Tamia traveled to South America and lived in Guayaquil, Ecuador for two months. While studying Spanish and Ecuadorian Culture and Society she also worked closely with the community’s free clinic, "Instituto Superior Technologico Bolivariano." While in class she studied the rich history of Ecuador and the origins of their music, style, traditions, languages and more. Being fortunate enough to participate in an internship Tamia was able to work hands-on with Doctora Ron and her colleagues in the clinical setting, putting her Spanish skills to work and helping the community in the free clinic. Her global exploration took her to Quito the capital city, where she hiked to an active volcano and stood on both earth's hemispheres and then to the Presidential Palace. Then to Cuenca the nations third largest city to visit "Ruinas de Ingapirca," the largest remaining site of the Incas ruins, where Tamia was able to stand in the ancient Sun Temple. Tamia then traveled to the rainforest to Banos, Ecuador a city known for its extreme sports, where she enjoyed white water rafting zip lining, and visiting the famous "La Casa del Arbol" known for its swing "overlooking the end of the world." Tamia most of all enjoyed spending time with her host family, where she was able practice her Spanish and teach some English to her "little brother," Maximiliano. After some time in Ecuador Tamia was able to greet, bargain, and hold conversations with the locals. Living in the more urban area of Ecuador, Guayaquil, she observed the new direction Ecuador is heading into and many different social and economic backgrounds. By the end of her time abroad Tamia made new friends from different universities and Ecuador, and she has improved her skills in the Spanish language. She accredits this amazing opportunity to the Vira I. Heinz leadership program for not only making this experience financially possible but making her a confident first time world traveler.
CEE Title: "Aliens at Home: How race dictates how you are treated U.S.vs. Abroad"
Destiny, Star, and I titled our CEE aliens at home: how race dictates how we are treated US versus abroad. It consisted of a presentation while taking short breaks for audience interaction. The first discussion topic was awareness. We all took turns talking about the culture, religion, language, race and politics of our respective countries and explained why we decided to study or intern there. For Ecuador we discussed the high percentage of people who practice Roman Catholocism and discussed how the language barrier of Spanish and English hindered us and helped us. We discussed the differences in politics since around the time we arrived we had just missed the election. We also explained The differences in culture from America. When Star spoke about Kenya she mentioned the most common language being Swahili, currency; which is shillings, and the most practice religion being Christianity and Muslim and the culture she discussed was Masai. The next topic of discussion moved into toleration and exceptance, where we discussed how sometimes people will not always be comfortable with you being different from what they are used to. Especially the difference is we cannot control such as race. This discussion then moved into each of us speaking on personal scenarios that we experienced while interacting with the communities we visited abroad; whether it be in markets stores or exploring in the streets. Star spoke on how being in Kenya she felt more at home and excepted by the locals around her and in contrast to when she would shop in America she was given more special privileges than her white counterparts. In contrast to Star's experience Destinee and I had a hard time feeling comfortable while shopping in department stores with being in constant scrutinization. Much like shopping in the United States we noticed we were often followed by security or workers of a store or market and even the banks. This type of treatment really affected how we decided to spend most of our time abroad. After the compare and contrast of our individual experiences in Kenya and Ecuador we then open the floor up for the audience feedback and an open discussion began about how what happened to us global he is also a local experience. To close out our presentation we then explained the benefits of researching the countries you may want to visit study abroad in or intern at to get a feel of its language, culture, religion, race, and politics; to use that as a guide for what you want your international experience to look like. At the end we all spoke on how the Vira I. Heinz leadership program affected us and our time abroad and us returning to the United States.