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Posts Tagged ‘ homestay ’

The first few days…

I have spent a total of three days here in the beautiful city of Brussels, and it honestly still hasn’t sunken in that I will be here for four and a half months! Incroyable!  I was paranoid and arrived a day early, which was the best thing I could’ve done. The hostel I stayed in was nice, and I was able to walk around a little and run some errands before crashing and sleeping off the jet lag. The next day, I was well-rested and ready to  go. One of […]

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We Will We Will Iraqw You

10/9/15 Iraqw Culture One of the lessons I’ve learned during my time in Tanzania is the major opportunity provided by language. I can think of no greater way to traverse boundaries and connect people, enabling one to access a bounty of wisdom that can only be shared through widespread communication. That being said, I have been struggling with Swahili for over a month now, watching the portal to infinite Tanzanian knowledge denied to me. The staff at SFS are terrific and selfless, and I want to know as much as […]

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Finally in London!

Hello All! I am FINALLY in London! A trip that I have been planning for the past two years through my capstone at UMR and let me tell you the work was completely worth it! I decided to live in a homestay for the semester which only 5 students in about 400 chose to do. It was a difficult decision, but I knew that I wanted a British perspective that only a true Londoner could give me! It ended up being a great decision and I was very lucky with […]

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Katherine: Bghreet (“I want”)

Means “I want.” Also, like some kind of conspiracy, the most difficult word I have ever tried to pronounce. Bghreet the used collected poems of Boris Pasternak, for sale in the ALIF bookstore. The bookstore carries an eclectic mix of books: books on Morocco and the Maghrib, of course, but also books about America and English-language classics, often for steeply discounted prices. In fact, the bookstore operates at a loss because it tries to provide English-language books to its many Moroccan students– an effort I wish one could see at, say, […]

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Katherine: Shbet

Means “I’m full,” and it is definitely a useful expression. Moroccans, or at least my host family, have a talent for bringing mounds of delicious meat, bread, and vegetables, then encouraging you to eat as you protest “shbet.” Then, Omar, my host father, brings out a huge bowl of grapes, a big yellow melon, and three of the best white peaches on planet earth. “Shbet” no longer. All this while I trade funny faces with my little host brothers, Abdullah (4) and Mohammed (2), who are absolutely the cutest children […]

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Alexa: Orientation and Classes

Yesterday was my first full day in Chile and also the orientation for my program. Matias and I walked to the metro station together so that I knew how to get there and how to use it. Since he and I go to the same school, we rode all the way together which was much easier than going alone. The metro ride (once you get out from underground) is really beautiful. It passes right alongside the ocean and you can see the coast of Valparaiso in front of you- so […]

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Grace: Big, happy family

On Wednesday we finally got to learn who our host family is, and yesterday we met them and spent our first day in their homes! My host family has a mother and a father, Reem and Ali, two sons, Aymad and Bashar, with a third son working in the US, and a daughter who will be in town soon, Tamara. My host family speaks English well. That has made the transition to their home so much easier. Nonetheless, it also means I have to be very assertive about speaking only […]

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Alexa: Arrival in Chile

Well, I was definitely not excited yesterday afternoon. Once I got to the Atlanta airport things started getting a little better. I ended up meeting one of the people from my program, Jackson, at our gate and it was nice to see a “familiar” face (we’ve been facebook friends for a week or two). After we boarded I heard two guys in front of me talking and we realized that we were all studying at the same university, so my class of 4 students doesn’t mean I won’t meet other […]

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Kelsey: Shikamoo

This weekend was my first weekend with the family. It was interesting to say the least. Friday night we were exhausted so we just played with the boys and had dinner. They eat dinner a lot later here. Normal time for dinner is around 8:30 PM. Lunch is normally around 1 PM and breakfast is around 8 AM. There is never any snacking in between meals. I think I am finally used to the eating schedule, although at first I was ALWAYS hungry. The food is really good but I […]

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Kelsey: Habari

Today we visited St. Thomas Health Center in Arusha town. It is a private health center so it is a little bit nicer than public health centers. There is no insurance in Tanzania, so for health you just pay after you receive a service. The center that we were at specialized in gynecology. We got a tour of the center and than observed some some nurses giving vaccines to newborns and some laboratory work.The owner of this health center, Dr. Msuya is our instructor for the medicine portion of our […]

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Kelsey: Mambo!

Yesterday (Wednesday) our group went to Arusha National Park. It was a lot of fun but the roads were very very bumpy. We were gone all day. We saw many animals—zebras, giraffes, cape buffalo, baboon, columbus monkeys, water bucks, water buffalo, warthog, dig-digs, flamingos, and bush bucks. We did not see any lions or elephants on this trip but we will when we go to the Serengeti. Our driver was very knowledgeable about the area as he use to be a tour guide. When we returned from the National Park […]

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Christine: Pétanque, Moustiquaire & le Car Rapide

I just arrived in Senegal and things are going great. Thankfully, I am remembering enough of my French to navigate life here so far, and I’m sure it will only improve with practice. My host family is wonderful, and this morning I played “cache-cache” (hide and seek) and “un, deux, trois, soleil” (like red-light green-light) with some of the children. Here is a photo of men playing pétanque (similar to what you may know of as bocce ball) across the street from my host family’s home. They were at it […]

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Christine: Summer in Senegal!

This summer I am spending ten weeks Senegal, a small country in West Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. After a two week homestay, I will be doing a project for USAID/Senegal with three other students in my Master of Development Practice program. We will be working with USAID/Senegal’s Local Capacity Development Team to assess the capabilities of local capacity builders. What is capacity building? Generally speaking, “organizational capacity” refers to an organization’s ability to do what it sets out to do effectively and efficiently. “Capacity building” is a process aimed at strengthening an […]

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Erin: Countdown begins

I can’t believe it’s less than 24 hours and I will be on a plane to Amsterdam. After a four hour layover in Amsterdam I will be on my way to Tanzania. People keep asking me if I am nervous about going, but to be honest I don’t even know what to expect. I’ve never even left the country, so I can’t imagine what it will be like to live in Tanzania. Thankfully I’ve gotten a lot of help from my coworkers that have either lived in or traveled to […]

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Caitlin: on Laughter

Well, I can’t say the past two weeks in Fatick have been easy, but I’m actually starting to feel at home here, believe it or not.  Sophie and I went to Dakar for Easter as planned. On a trop trop trop mangé l’ngalax (the delicious concoction of peanut butter and baobab juice served with sweet cous cous). Like, seriously, we abused the ngalax. But it was so good! Getting out of the car in Dakar I felt incredibly light–life in Fatick had seemed a bit difficult before I left. It was like […]

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