Tuesday, April 5, 2011

After a bit of reflection:

I have been back for a few days now and have been able to sort through some of the information, ideas, and inspiration I was exposed to. After reflecting for just a bit, I have come up wiht a few ideas, thoughts, and questions. - What are we/am I going to do with my knowledge gained at Wake Forest. "Education isn't about what you know, education is about what you do." - Students have just as much to offer their professors as the professors do to their students. Who can and can't we learn from? We can learn from everyone! - Perhaps a room on campus should be run by totally renewable energy. - Should there be peace education in the classroom? - Does the English language have a culture? - A tip for success: you have ot be willing to say yes often but no occasionally.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 4: Last and Final Day

Day 4 was kind of an add on to the conference. The morning was free until 2pm. In the morning I was able to visit the Gold Souk, several metro stops away. Basically it was a little section of town where there is more gold than anyone can imagine. They were selling it left and right. It was quite intense. A couple of us wandered through there a bit. I bought this really cool beaded shoes made from camel. Didn't quite have the means to by any gold jewelry. We made our way back to the hotel where we got on the buses for a tour of Abu Dhabi. The tour basically included visiting one of the biggest mosques in the world. They dressed us appropriately, we took off our shoes, and visited the male and female prayer rooms. It was quite interesting visiting the mosque, I have never been to one. We got a personal tour of it including some background information and what they are using it for today. Everyone comes twice a year to pray, it can hold 22,000 people. They also hold educational sessions for children. After that we made our way back to the Emirates Palace, we are quite the regulars haha. At the palace, there was a charity event going on called Small World. It featured 29 different countries in which everyone had their own booth with information on their country and traditional food. I can proudly say I visited each booth and tasted all 29 different countries foods. The US was represented with a lemonade stand and brownies and homemade chocolate chip cookies haha. The embassy asked people living in Abu Dhabi to come represent their country. It was quite interesting and awesome because the people were actually from their country. Some big names were invited and if it hadn't been for my exhaustion I would have had my game face on trying to network...however I had no clue who these people were. There was also a nice show with each country doing their specific dance. We only saw a few of them as we had to leave to go back to Dubai. The palace once again featured fireworks of gigantic proportions as well as an amazing light show. They really do go all out. The Sheikh was once again present. This wonderful world cultural event served as a nice and appropriate ending to a fantastic journey I have had in Dubai. It is not over however, today I shall be attending a desert safari. My last blog shall be about this adventure. Stay tuned.

Day 3

Day 3 was filled with workshops we signed up for. I signed up for social outreach and the healthcare workshop. The day started off though with a couple more speakers. Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence president of Raytheon Missile Systems spoke to us about his company an gave us some inspiring words as well. The are the largest missile company in the world however are working on an actual iron man suit that could potential be used by the military or in certain work forces. After him Magnus MacFarlane Barrow from Scotland spoke to us about his organization he created called Mary's Meals which is feeding primary school students all over the world food at school so they will go and stay in school and keep them out of poverty. After him a 13 year old spoke to us named Adora from the U.S. She is amazing! She has published two books and has soo much to say. She spoke to us about how much young people have to offer..she was so right and so intelligent if it wasn't for the box she was standing on to reach the podium I would have forgotten a 13 year old was speaking to us. They gave out awards for the top papers in each category after that. No I did not win but that was to be expected, there were so many awesome papers being presented! The presenters did however, all receive free laptops. So now I have another nice Thinkpad, a little nicer than the ones Wake gives us so after its programmed two year life span I shall use this free one I got. The workshops we attended were really neat, we had two speakers at each and then plenty of time for a question and answer session. The first workshop, Social Outreach was put on by Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council who spoke to us about the difference between communication and conversation. How do we really understand culturally what people mean by a set of words? Next Helen Stacy, a lawyer and senior Fellow at Stanford University spoke to us about her passions and practices reaching out to people who are affected by human trafficking, drug trafficking etc. She also is proposing an idea that I personally love which is to implement human rights into the education curriculum. The healthcare workshop was put on by Antonio Rendas, dean of the medical school in Portugal and Dr. Scott D. Stern of Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago. They gave us tips for leadership and also some solutions to the problems in medical education. A very interesting day. The afternoon we had free so I was able to take a breather and then head to the street festival at the Dubai Marina. It was interesting to see all the different kinds of food they were serving. I feel like Dubai has a mixture of different cultural foods. It does have its traditional middle eastern food but incorporates food from around the world very regularly. At the festival it was cool to just people watch. Literally every single person was speaking a different language but they all seemed to come together to watch the UAE and Pakistan soccer match. Soccer always unites the world haha. It was a fun evening out enabling me to see more of Dubai and more of the culutre and I was able to get a bit more sleep that night.