Monday, February 23, 2009

Africa and Some

It was interesting to attend the Forum on Africa the other night. My friend at the University of Florida is planning on studying abroad in Africa this summer and it was really awesome to hear that Rollins is looking to start an Africa Study Abroad Program as well. I think a lot of students would be interested in taking a trip with a great deal of adventure due to the lack of understanding Americans have of African lifestyle.
The people from Disney made a point to critique the American way of life. They implied that Americans are very self-centered with little hopes of learning about other people. Personally, I took this very offensively because I do not see myself as fitting that stereotype. I enjoyed being able to share my experience on my trip to Morocco. It is always great to get a chance to share stories so people can get an idea of what to expect. Of course, I did not want to present the whole story because I did not want to offend anyone. My trip is one I will never forget because it left an imprint in my mind.
The United States takes pride in making a dominant world presence throughout history. In the earlier part of the 20th century, Americans were no longer content with defined boundaries. The Imperial Era was a time to branch out across seas and oceans. It all started with a great push by Protestant missionaries to spread Christianity throughout the world. Meanwhile, from a more economic and political standpoint, businessmen wanted to venture abroad to gain fortunes. These businessmen went to great extents to make money; there was even efforts to push wheat products into Asian countries. Who needs rice when you can have bread instead? In some regards, these expansions were taken a little too far. Maybe people in these Asian countries preferred a rice-based diet and did not want to be overwhelmed by the great deal of wheat being brought into their territory.

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