taught us the importance of trying new things and always being honest. The children unintentionally helped us realize how much we have that we can easily take for granted, and how the most important thing in life is just to be happy with what you have. Undoubtedly, I have never been in a place where everyone has been as grateful for what they have than in Jamaica.

Through the entirety of the trip, the anthropology/sociology major in me wanted to learn more and more about Jamaican culture. I wanted to learn about the generalizations of their people, and plot how to be an advocate against those upon my return to the states. I wanted learn about their customs and rituals and hey, maybe even learn a dance move or two while I was there. It’s impossible to learn the ins and outs of a culture in seven days, but I did the best I could.

dancing

 

I suppose what I am trying to say is that Jamaica will be unforgettable.  Whether it was when a group of 150 parents stood up and sang “One Love” to us after our presentation about autism, or when the children wrote us notes or drew us pictures, it’s impossible to ever look back on that week with a frown. The country was far different from what I expected, and it’s still sad to think about all of the stereotypes that are held about what life is like there.  I highly recommend that everyone try to embark on a study abroad program whether it be for a week or for a semester, because no matter how cliché this may sound it really helps you open your eyes and realize how lucky you are.

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Until next time, it’s back to reality. The groundhog saw his shadow so I suppose we are having six more weeks of winter, and there is actually snow on the ground right now so I suppose it’s believable! I have four day weekends this semester, but it’s already off to a busy start so we will see how that goes

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Junior Mints

Posted By lindsey on September 12th, 2013

Somehow I have managed to hit two milestones in the past month. One being that I can no longer say I’m a teenager, which didn’t feel all that odd until someone told me I was halfway to 40. The second milestone being I am also starting my third year of college…crazy! Before entering college a couple of years ago the major piece of advice I got was to not blink or I would miss it. I am pretty sure I shrugged everyone off thinking it was rather lame advice and that four years was still four years. Except now four years is two years, and actually having to prepare for the “real world” seems closer and closer.

The past few weeks have been full of RA training, staff bonding and CEN’s 1,2,3 weekend. At times training was exhausting, but also has me excited for the upcoming year. I’m fortunate to work with a staff that even after spending every waking moment with the past few weeks we still are a strong, cohesive team. And I have a roommate again!

Check out our Bayside welcome video!

welcome

And of course, what is a blog without CEN in it? We recently wrapped up 1,2,3 Weekend: All Ways Point to Roger. Our navigational themed weekend kicked off the school year with Gordon Baker-Bone, The Great Gatsby and our annual fall concert: Carolina Liar with opener Todd Carey. Unfortunately due to weather, the concert had to get moved inside the field house but still went off without a hitch! My co-chair and I could not have asked for better performers to work with or even a board to help us make the event and weekend a success. With a great 1,2,3 Weekend behind us…. on to the next one!

CEN

I don’t have all that much to say about my courses so far, as last week was basically syllabus week. I do, however, love the fact that my earliest class is at 10:00am. I’ve finally moved out of the world of 8:00ams…woo! All of my general education courses, COREs, etc. are all completed which is great because every single course I am taking this semester I hand picked, and I think even the ones that are not Anthropoloy/Sociology courses still relate to my major somehow. But I think I hand picked the classes with the most textbooks… time to get reading!

Since moving in around a month ago it seems as if I haven’t had time to blink until today simply because of opening residence halls and putting together 1,2,3 weekend simultaneously. However, now that both are over my hope is that I’ll finally be able to put myself back into some sort of routine. I think this year has already been starting off on the right foot! Until next time!

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