Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

I Love People!!!

School is on its way and I am already halfway through my money. This is not good considering there is still ¾ of my semester abroad left to go. Luckily, this week was great because it meant I would be getting a nice $400 check from the program to cover the utilities of my flat. The check overcompensates us, well I shouldn’t say that before winter and heating gets here. Another special thing about this week was that there would be my first University assessment (Boooo) and on Saturday (:/)!

So, after continually telling myself to review I ended up performing a crammathon  on Thursday-Friday. I did have a wonderful break at a Wildlife sanctuary with the program on Friday. Also, I began what would be the best adventure of New Zealand thus far when I purchased a flight ticket from Auckland to Christchurch (North to South Island). The intentionally unplanned trip was relying on hitchhiking, a tramping pack, and some contacts as its only struts. However, Cathy, my partner in adventure for the trip, said that there needed to be a flight there or back to make sure we made it back. So, we made the decision to make it Mission Auckland and try to get to Auckland in time to catch the flight back down to Christchurch (4hours (Car) from Uni in Dunedin).  That was another exciting break for Friday before the stress inducing terms test for my Human Body Systems class.
Finally Saturday came, and I, feeling somewhat prepared, just wanted to be done at this point. I go over a bunch but there was a lot of information. I really didn’t know what would be included in these 25 questions for over 15 lectures worth of information. Furthermore, I had an interesting testing experience. It felt like I was part of a manufacturing process with the structure and efficient process of testing the 1500 HUBS students.

Showtime, the green test is in my hands. I am calming myself down and making sure to color in the right bubbles on my orange sheet. As I look at the first question I am asking myself “Is this a joke?” It was not. The questions were either very easy or I had prepared more than was necessary. I got through the test pretty well and felt good as I left and began my exciting day with a journey to the market.

Also, I almost forgot earlier that week, I had been in contact many people for summer plans and finally got on the phone with a researcher at Weill Cornell Medical in New York. After speaking to her briefly about myself and what I was looking for, she gave me excellent advice and compliments about my genuine interest that only made me blush with embarrassment. This was an important push for me as I was beginning to become discouraged with the lack of an internship for the summer. Anyway back to Saturday:

After a couple indecisive turns I found myself at the Farmer’s Market. Well that is after I bought a couple 4 colored pens. The first time considering it was one of the first weekends I stayed back in Dunedin for the weekend. The Farmer’s market would prove to make my day and week.

There I saw a bunch of friends who happened to be staying back in Dunedin. I also had a great experience buying some pork from Havoc Pork. There was some banter between myself, Matt, and the owner of the business over some Crumbed Sausages. He said he didn’t know why they were there and did not recommend me buying them. Taking his advice, I told him to put some other pork patties on the side for me.

After taking some time away from his tent, I saw a Lebanese flag and food at a tent. Intrigued, I said I have to go talk to this woman and tell her I am Lebanese. I went over and embarrassingly tried to explain that I just wanted to speak Arabic with her and buy some food. After talking for a bit, she asked me about my family, where in Lebanon we were from, what I was doing down here, and gave me the food I was trying to buy. She also said that her husband teaches at Otago Uni and spoke of her sons who attend the Uni. I took down her email saying I would definitely email her. Walking back to the Havoc Pork tent munching on my Borak, I smiled to myself about the awesome experience and kindness of Afife. Little did I know, I was about to be treated with even more kindness.
Catching up with the Havoc Pork guy, I said I would grab the pork patties for $5. He said “sweet and here grab another pack”. Politely rejecting the 2for1 deal he was being kind enough to offer me, I really did want it. Bantering a bit more and telling the cashier about who I was where my accent was from and things. The nice guy that he was grabbed the crumbed sausages and threw it in the bag. This was now too far. He was giving me $10 of free meat (a precious commodity for a pour uni student such as myself) for buying $5 worth. He insisted and I finally accepted. But his kindness struck a chord.

Oddly enough the next day I went to the stadium to buy some cleats from another local small business dude and saw both Afife and the Havoc Pork guy there. I had not emailed her yet and she pushed me to do it. Also, I bought some nice steaks from the Havoc Pork guy and he once again threw in a sweet savory pie ($7) for free. I was just having the best of luck and really enjoying meeting all the wonderful people. Also, I saw the rotaract group and took down a number for the meeting. This was important because it meant I would get a ride to the meeting the next day and meet Ivan who may possibly change my future plans with information on a global grant through Rotary. Furthermore, I have yet to meet Mr. Black who know a bit more about a program in Thailand doing humanitarian medicine! Well I have gone on enough about my great meetings with people and if you have gotten this far thanks for reading!

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