Armando At Home: A Brief Reflection on Identity

We’ve all heard that “you don’t know what you have until you lose it” and that “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” two expressions that come to mind when I consider how my travels have affected my identity. I left for Jordan seeking perspective and an appreciation for a different culture than my own, and…

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Armando Abroad: Weekend Adventures

Since we are in the capstone phase of our program here, each one of us is on our own, conducting independent research. We make our own schedule and go to the SIT HQ only when we need or want to. It sounds amazing, but amongst scheduling (and likely rescheduling) interviews, pouring through literature, and analyzing…

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Armando Abroad: Abroad While Abroad

Last week, we completed the international excursion component of our adventure in Jordan. Our planned excursion to Istanbul was changed to a trip to the United Arab Emirates following bombings in Ankara a few weeks ago. We visited 4 of the 7 Emirates in an attempt to understand modernization and social change in the UAE…

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Armando Abroad: Elemental Excursions

Can you tell I like alliteration? It’s Exciting to Express Experiences this way. Ok, I’m done…moving on! I thought this should be a more light-hearted post since looking at my experiences the past few weeks through a serious academic lens would be overwhelming, for you and me alike. “Elemental Excursions” is about our trips to…

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Armando Abroad: Safety Revisited

The “everything is awesome and new and exciting feeling” of being here has largely worn off and I have started to notice more things beneath the surface in Jordan. I feel just as safe as I did when I wrote “‘but isn’t it dangerous?!” (Read Post), but I have started to realize that, ironically, law enforcement…

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Armando Abroad: “But they kill Christians there!”

While I never thought I would face physical danger for not being Muslim, I admit I was unsure about how to identify religiously while on this trip: would it be better to identify as “Catholic” since I was raised as one or frankly express my atheism? Maybe I should just stay as far away from…

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Armando Abroad: “Isn’t it dangerous!?”

I spent a lot of time pre-departure ensuring friends and family that Jordan is a safe and stable part of the Middle East and that they needn’t worry excessively about my safety. The staff here spent almost as much time convincing us of the same thing during our Day 1 orientation. All the pre-departure research…

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Armando Abroad: Pre-Departure

It still hasn’t hit me. I keep saying and explaining to people that “I’m leaving for Jordan in a couple of weeks…yeah, I’ll be there for 3 1/2 months studying Arabic…” but I haven’t yet assimilated that I’m little over a week away from going thousands of miles away to learn a language I know…

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