Madison Washinton

International Experience Country:
Dominican Republic
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Lincoln University

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
International Experience Summary:

Madison Washington was able to travel to the Dominican Republic for four weeks. While in the Dominican Republic, she took a Spanish Language course. During those four weeks she made an effort to use Spanish as much as possible, i.e. while shopping, during leisure time, and with her host family and friends. Madison has an interest in the African diaspora, so while in the country she was able to observe and analyze the daily experiences of some Dominicans of African descent. To further her understanding of the country as a whole, she visited the Centro Leon museum, which displayed exhibits of meaningful Dominican art and artifacts, along with another local museum displaying some of the country's war history. During her free time, she explored the city with friends, trying the local cuisine and taking many pictures, and went to four of the nearby beaches. Through her study abroad experience, Madison was able to immerse herself into Dominican culture and language and was able to make lifelong memories and relationships.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Water Wasted

Lincoln University’s Vira I. Heinz Program 2016 cohorts presented their Community Engagement Experience (CEE) titled ‘Water Wasted’ on Thursday, January 19, 2017 in the Student Union Building Multipurpose room. This CEE focused on water depravation and contamination here in the United States and abroad. The three cohorts each spent their international experiences in countries with large African (or African descendant) populations where issues with the water quality persist-Ghana, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic. Within the presentation, they presented the dismal commonalities between the countries that they visited and their water issues juxtaposed against the issues being faced by places here at home-specifically the horrid quality of water in Flint, Michigan and the current drought within California. The presentation consisted of a PowerPoint featuring pictures from their trip and the outline of their information. After initial introductions, the team proceeded with the presentation. They began by taking a look at some of the misconceptions often held about their respective countries-effectively debunking these myths. From there, they segued into the topic and focus of the presentation: “The Issue of Local and Global Water Deprivation and Contamination”. Each team member went over their international experiences, paying key focus to their experiences with water in that country. They exposed some of the normalcies concerning water practiced in those countries, such as throwing used toilet paper away (rather than flushing it) and not being able to consume the local tap water. To conclude, they showed a short video clip on the California drought and engaged in audience discussion before discussing ways to better conserve water at home. In this way, they effectively addressed the first issue of water depravation. Transitioning to the issue of water contamination, they discussed experiences in their countries, one of the main common cautions stressed being actively avoiding the consumption of the tap water. Then they related these issues to Flint, Michigan-showing two short video clips on the situation, followed by a discussion of what was seen and heard. At the end of the presentation, they featured an interactive game where they set up multiple jars of dirty water and provided PUR packets that cleared the water when you stir, to signify the purifying of the water. The presentation ended with a sentimental video titled ‘Water Walk’ that left a humbling and sobering mood, before wishing the audience farewell.