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An Unofficial Ambassador

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posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 10:38 AM
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Hi ATS


My job has brought me in contact with several thousand students from all over the world. I’ve grown tremendously in response to my students. I had one excellent student from the Congo, a Jay-Z fan, who witnessed his dad’s murder by government forces when he was a young kid and asked me to write a letter for him when he was applying for political asylum. He was granted the request. It made me very proud of my country and made me feel very lucky to have been born here.

Last night was a farewell party for 18 Japanese young ladies from a junior college in Yonezawa. I had taught them for a little less than two weeks, and part of the program is to take them around to cool places and encourage them to talk and have fun. We sang Bob Marley at the party, and at least three of the ladies were in tears, and several told me they loved me! And I love them, too.

I taught Libyans before, during and after the Arab Spring. It’s perpetual winter in Libya now. Pity, a very warm and generous people. My boss let some students stay at our school for free once the government money (Gaddafi was sponsoring the students) dried up. I asked a former student, who is here with her husband and children but is the only one out of her family here, to tell me what it’s like there so I can write in more detail about it later. Suffice it to say the situation is very grim. I remember A___, her beautiful, dark, round face always smiling, who cooked me a huge and delicious plate of couscous (it's quite the intricate dish with a lovely delicate flavor when done right). M____, who very solemnly told me that living in Libya was like having eyes and ears but no mouth. Some of my students were happy with Gaddafi, some not. But surely none are happy in Libya now.

I've taught Saudis, Kuwaitis, Bahrainis, and other gulf countries’ students. We had a Christian from Palestine, an Israeli in class with the Saudis, Sunnis and Shias and Spaniards.

I met a Saudi (and ended up friends with him) who was wrongly accused of bombing foreign diplomats, tortured for (I think!) a year or more in prison before being sentenced to death by beheading and then crucifiction. The perpetrator confessed and was killed in his place! He was released and given lots and lots of money. He had deep lines around his eyes and perpetual dark circles but was a genuinely good person. He didn’t think much of his government, though I had plenty of students who were happy with their government… women too.

During lunch the other day I spoke with a Venezuelan woman who has lived here 10 years and is applying for citizenship. With tear rimmed eyes she spoke of her country. Her mom, kid are here but no one else. She told me horrific stories that reminded me of starving times in Russia and China. My heart broke for her.

Anyway, it’s a big world out there and I still feel blessed to live here, but I also feel very fortunate to know so many people from so many places. It’s given me such a wide perspective to know that people are awesome everywhere even when circumstances aren’t always.

I hope with all my heart that we can keep our country blessed, and it's worth considering that each one of us is an unofficial ambassador.


edit on 26-9-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 10:49 AM
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Now , if folks could get the UN and all governments onboard with the people.




posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” -Mark Twain

This quote came to mind while reading your OP. I have a lot of friends who are teachers in foreign countries who have always had a couch or an extra room open for me. People are people, no matter where you go. We all have the same fears, hopes and dreams.

Xenophobia is a product of ignorance. And I mean ignorance strictly in the literal sense, as in lacking knowledge.



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

Exactly right! They're NOT helping, one bit.



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: underwerks

Awesome quote


I've learned so much through travelling also and go when I can.

Thanks for reading!



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 11:02 AM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: Gothmog

Exactly right! They're NOT helping, one bit.

The common folk just want to be left alone to live their lives
Takes government intervention to cure that...and they do.

Get rid of the UN and we are well on our way...



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

That was a delightful read. Thanks for the breath of fresh air.



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

Thank you for reading! Very happy you enjoyed the topic, as it's close to my heart.




posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Do you teach an English as a second language course?



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

Yes! A great job, most days.



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