Fulbrighters in Argentina

Fulbrighters in Argentina

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I don’t know if it’s me or if it’s just my luck with my travels, but I’ve never been to a place that I didn’t like.

Some things I love about traveling:
Sitting in a restaurant eating food unique to the country’s culture, yet listening to American music playing in the background – “Gangster’s Paradise” alongside “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
Not really knowing what I’m eating and enjoying it even more because of it
Having a good excuse to try all kids of foods (mostly unhealthy bus all delicious)
Willingness to accept things as true without really questioning why – for example, what is dulce de leche? I’ve accepted that it’s delicious and some kind of dessert without even knowing what it is.

Since language is something of a passion of mine, I can’t help but mention it here. I’m so grateful for the kindness shown to me while I continue to learn Spanish. No matter how much I stumble through my sentences, no one looks at me with disgust or impatience. I am constantly reminded of the contrast that I’ve witnessed so often in the US. I’ve seen so many Hispanic high school students isolated because of their language barrier. Rather than try to help them, many of their English-only speaking peers choose to simply ignore them.

Outside of school I’ve heard people complain about foreigners’ mispronunciations, strange accents, or lack of basic knowledge of the English language. I wish I could explain why it seems so hard for Americans to embrace diversity of language and culture. One thing I loved when I was teaching in NC was using Spanish examples to explain certain ideas to my students. For example, how some word parts in English have similar meanings to those in Spanish. I want so much for people to recognize the aspects of life and culture that bring people together around the world rather than separate them.

That’s why I’m so excited about teaching English as a second language. I don’t want my students to think I’m teaching English because I think it’s the best language, but rather because I want them to be able to learn something about another culture and make their own decisions about it.

I still have no idea what I’m going to do when I finish in Argentina, but luckily I have lots of time to figure that out ;)

PS - pictures coming soon!

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