Posts Tagged ‘winter break’

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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Finally Back :) (Where is the snow?!)

Posted By lindsey on January 30th, 2012

Hi everyone!!

After being home for forty days I was starting to feel rather antsy and was more than ready to come back to RWU. Though it was nice to see all my friends from home, they all went back to their colleges much earlier in January leaving me with quite a few long and uneventful days.

I finally arrived on campus on Wednesday, but instead of socializing with friends I hadn’t seen for a month I spent a good six hours of my afternoon trying to make my room look as though it hadn’t been hit by a tornado. Why I decided it was a good idea to basically pack up all of my belongings and bring them back home for winter break I will never know.

On Thursday my classes began at 9:30 and ended at 4:50 with a brief break. So, yes, I have a busy day on Thursday but it’s a small price to pay to have Wednesdays and Fridays free (and only one class on Monday). I’m hoping that this schedule will end up working out well and that I will always be left with some free time.

Friday night Ben Kronberg (a comedian) was brought to our campus by the Campus Entertainment Network. His style was…. unique to say the least but I still found him entertaining (even if I was a little slow and didn’t catch on to some of his jokes). I’m definitely looking forward to CEN events this semester, especially the Price is Right next Saturday, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot about those from me :)
Anyway, I need to get to class, talk to you soon!

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Home Sweet Home

Posted By lindsey on January 13th, 2012

Oh how nice it is to finally be home with my friends, family, dogs and my own bed! I was one of the lucky students and as of noon on Friday, the 16th, I was on my way to the state I am forced like to call home. Remember how in my last blog I said there would probably be snow when I arrived in The Granite State? Yeah… about that… I was shocked to see (dead) grass and (dead) leaves! Luckily that didn’t last long and I saw some snow on Christmas, though it has all since melted. It’s the beginning of January and there is not a patch of snow on the ground, but rumor has it we are due for some snow.

I wish I had something that was even remotely intriguing to talk about, but I have been enjoying my vacation by staying up to odd hours of the night and waking up whenever I can’t stand sleeping any longer. My sleep schedule is working out nicely now, but in just two short weeks I’m going to have to learn to wake up when it’s actually still the morning. I’m sure it must be possible, right?

I suppose since I haven’t done anything this break worth sharing, I can talk about something college has taught me. This is something that those of you who are shy might be able to relate to. Many people don’t believe me when I tell them this, but I am in fact pretty shy if you were to meet me in person. Yeah, I know it probably doesn’t seem that way since I am experiencing my freshman year more or less in the spotlight. So here’s my advice to incoming students… break out of your shell. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much fun you can have and how many people you will meet in a short time by stepping out of your comfort zone just the slightest bit.

See you soon RWU :)

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Happy Holidays…. almost!

Posted By lindsey on December 19th, 2011

Wednesday, December 14th

Hey RWU (and whoever else is reading this),

I have never in my life studied so long for one exam. Ever. Tomorrow at 8am I have a cumulative statistics final and I have never been so nervous before in my life. My average right now is right on the verge of two letter grades, so I would rather this exam keep it at the higher grade instead of bump it down to the lower. Because of this I have been studying for this class since 11 o’clock this morning, and it is now 10:00pm. Maybe not straight through though…. I took a lunch break and a late night breakfast break :) Oh…and a break to write this blog!

My stats exam is at 8am tomorrow morning, will be done by 10, and then I have my American Legal System exam at 2:00pm. Luckily I have four hours in between exams which will give me plenty of time to study for that one :) . I think I know that subject more though, so I should be okay with only having four hours to study. Or maybe I am just over thinking things and college finals aren’t going to be as scary as I think they are…. but I’m pretty sure they are pretty horrible, or so I’ve heard.

The late night breakfast was absolutely insane. Without a doubt, crazier than Halloween and Thanksgiving. Caitlin, Jenn, Sky and I (friends from Maple 12) thought that getting there at 8:45 would be early enough to beat the rush, but boy were we wrong. Instead, we waited outside of the Commons for 15 minutes (that’s how long the line was) until people were starting to be let in. Best part of the breakfast…. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. My favorite!

The line at Late Night Breakfast...down the stairs, around the corner and down the stairs...

The line at Late Night Breakfast...down the stairs, around the corner and down the stairs...

Overall, I’d consider this semester to be pretty successful :) . I won a Wii, had pretty cool professors, met a bunch of new people and attended a bunch of awesome events! Time to go home to New Hampshire, though… where there is snow!

Happy holidays! See you at the end of January :) I’d say see you in the spring, but let’s be real, it’s New England… winter has just barely started in January!

PS- My first semester as a freshman is over!! How did that happen so fast? And to those of you who have been experiencing my freshman year with me, thank you!!!

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