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Showing posts from September, 2011

Cultural Awareness

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Continued from See The World No Visa Required

"I will miss you," he said as we stood in the awkward crack of dawn’s light, all four of us, whispering farewells; taking care not to wake the rest of the household. It was the last morning of our cultural exchange week. Daniel and Kame were leaving for Beijing.

I scanned the metal rims of the spectacles on Daniel’s face, weighing the four choppy syllables just delivered, studying the mechanics of his message, its verbal and nonverbal connotations. The deep resonance of his voice belied his thirteen years. The sophistication in his carriage reflected an expanse of knowledge borne out of the experience of travel I was sure. I had observed the same sense of self-sufficiency in Kame throughout their week’s stay.

“I will miss you.”

Was this his disciplined regurgitation of a guidebook phrase, an appropriate thing to say to a host family, upon departure?

Still, the phrase elicited feelings of happiness in me. Hence, I took the fre…