I had a conversation in class a few days ago with some people on the topic of the Iraq War. It was me, two other Americans, one Canadian, one German, and a guy born in Israel but moved to New Jersey four years ago. We all were talking about how we didn’t realize what happend on 9/11 because we were so young. I said I still do not know as much about it as I should. What I do know has been straight from news articles. I haven’t researched on my own much at all. The news conglomerates own the information they give out so they can change it as much as they want to give the readers and viewers what they want on the network. Anyways, the girl from Canada said the same and another American agreed with me. We grew up with it so it was normal for us. Then the guy who was from Israel spoke. He said, “When I was in fifth grade, for over a month, I had to wear a gas mask at all times. When we were in school, we wore them like a necklace. It was because of the threats from Saddam Hussein of attacking us with nerve gas. We lived in fear of hearing the siren that meant the gas was coming. You know how all houses have a living room, dining room, and a kitchen? Well no house in Israel is built without a shelter room. We never knew if or when we would be attacked. They taught us in school in sit under the desks. My dad always told me never to do that; go sit under the entrance of the classroom. The doorframe is the most structured part of a room. So that is what I always planned on doing. And I know a lot of Americans do not like George Bush because he declared the war on Iraq. Do they know American soldiers were already in Afghanistan? The US didn’t have a good relationship with the Middle East anyways. People say it isn’t worth the fight because so many people died and I agree. You can’t tell the family of any of the soliders who died that the war was worth it but it was to us. It was to me. He saved our country. Israel. He saved me. That man is my hero.”
Get out of your comfort zone. Go away for a month. If you are expected to do something that you don’t want to do, don’t do it. Ask people from different areas their view on events. Something being abroad this semester has taught me is that not everyone has the same take on life. And thank goodness. Sometimes in class we talk about how different areas in the US have different opinions. Since I am the only one from the South, I talk about the general take people have on current topics. Sometimes it hits me how crazy things sound. Like I only understand how absurd the ideology is after I say it out loud sometimes. Or that it is different in other places and makes much more sense. So glad I have had this opportunity of studying abroad. To get out a experience a new way of life and meet other people has been exhilarating for me. I recommend it to everyone who has the opportunity.
In other news, I have been very bust this past month. I went to Italy for spring break. I went to Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Venice. It was so much fun. I saw so many things. I also went to Croatia for four days. We laid on the beach in Split for a day, went island hopping, and visited the Krka Waterfall National Park. It was my favorite. I have six days left in Prague. It’s hard to believe it has gone by already. This is our finals weeks. I have already taken my finance exam, and passed the class), and I have three more. This week is flying by. Though I’m ready to sit outside drinking my sweet tea and do nothing, I will miss Prague. It has taught me so much about myself, my appreciation for Southern upbringing, views from other cultures, and what I want for my life. It’s going to be missed greatly.