From Rio to Chicago

“This is the last time I will be riding this boat in this direction for a while”, I think to myself as I take the ferry across to Niteroi one last time. Golden light seeps into the cabin, as the ocean gently rocks the craft. White collar workers doze off around me like babies in a cradle. Since making a good friend who studies at the Fluminense Federal University a couple months ago, I have gotten used to making this …

Identity Crises

My brown is not Brazilian brown. In fact, my brown is not even brown here. I am considered white with a foreign tan, and every day that tan is fading as fall slips into winter. I realized I was white for the first time while eating dinner with a local friend, when she asked me if I identified as ‘Latina’. I gave her a long-winded response about how I used to identify as ‘Latina’, then came to discover ‘Latinx’, then …

On Learning, Teaching and Goodbyes

           Leaving Berkley for our 22-hour trek to Malawi felt for the most part surreal. Partly because of the extremely immersive and busy schedule we’d had in the Bay Area, I had almost forgotten we wouldn’t be spending the entire semester there. It was difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we would be traveling with only each other to rely on for the next 4 months in such drastically different places. Looking back, it’s hard to fully …

Leaving Prague Feels Weird

When I hear the bubbly friendly smiley Swiss flight attendant and I see the playfulness of him giving out different stickers, coloring books, and trinkets to children on the airplane during pre-departure, I know that I have left Prague and that I have left the Czech Republic before the plane has lifted off the ground. I can’t recall encountering such casual enthusiasm during my stay in the Czech Republic, though this is not a bad thing. So, yeah, my body …

Saying Goodbye and Redefining Home

  As I enter my last two weeks of the semester, I feel a mix of emotions. Even though I’m sure I will still be processing this fact after I leave, I realized the other day that I have lived in Cuba for an entire academic year. That also means I have lived in one of the most restricted countries for U.S. citizens, and spent a year forming roots that might not be easily accessible in the future. Though I …

How to Be a Yuma

After nearly two semesters studying in Cuba, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about and take part in many amazing aspects of Cuban culture. While two semesters is not nearly enough to fully understand a different space and context, it has given me a more detailed snapshot than I would have had otherwise. One of the most interesting experiences I’ve had this past academic year is having been able to observe the relationship between Cuban nationals and foreign tourists. As …

Engolindo Sapos

As I begin to write this I imagine what this post would have looked like if the murder had not happened. I would have probably focused on writing about the silly activities underclassmen are subjected to during the first weeks of college–like using buckets as backpacks. I might have written about the oddities of young Brazilians’ vernacular, where every sentence includes either the word cara (face) or tipo (like). I would have probably detailed the homecoming festivities in the villas, …

What is an IHP Program Really?

I knew study abroad would be a great opportunity for me to learn how to admit and recognize all the things I don’t know. What I wasn’t expecting was that I would get lots of great practice learning to say “I don’t know” before I even departed for my program. After learning about my admission to the IHP Rethinking Food Security Program, I found myself constantly fumbling when trying to explain the complexity of what I would be doing for …

What Do You See? What Do you Feel? What Can I say?

    In a recent excursion with my program we went to Kraków, Poland. During my stay I didn’t venture that for from the town center, which is actually at least a mile long from the north to the south end. The space is packed with tourists, some locals, food shops, history, old churches and architecture. When I first got to the city, I was a bit worried about the recent face of Nationalism that has publicly risen, and how …

What it is Like to Return

Written by Ruth Manzanares ’18 The date is January 4th, 2017. It’s 4 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I don’t know if it’s from nervousness, excitement, or a combination of the two. All I know is that I’m about to embark on the journey of my life. In just a few hours I will be on a plane to Spain, a longtime dream of mine. I could not tell you when this dream began only that it was …

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