Other / travel
My Summer in New Zealand [Part 1(Non Sports) of 2]
-An End-Term Summer Presentation poster created by me and two other prospective students from New York who travelled to New Zealand on different terms than I and were placed in separate exchange groups. Tourists and Maori Encounters My 2010 summer spent on the other side of the world helped made me become more politically and socially enlightened. I was 15 when I won an essay writing scholarship (along with 7 other winners) to participate in a summer enrichment program of my choice; I chose to go to New Zealand. Based on my encounters there with the Maori, an indigenous group in New Zealand, I realized how much a politically poor economy and disparity among social environments (in many places) barred a heavy influence on the every-day outlooks of Kiwi and other inhabiting cultures. Shortly after some tourist time spent in Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, I traveled to an all male Maori boarding school in Fielding, NZ, and got hounded with all kinds of attention - the kinds in which I felt was received more by me than the other 12 exchange students that had accompanied me. I felt honored in a way because for many, I was the first African American or 'black' kid they had ever seen in person and judging from the boys comments and questions all they ever heard about black folk was that we played basketball, listened to rap music, ate fried chicken, and aspired to lifestyles of hoodlums and 'gangsters.' The first boy who approached me asked if I listened to rappers like Tupac and Biggie and who was my favorite? I slightly nodded and gave him a smile; I answered, "Tupac" (whether or not I still feel the same about this answer today is debatable). Despite a sheer, but innocent display of ignorance, and yet, immediate acceptance from the boys, I rejoiced over knowing that the Maori students were still very similar to me, even if they didn’t know it themselves. *Unfortunately, I was unable to recover photos from the all male- Maori boarding school. New Zealand Host Family Stay At one point during my trip, my exchange group and I separated and were dispersed among 13 different local families who (most) were eager to adopt us into their home as one of their own for 14 days (which was also part of what I signed up for). My host family in particular made no trouble in making me feel at home and had rolled out the red carpet by taking me to the local pizza restaurant at the town's square (Fielding, NZ) to break the ice. Being the only black student from my exchange group I speculated that accommodations were made to place me with a family that had already adopted a black child from the states at birth; regardless, over my short stay with them I became fond of the Roberts' family and had grew very closely to my host mom, who passed away only last year. Though communications between the Roberts family and I have waned over the last 8 years I will never forget how comfortable and accepted they made me feel, nor the indelible impressions they made on my life in such a short period of time. It was extremely painful saying goodbye as I boarded the bus to Wellington to meet back up with my exchange group. As strong as my host mother, Lauren, was, she couldn't hold back the tears that began rolling down her face as I departed. I caught one last glimpse of my host mother and sister's faces before my bus took off. I thought to myself, what a beautiful sight, but, bittersweet time to begin reflecting on a chapter that I wasn't ready to close. I held back, at least until the bus was well out of sight , only to begin shedding tears of sorrow and joy myself. It was then I made a promise to myself that I would return just as they had promised to come and visit New York to see me. Needless to say, neither side has yet to fulfill either promise but I hold no disdain toward them , only feelings of joy and gratitude whenever I think of them. Life with my host family from New Zealand was nothing like what I expected and by far one of my greatest experiences ever. Part 2: Overall, my adventure in New Zealand left me with many memories to cherish... Stay tuned for Part 2... *More pics *More outdoors/sports content. *More Information/stories... I hope you enjoyed part one.
Travelling and Camping in Turkey by Hitchhiking.
Me and my friend went to camping by hitchhiking from Ankara (The capital city) to Burdur, Lake Salda. I give brief information about Lake Salda: Lake Salda known as Maldives of Turkey. It's in Yeşilova Town and 4 km from the town. It's has really amazing view. You can see all different shades of blue. It's second deepest lake in Turkey and also the cleanest 5th lake in the World. The lake is about 200m deep. The nearest residential is 100 m away from the lake coast. This prevents unique view at night. You can see entire stars easly. So, where were we? Yes, we started to hitchhike. The first man who picked us was a cook. There is a man next to him and while we introduce ourselves he said that he was a police officer. As you understand we travelled safely about 45-50 km lol. We chatted with them very well. They asked us about medicine becouse we told them we are medical students in Gazi University. After we reached Burdur city center we got in a bus becouse it's 9 o'clock. The bus took us to near Yeşilova Town. Burak (my friend) said that we should took a taxi. But I said that we took our chance. After 40 50 min. a family picked us and took us to the lake. While we stay there we learned that there will be a meteor shower. This is so rare like once in 96 years. So, we were lucky. People come to Lake Salda to watch the meteors. We watched the meteors at the coast. With all those stars plus meteors plus people who singing together around a camping fire ... THAT WAS AMAZING!! We made friends and talked to them. That was so nice. I did not want to leave there. After four days we left from Lake Salda and started hitchhiking again. The next stop was Muğla. Actually hitchhiking made me happy. That was so nice to know people and share them your tea,food,time... I was thankful for that. In the road, when we waiting 2 girls picked us. I was shocked! In Turkey this is so so so rare. By the way girls are very beautiful and European. We travelled with them 45 km and left. We reached Muğla but we are exhausted and we decided to go back to Ankara. So, guys that was a short story of my first hitchhiking journey. I did it and there was no danger but flies :) If you want to learn more about Lake Salda here is link: antalyacentral.com/places-to-go/lake-salda