As I walk around Downtown it’s hard to process where in the world I am and how far away from home. Everything looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels different. Except, last Friday night my international family and I were out for dinner and it was so cold and dark it almost felt like England on a winter’s night. That feeling was soon put to rest when a monster truck when hurtling by with tires the size of me.
Whilst I experienced a lot of what America has to offer when I was travelling, here is a whole different ball game. I’m part of a community. A local called Global Connections, (not a part of my university) have been so warm and friendly to us international students. On the first welcome evening they were described as a parachute ready to stop you from hitting the ground. And that is so true. They gave us gift bags with essentials we might need such as shampoo, shower gel, deodorant and even flip flops and prepaid international calling card. I’m so grateful for the kindness they’ve shown towards us.
A few weeks ago they even hosted a barn dance which was an amazing way for international students to experience mid-western American culture. We tried line dancing, square dancing, ate smore’s, took a boat ride on the mini lake and even had a tractor ride through some corn fields. It was definitely a “we’re not in
Kansas England anymore” kind of moment. At one point I heard a girl say “I’ve only ever seen smore’s in movies!”. Me too. That evening I felt so lucky to be over here experiencing this with from people of all backgrounds and nationalities who speak so many different languages. You couldn’t dream about or wish for this, it just happens.
Even just by listening to conversations as I walk around (creeper) I feel like I learn so much. This last weekend I went to an international festival hosted by a local mosque. The lady showing us around gave us a real insight into the religion of Islam and dispelled some of the myths we hear about in the news. I got to try food from several countries, which by the way Brazil you do food well. Like, you are good at food. I had the most amazing chicken and vegetable parcel that was deep fried. As well as a caramel dessert that was out of this world. I need to find the recipes!
Next week looks set to be stressful with multiple quizzes, exams and deadlines. But I made it this far and I can definitely do this.