Alexandra Nuccio spent the majority of what would have been her summer, amidst an African winter in Botswana. With an expectation to study public health, she would have never imagined the curriculum would be so interesting and engaging. Between site visits to different NGOs and hospitals, to shadowing doctors in public clinics twice weekly, she felt she was taught in a very immersive, Montessori-style manner. Outside of her academic endeavors, she was granted the opportunity to go on an African safari, visit Cape Town (a city in the country of South Africa similar to Honolulu), and meet new friends. Despite the grief associated with moving away from her African friends, Alex plans to exchange letters with them as time moves forward. Alex is particularly fascinated with birds and enjoys photographing them, and her time spent in Africa allowed for the expansion of her knowledge of birds and nurture her photography-related talents. In addition to all of the new, impactful experiences, Alex was able to use her time away as a means to spiritually reset after having been recently diagnosed with a chronic and disabling condition affecting her autonomic nervous system in 2020. If there’s anything about her trip abroad that widened her intellect, it is the unexpected sense of connectedness she experienced with those around her, prompting a stronger feeling of what she describes as “universal connectedness”.
CEE Report: “Adaptation in the Modern World”
Adaptation In the Modern World was an event that took place at Temple University, that included a four-person panel discussion covering one theme that was found across four different international experiences. My team and I each gave one presentation on our country and its relation to the theme, which was how the citizens of each country had adapted to a mass change that occurred at the hands of modernization. Kal Brown discussed how Thailand adapted to stay independent despite attempted invasions. I talked about how African citizens have been adapting to modern medicine, while Sophia Zegarski covered how the Czech Republic adapted to capitalism after having had to leave communism behind. Lastly, Sophia Comport taught our audience about the adaptation of Korean language at the hands of foreign language influence. Following each of our presentations, we allowed space for a discussion between the four of us and the audience, to promote a more engaging experience. My team and I were hoping that our presentations would prompt the audience to ask questions during the discussion portion of our panel, which led to meaningful conversation with lots of laughter between talking points. Afterwards, we invited our audience over to a table we had prepared, that held some Korean and African candy. The goal of our CEE was to spread awareness surrounding lesser-known perspectives of citizens around the world. Between Sophia Zegarski giving some US citizens a look into how many Czech citizens actually felt regarding the transition to capitalism, my insights into how people of a different culture respond to modern medicine, and the other educational qualities of our other team members’ presentations, we felt that we were fortunately able to accomplish that.