Notes from Abroad
Students studying abroad through the Padnos International Center blog about their experiences for the Grand Valley Lanthorn.
A prequel to reverse culture shock
I’ve become more appreciative of certain things, and more critical of others.
The brass band could be heard a mile off, they played with the power of Dizzy Gillespie. Maybe louder. The mariachi influenced band started the parade at 5:00pm and led the party for over one hour until it finally reached the funeral.
The land of Marhaba
As I handed over my ticket, confused, they could barely hold in their laughter over my distressed state. This is Moroccan Time, I remembered, laughing and taking a seat. I was still running on American.
Since my last blog, our group has been very busy.
The unknown story of Costa Rica
The longer that I am here, the more clear it has become that Costa Rica always has two stories. One story is the story that the majority of travelers know: the beautiful tropical country full of natural wonders and national parks, whose government is working hard to protect all of its resources. That story is often true, and is as beautiful as it sounds. But there is another story which is becoming more and more real and frustrating to me.
I met Adil and his 4-year-old son Taha walking what seemed like miles across London Heathrow airport. It felt good to stretch your legs after an eight-hour flight from Chicago, and Taha felt like running. Adil striding to keep up with him, the two of them passed me on the left like a car swerving in and out of traffic.
Adventures in a Ghanian street market
Sure, back at home I thought I had been to a street sale. Those events when the streets shut down and retailers reduce prices from very overpriced to slightly overpriced. This was different.
Living a 'pura vida' in Costa Rica
Pura vida translates to pure life, and is used commonly as a greeting, to thank someone, to say goodbye, and in any other positive context. To the Costa Ricans it means living lightly; enjoying the moment, not rushing through your day, and being happy.
First impressions of Taipei
We have been in Taipei, Taiwan for a little over two weeks now. Living here is completely different from my life back home with my husband. It is all very strange and exciting too.
Aunt Mary was a large woman. She was the biggest Ghanaian I had seen and truly dwarfed the sewing machine that she sat behind. I approached and greeted her and the other women with my best Fante (the local dialect): “Memoachee.”