The starts of something new!

~ From An Khang (Vietnam) with lots of love! ~

Three new things did happen to us in August 28 which is the fourth day of YSEALI Fall 2015 Program.

New thing No.1 is that we had our very first lectures with guest professors in Native American Center. There are four lectures during the day including U.S Government Structure, Ethics and the Environment, Cross-Cultural Conceptions & Contexts, and American Cultural Values. Each session is presented by one different lecturer. I have at least one thing to remember about for each session.

In "U.S Government Structure" of Dr. Rob Saldin, I am very impressed with Martin Luther King’s "I have a dream" speech that he showed us.

In "Ethics and the Environment" by Dr. Dane Scott, "treat equals equally, treat unequals unequally" is the sentence I love most in his entire talking. It is very meaningful and could be applied to almost every aspect of life.

In "Cross-Cultural Conceptions & Contexts" by Dr. Udo Fluck, his humor kept me (and the others) laugh and awake. He showed us many demonstrations in very funny ways about the fact that lacking of cultural understanding could lead to failed communication in daily life or business.

In "American Cultural Values" by Dr. Tobin Shearer, "In the U.S, calories are cheap, nutrition is expensive" is my favorite quote of him when he talked about Food in American culture.

New thing No.2 is that it was our first time having lunch at the University Center Food Court on that day. To be honest, I prefer Food Court (FC) rather than Food Zoo. The only big reason is that FC offers some dishes with rice! I chose "Thai Sweet Rice with Beef" and absolutely loved it. I wanted to have some more but it was only ten minutes left for lunch so… see you again FC πŸ™‚

New thing No.3 is that our host family picked us up in the afternoon for the homestay in upcoming weekend. Actually, we did have a meet and greet with them on the first day of the program but our host and us just had a little talking on that day. The new thing is that we will actual live in our host family’s house (yay!).

Speaking of my own host family, their names are Kathi and Glenn. Glenn was the one who picked Art, Dhimas and me at backdoor of Food Zoo. He drove us across some streets and corners then stopped at a very nice apartment. Kathi was waiting for us at front door and gave each of us a big hug. After that, they had a house tour for us. The house is not very big but super clean and lovely.

The problem is that there are three of us but they just have two extra rooms. That’s why one fellow had to sleep on the mattress in one room. To decide who is in which room, Glenn made three small notes with numbers on those. Each number represents one room (and one mattress). I am the oldest person in the group so I picked the notes first. The result was that I could sleep on bed (lucky me! :D) and the mattress belonged to Dhimas.

After that, Kathi prepared table for dinner. She showed us a lot of things about how she cooked, stored and set dinner in American style. We had salad, chicken and rhubarb cake for dinner. They were all delicious.

Kathi and her set up πŸ™‚

A super delicious chicken dish

Because of the smoke in Missoula, we did not have an accurate plan for tomorrow. However, I still will go to Vietnamese store with Kathi to buy some ingredients needed to make Vietnamese dishes no matter what happens. I will cook dinner for the whole "family" next day. Please do not expect too much from me haha. I just want to try my best to show my gratitude to Kathi and Glenn for having us in their house πŸ™‚

In conclusion, I just want to say that other new things will keep appearing in upcoming weeks of the program. I am looking forward to experiencing all of them. But for now, I have to spend time thinking of which Vietnamese dishes I should cook for the whole "family" here πŸ˜›

5.30am,

August 29, 2015

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