Well this website is not letting me post any pictures so that stinks. I try again later in the week if I have time but. So i’ve been in Argentina for about 2 weeks and I was actually supposed to leave to start my study abroad program in Chile yesterday but I didn’t. I really like it here… so much better the NYC. The people, the culture and the language. I think there Spanish is so beautiful. And my home stay mom was one of the kindest women I’ve ever meet. The first week I was here I stood in an hostel and meet so many different people from all over the world. It was an amazing experience, I heard study abroad makes people find themselves but I feel like im finding the world. The coolest thing about my hostel was that it had a bar and restaurant attached to it. The hostel gave free entry to locals and residence of the hostel. This one thing has defined my trip. Because of this I made real friends from Argentina… people who leave here, work here and grow up here. I’ve hung out with so many locals because of it. I’ve made very few study abroad friends at my university… (I think Spanglish is really becoming my first language now as well they don’t say college in SA they say university) But I like that I don’t really hang out with those people because now I am constantly surrounded my argentine culture and language. It’s like I really living here. Classes are really small here 2 to 3 students per class so you really get an intimate focus I like it. THINGS I DONT LIKE…. Not to sound so American (SA’s hate when you say your american…. were from the united states) but they walk wayyy to much here. Its about a 30ish minute walk to my school everyday… plus we walk everywhere when were going somewhere. My legs like actually were in pain two days again and I had to chill. I also really not to big on the food here. It’s kind of bland and the dairy is weird. Plus I’m a vegetarian and Argentine’s put meat in everything! It’s almost impossible to eat here… I had a bread and cheese sandwhich the first 3 days I was here. Also Argentine culture is very touchy feely. I am not about that. A lot of these things I could get used to and are no way or how running my trip I did not expect anything to be perfect. I’m really sad I am leaving in a week to Santiago, Chile. Not that I won’t like the country but I do not believe ill be able to make Chilean friends there. I love being imersced in this culture in wish I could stay longer. I told my friends here that in argentina is in the finals of the world cup I will sell a kidney to get back here! The way the country gets about soccer is so crazy but so drawing. At first I was like who cares, but after attending 3 “partidos de futbol” I catch myself interested in the games and wanting to watch them when I can. This experience has been amazing so far and I am so grateful. Thank you to my parents, family and god for allowing this to happen. I will update you soon and hopefully I can add some pictures!
South and Central America
We are in our last week of our study abroad trip with the Jamaica Service- Learning Program! Boy, it has been an eventful 3 weeks thus far!!! We continued to learn a lot about the history of jamaica by visiting many historical places such as the Bob Marley Museum [Bob Marley’s home till he died in 1981], Tuff Gong Studio [Largest Caribbean studio founded by Bob Marley], the National Gallery [public art museum], the Afro – Caribbean Institute of Jamaica and the Jamaica Memory Bank [collects documents and research about Jamaica’s cultural heritage], Emancipation park, and the Gleaner (Newspaper publishing company).
Here are some pictures of the wonderful, interesting, historical adventures of Jamaica!!!
(Emancipation Park-symbol of our Freedom to Hope, to Excel and to Be!)
(JSLP ’14 with Ky-mani Marley at the Bob Marley Cafe)
We have been staying at the University of Mona and everyone has their own rooms with common area to share. The girls are on one level and the guys are on the lower level. We enjoy our own rooms for personal space but at the same time, we all have had at least one or more conversations with the another on this trip within the common area. We have cooked together, went to the supermarket to buy kitchen supplies and ingredients. We have played Uno, card games, dominoes and just laughed, talked while enjoying each others company. This trip has brought many of us closer than before (some more than others) but overall we have been enjoying our time and the company of everyone participating on this trip!!!
The food has been great!! We had the chance to try jerk chicken, curry, seafood, rice and peas, pasta and other regular american foods! I think our favorite thing to eat are riped plantains (it has been apart of every meal lol). Below are two pictures of food from the “streets” and a home made meal being cooked.
(where we got some awesome food – we call it street food)(cooking in our kitchen at UWI- making boiled dumplings with salt fish and beans)
Aside from all the historical adventures we have spent a lot of time at the Alpha Boys Home! We have planned activities for both inside the classroom as well as outdoors for the boys to enjoy their time! In the classroom, we assist the teacher in charge or lead an activity. Outdoors we play all sorts of games with the boys! We definitely enjoy our time here at the Alpha Boys School!
One more week, or just a couple of days and its all over 🙁
How are you guys doing? Hope everything is well on your end.
I am doing great!! so no need to worry. I just ended my second week and I am starting my third week in Jamaica. I have been exploring this great big island of Jamaica with open arms and eyes. The sights are breathtaking and so is the culture. The experiences that I experienced are by far the best that I have ever had because each place and event that I have been to has something new to offer. Fox example, my group and I visited the Bob Marley Museum earlier this week. Although I am a Bob Marley fan, I thought I knew everything to know about the greatest Jamaican artist but I guess I was wrong. While visiting and touring the museum, I learned even more information about who Bod Marley was. Towards the end of the tour we even ran into one of his sons Kymani Marley, who also is a musical mastermind as well.
As the week continued, so did my adventures. We visited Tuff Gong Music studio, here we had a chance to meet where other legendary artist go to create music, Jamaica’s Fine Arts Galleria, Devon House whom was the first Jamaican millionaire, Ocho Rios beach and many more . I have come to learn that within the Jamaican culture music is used for and with everything. It has the ability to heal people, to create a community, to express yourself, to show passion and so much more. I have experienced this while working at the Alpha Boys School each day. Our culture and experiences are indeed different but are similar also. Connecting with the Alpha Boys has been mainly through matching our cultures, music styles and experiences. It just warms my heart to see them so engaged with us.
The food in Jamaica is TO DIE FOR!! It is so deliciously fresh and tasty, literally I just can’t get enough. Since i love spicy food, Jerk chicken is my number one choice everywhere. They grill the chicken on a iron grill and it has the best spices and smells like heaven (or close to what I think heaven might smell lol). I will definitely have to learn how to cook this type of chicken so that I may share it with my family back home.
MY LITTLE FAMILY AT DEVON HOUSE!
At Alpha Boys!
Tuff Gong Studio
Almost two months back home and I’m already losing some of my Spanish! Yikes!
However, I’ve created a list of realistic goals for the next few years, which I think Ecuador had a BIG impact on.
1. ACTUALLY practice Spanish more! You didn’t learn it just to lose it!
2. Visit Australia and Mexico. Projected date: 2016
3. Get a job in the music field.
This summer I’m already working towards these goals. I landed an internship at Webster Hall in NYC so I’ve been staying with my sister in Brooklyn, and I just got hired on the spot for a job at Coney Island! I’m so excited to start this job because it means not being poor anymore! And this internship is great experience under my belt for when I graduate!
I’m so excited to go back to New Paltz in 2 more months as well, because I miss the swing of things over there, and it will be an interesting change after being away from the university for 8 months.
Below are pictures of highlights in my memories. I miss you, Ecuador <3
So through the school I’m going to, the also have a school in Argentina. So I decided to take classes there for a week as well. My mom has been going crazy because I am leaving to go somewhere so far and so long. So she has been freaking out for the past two weeks about packing and preparing. I am really excited but also exhausted from filling out all the paperwork that comes along with study abroad. Honestly feel like I have been doing stuff for this for months…(oh wait I have) But I leave tomorrow and I beyond excited. I am lucky to have a great grandmother who help pack almost everything. Everything is pretty much done now I just need to prepare myself for my 18 hour flight to Buenos Aires. I called my host mom ahead of time to just say hello. She seems really nice and I think she’ll teach me how to be a porténo! I’m also really excited not just about the argentine culture but just being immersed somewhere that speaks Spanish! Peace NY! See you in 2 months!
Greeting again to all my lovely readers!!
Its me again.. Laury!!! (For those that do not know me.. feel free to read my 1st post that has a little bit of info about me)
Sorry for not blogging on Friday, I got sidetracked with all the work and activities that I have embarked on. Promise not to let that happen again. But any whoo how has everyone been?? Hope all is well in the states!!
Okay now that the greetings are all out of the way… Lets cut to the chase. First thing I must say is I LOVE JAMAICA!!! Despite the desert like weather, man-eating mosquitoes and never-ending thirst for water, Jamaica is by far a wonderful and breathtaking place to be. Ever since I landed in Jamaica the sights, the smells and the people are just a sight to behold. Upon our arrival we have been living at Rex Nettle-Ford at the University of the West Indies- Mona campus. Our hall is very cozy and big. The residential living that is here, is very much different from our own New Paltz campus. The residential suites are literally full apartments that have individual rooms to them. The quad in which we live in has a beautiful view of the Blue mountains that surrounds all of Jamaica and the Mona campus. The morning and evening breezes are to die for.I just wish you were here to experience what I am talking about.
Fresh off the plane!We are here!!
So far we have taken a tour of our lovely campus in which we will reside in for a month. I have visited Devon House (which has the best Ice Scream that I have tasted thus far). Then we visited about 4 different local super markets that has been a experience on their own. Riding through the streets of Kingston has been a roller coaster that is both exciting and terrifying all the the same time!! Campus tours Ice Scream for Devon House Cream!!
The locals students that attend UWI have been very helpful in helping my classmates and me get acclimated to the new environment that we are in. Our Professor (Dr. LaTasha Brown) is going an excellent job in keeping our minds and bodies busy. Meeting and visiting new people and places has helped a lot in bridging the two cultures that I encounter. At Alpha Boys (which is the school where most of our daily hours are spent) we tutor and engage the young alpha boys in communal games and team building activities that are really fun!! These young men are a delight to be around and I just can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next 3 weeks. I am soo ready for the adventures that are in store for us!!
Professor Brown!! Campus tour bus!! Stefany and I pinpointing where we come from on the island of Hispaniola. Haiti (left) and Dominican Republic (Right).
Hi, I am Gerlynn and I am a guest blogger on behalf of Prof. Brown! I am one of the students participating in the Service-Learning Program here in Jamaica! I am a graduating Senior with a B.A. in Black Studies. I will be blogging from now on till a few weeks after the trip!!
1st week in Jamaica and what can I say it has been great!!! When we first arrived, boy was it hot!!! The heat was something we were not used to but I was very grateful that we arrived safely. 1st stop – Island Grill!!! Food was amazing!!! We arrived to the University of the West Indies(UWI) and took a small tour– this campus is BIG– we learned so much about the history of UWI and many historical places! This campus was once a plantation!
We visited Port Royal(an extension of Kingston that used to be its own country- Good stuff to look up!!), Devon’s House(1st Black Male billionaire’s home – awesome patties!!),
and finally experienced the Coronation Market ( very crowded and inexpensive mangos, plantains, spices and much more – people from the country selling goods).
This is after the Coronation Market by the harbour in Downtown Kingston! We were enjoying the view, the breeze and each others company!!
See you again in a week or two!!
We’ve been enjoying tropical Jamaica! Join us! Go #newpaltzabroad!
Second Week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I have started to get used to my regular week schedule. Last Sunday, I went to a hippie fair in Ipanema, apparently it takes place every Sunday and they sell things like: paintings, clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc. It is a nice place to buy souvenir at a bargained prices. Later during the week I got sick: since its their winter, it was rainy, wet and cold, I including several other people in the group got sick and we spend two days in bed and visiting the doctor. Later on we went to Botafogo, one of the site visits for our class, it was fun and interesting. Fun because we got a tour of the club, the places they practice and the arena they practice in; plus, we got a presentation on the marketing they do and it was quite interesting. Apart from that we as a class have been learning Portuguese in PUC and it is nice because we get to or at least try to have a conversation with the locals here. This class has really encouraged us to start conversing in Portuguese even if it is a sentence or two. I have also been meeting many new people here and have gotten use to this area now. I feel comfortable walking around this area alone and anyone new who comes to the hostel here, I can easily introduce them around the area. Together as a group we have also started to pool in money to buy food and cook for each other. These family dinners (as I like to call them) are a lot of fun, it bonds us all and it also saves us a lot of money, in terms of food. So far I have adjusted to the area here and found my comfort here. Was sick due to the weather but now I am recovering and am ready now to explore Rio de Janeiro further.
It seems as though every time I begin preparing for my trip, I ask myself…
Am I really dreaming? Is this for real? Studying Aboard? It can’t be. It must be because I STILL can’t believe that I Laury Veudna, am going to study aboard for a whole month in Jamaica. Never in my wildest dreams, I thought that I would actually be brave enough to apply to any of the study aboard programs that I saw at New Paltz. Growing up with two immigrant parents with nothing much to offer but their love and support, was all that I have ever cherished. But as of Spring 2014, all that has changed because I finally realize that I can cherish much more.
This month and week alone has been my most busiest and successful times in life because I have been preparing for finals, graduation, and preparing to leave for Jamaica. Literally, I feel like I am a chicken that has its head cut off because I’m running around doing last minute unpacking and packing, shopping, meets and greets and saying my last farewells to my friends and family all at once. I know what you may be thinking “Laury you are only going to be away for a month”, yet I still cant help but feel that I’m going to be away for more than the time given (credit goes to the enormous amount of clothes that I want to bring).
Overall, I am just so blessed, stoked and nervous about this once in a life time opportunity. Throughout these last two week, I have had my share of tears and smiles with my friends that I have graduated with or left behind at New Paltz. Each of them are excited that I am partaking in such a wonderful experience. The best thing which I wish I could pack is my family. They have been supporting me throughout this whole process thus far and is continuing to support me. Regardless if they are hundreds to thousands of miles away, I am just so thrilled to know that they are the ones that inspired me to be who I am today, and that upon my arrival back to the states they are the ones that will be waiting for me with open arms.
Hahaha even my cat (Tigger) doesn’t want to let me go!!
The expectations I have before leaving this Sunday (June 1) isn’t the same expectations I had two weeks ago (ex. everyone will get along, sightseeing, learning new things etc.) I say this because personally I don’t want to get overly excited about something and the expectation levels aren’t what I wanted it to be. I know that as the days approach my mind and heart will probably cave in and dream of all the possibilities. One major expectation that I WILL follow is to immerse myself into the Jamaica culture and allow the Jamaican culture to teach me new things that I have yet to learn. I guess all I have left to say is… JAMAICA HERE I COME!!!
Books: Knowledge is POWER!!