Today is the first day I have met the participants awake. We received binders and material from the State Department, and had time to explore the campus. It is remarkably hot at GMU, so I’m glad we have water bottles by our side, even though the campus water tastes a bit weird. I expected to find a cafeteria that has fluorescent lights, minimal tables and a long line of people carrying food trays, but Southside has exceeded my expectations. It looks really nice inside, but I have to admit, I might gain a few pounds eating the food there.
We broke into country groups today, where I met the other Americans. There are two other students from California, and even though we’re from the same state, I seem to be oblivious to much of the culture of Southern California. Actually, I am an anomaly. Maybe I have been living in Plato’s Cave for too long, or haven’t watched enough TV.
Responding to Joe I said: Wait, “ice” means jewelry?
After it all, every country group presented their national holidays. The Americans did well I thought, showing a funny skit about Valentine’s Day and Halloween.
-I’m going to be a Native American for Halloween!
-Wait Anil, I thought you were already an Indian!
The jokes are funnier when performed than written out, especially since a person sees the context behind the lines. I think everyone did a great job, and we broke out dancing to cultural music after several performances. The exercise had me ready for dinner at Ike’s, this small outlet near the place we picked up our room keys. Afterward, we met Brittney the final American for this program! I really enjoyed the first day. I have a feeling that I’m going to love this program.
Image Source: Tamar
With much love, Kathy P.