Thursday, July 21, 2016

Similarities and Differences


Travelling to a new place always fascinates me. I was more curious than excited to visit United States. I only had a vague idea and assumptions of how the land of dreams and opportunities would be in reality. However, I realized US is completely different than what I had assumed it to be.  As I looked down from the plane on the way to Columbus I observed not only skyscrapers but also towns full of greenery. The greenery in the town was similar to that of my village. But the difference was that it was well planned with spacious land and wide roads. Vehicles moved in the speed which I can't imagine in my country.

 I visited USA as guest in Ohio University from Nepal. When our plane landed at Columbus and I moved inside the airport, I searched for the person who was there to receive me. I saw Dr. Yusuf Kalyango, Director of SUSI program with a bright smile and I waived at him. He welcomed me with a warm handshake and an embrace.
Kalyango looked quite simple and humble .In Nepal seniors always maintain a distance with juniors and rarely treat them as friends. They always seek respect and attention. However, Kalyango’s friendly behavior impressed me a lot. I noticed immediately that his assistants were calling him just Dr.K or Yusuf. 
Later we boarded a van to Athens, Ohio and I observed that we were moving in the right lane of the road. In Nepal, vehicles move from the left.  
It was already dark when we reached Ohio University and I was exhausted after 15 hours of travel. After a quick meal Dr. Jatin gave us the key and guided us to the apartment. Before me other three people had already chosen their rooms and two of them were already asleep. When I entered the room Zak from Ghana welcomed me.
The next morning I met Daniel from Uruguay .We introduced each other and went for morning walk. Later after we came back, I got to know Patrich from Papuwa New Guinea. The four of us were from different continents of the world, having different skin colors, diverse language and culture and dissimilar religion but we shared the same apartment and attended the same program. We all represented our countries. We were of different age groups but our professions were similar.

Gradually we started to mingle and talk about our culture, society and even the personal matters. We discovered that our problems are similar, our pains are similar. We started cooking inside our apartment. The ingredients we used were almost similar but cooking methods were different, smell and taste of food were different bme. Zac is Muslim, Patrich and Daniel are Christian and I belong to Hindu religion but we all are humans with similar emotions. Somehow, we all are connected; we are different but also the same so we are together now.
 We are 19 scholars for the SUSI program, from different walks of life but we are friends here. We feel comfortable to call each other by our first names. We value each other's differences and assimilate with similarities.

I am grateful to SUSI for this wonderful life time experience.

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