By Olivia Raharimina
It’s been now exactly 24 days that we have been to the U.S.A and it seems to me that time flies so fast. I still remember the day I landed at Hadley airport and now, 11 days are left before I fly back to Madagascar….So many wonderful things happened but I‘m going to talk about my favorite most recent events.
These last few days, we have been exposed to the beauty of Art in its various forms: Drawings, paintings, and Music. Though I have always admired artists like Leonard Da Vinci or Andy Warhol and listened to the Beatles’ songs, little did I realize that art could be that powerful and how much it could impact me as a teacher.
Last Thursday, we went to the Smith College Museum of Art and I discovered how fun it can be to incorporate Art into teaching…… Then the day after, we went to NYC at the UN headquarters and I saw these Art collections that transported us to many places and the history of the world. Art does not only help us to recall the past but conveyed a lot of messages to us for a better future.
Finally, this morning, our course about Jazz definitely strengthened the way I see Art as not only a powerful tool for self-communication and education but also a wake-up call to address all the injustice that reigns in the world.
Living life on the fast lane
It was on a rainy Friday that New York was introduced to us: towering skyscrapers, mixed kinds of people, bustling streets, and literally, it is” the city that never sleeps”
For three days and two nights, I had the opportunity to be in the most recognizable features of the Big Apple, namely The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Center, the UN Headquarters, and the Museum of Natural History. We took a metro and went to a Senegalese restaurant that made us feel at home because of the food and the owner’s warm welcome.
I wish we could have visited the Empire State Building, but unfortunately, the rain has spoilt the plan. For two nights, despite the fact that we were lodged in a luxury hotel on 46th Street, we barely slept as we kept exploring the busy life of Manhattan, especially that of Times Square. And yes, it was a very rewarding and enriching experience as we could catch a glimpse of another facet of the U.S.A that was totally different from Amherst and Boston. I definitely loved New York and enjoyed the time we spent there. Yet, I think it is probably a place to spend a few days but not to live permanently.
Though our adventure has not come to its end yet, today’s dinner was very emotional. I felt a profound nostalgia as if a significant page of my life will soon close forever. Is it because of the fact that we have to leave for Utah or the fact that we have to say goodbye to our beautiful Katie, our dear Celso, Alejandro, Mark, Yanara, and all the ITD staff? I guess the answer is: “Both”. At some point, we have now this sense of belonging to Amherst, its environment, and its people that we are going to leave behind.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.