Midterm week, as one can imagine, starts out a little rough and ends on a good note (a week-long break). I started my midterm break with a cup of tea from China. The exciting thing about taking Chinese is the fact that I am learning the language and also getting to practice some of their popular cultural activities, like brewing and drinking tea.
There was en earlier presentation about the Moon Festival and I had a moon cake for the very first time. I also got to dress in my national dress for my Chinese Fashion presentation and the dress had Chinese buttons on it (because our tailor is from China) and on that very day was our independence day. Killing two birds with one stone. I also discovered a Chinese restaurant in downtown Caldwell that has become my favorite place to eat; the service is incredible and the food is unmatched. I'm a little too excited to learn more about the Chinese culture and take in whatever I wish as a part of my life.
I have also for a long time wanted to go horseback riding in Caldwell and never really got the chance to. Upon receiving an invitation to go to Blazing Hope Youth Ranch for an afternoon of fun activites, food and horseback riding, I could not decline the invitation. I spent Saturday afternoon riding horses, carving pumpkins for the first time for Halloween and listened to a live country band. I was basically a cowgirl for a day, boots, cowboy hat and everything.
I also took a walk with a friend in the countryside and there is absolutely nothing better than being in an open area with nothing but the sound of wind blowing and fresh air. Although there was not much other than corn fields, I had a pretty good and peaceful time. The interesting thing about the Blazing Hope Youth Ranch is that they allow students and the public to ride horses for no charge and one can even sign up for lessons and not have to pay a dime. I think that is a pretty sweet deal.
All in all, the start of my midterm week has involved me being open to both the American and Chinese cultures and there is so much to learn when one approaches life with an open mind. I enjoy tea and Chinese food, I also highly enjoy barbeques, carving pumpkins and listening to a live country band. These are things I would not have known about myself had I not opened myself up to learn from people. At the end of it all, my greatest experiences will always involve learning something new and incorporating whatever I learn to make my life more enjoyable.
P.S. The picture was taken at the Blazing Hope Youth Ranch.
Keneuoe Mphutlane is a sophomore majoring in International Political Economy and is from Lesotho.