Mallory's Exchange — Study Abroad RSS



Ethical Help

Sometimes when people vow to help a community that seems less fortunate, it becomes a show of “look what I’m doing to help” which inadvertently shines a negative light upon the way someone else lives. Then organizations try to pump it full of something the inhabitants don’t feel they’re missing – a certain religion, money, factories, jobs etc. When a natural disaster sweeps through a country, town, village, state etcetera and those that come to ‘help’ try to rebuild communities the way they want to rebuild them versus how the locals want, it becomes unethical help. A very different agenda than that of the people living in the area. On a smaller scale, an elderly family member of mine who...

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Be Like Ferdinand

One of my favorite children’s books is The Story of Ferdinand the Bull. If you’re unfamiliar, it takes place in Spain when some men visit a farm in search of the biggest most fierce, most-best-at-everything bull for the bull fight. Ferdinand, the biggest, happens to be anything but fierce. In fact, he loves to just sniff the flowers. As the men watch Ferdinand, he sits down under his favorite tree amongst the flowers and a bee stings him causing him to fiercely kick, snort and buck; perfectly fitting the bull bill. The men are certain they have found the roughest toughest bull. The day of the bull fight, Ferdinand is clearly distraught until he smells the flowers in the hands...

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"Be a Witness to What is Beautiful"

I am a believer in signs, and all signs pointed to say something now. I haven’t said much about what is going on in the world, not because I don’t see the problem but because I’m afraid I’ll say something the wrong way. All I want is for things to be better. I don’t want to discuss the supposed politics around a pandemic or looting as there is something more sinister. The final straw was drawn when my son asked me to read “The Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña before bed; a story about a grandma (Nana) and her grandson (CJ). They’re the perfect pair as they navigate their day and she shows him where...

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“We don’t see things the way they are, we see them how we are”

I always try to share a piece of advice with my exchange students and nieces/nephews when they return home or upon graduation. Something that I hope is meaningful enough that they can carry it with them – not just the origami dollar signs made of twenties I slip in their card. This year was easy to find a topic – so easy that my pen ran out of ink as I wrote in the card on the way to the party. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that the pen I was using in the car was one of my husband’s that obviously didn’t want me to include the dog and the fish’s names (*insert loving husband eye roll*)....

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A little on cell service in Switzerland from our guest writer, Kim of Sweden…

“So, do you have cell service in Switzerland?” Well, when I finally decided to go on exchange, I was excited for what was to come. I had absolutely no idea where I was going to be placed, with whom or who my friends were going to be. To be honest I basically just winged my decision anyways because I applied in April and left in July. Let’s just say I tried to make up my mind about leaving to the USA from November and on, but I am very bad at making decisions and good at overthinking. So, I just told myself “Go! What do you have to lose?”. That is the best thing I have ever told myself. Just...

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