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By Anishka Yerabothu, VI Form
Embracing Global Citizenship in Sri Lanka
Editor’s Note: This article was previously published by Anishka Yerabothu and Educate Lanka in Medium. It is republished here with permission.
This summer, I traveled to Kandy, Sri Lanka for three weeks to volunteer with the Educate Lanka Foundation. I first came across Educate Lanka when I began researching global citizenship opportunities through my high school — St. Mark’s School— last fall. The opportunity with Educate Lanka immediately appealed to me and my parents because my great-grandparents lived in Sri Lanka for 40 years, leaving before the civil war that ravaged the country broke out in 1983. They carried with them their love for the country, the people, and the cuisine, and they shared that love with the entire family. My grandmother still prepares traditional Sri Lankan dishes we enjoy at home.
As part of my research into the opportunity with Educate Lanka, my family and I watched the TEDx Talk of Educate Lanka’s founder — Manjula Dissanayake; his message about creating universal opportunities resonated with my family. After conversations with Dr. Laura Appell-Warren, the Director of Global Citizenship at St. Mark’s, and Mr. Dissanayake about volunteering with Educate Lanka, we finalized the plan for my travel in June. We bought a plane ticket and arrangements for my stay in Sri Lanka were made in coordination with Educate Lanka staff.
On the morning of April 21, 2019, however, we woke to the shocking news of the Easter Sunday terrorist bombings at Sri Lankan churches and hotels.(more…)
By Suha Choi, IV Form
Travel Reflections: Cultural Immersion in Lovely Airbnbs
This June, when sunshine and the early hints of summer were slowly surrounding us, I was very lucky to travel to Europe with my family! This trip was the first time my sister and I visited Europe. We traveled in a rental minivan around many cities and sites. The route included Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, Nancy, Paris, and Lucerne. I am extremely glad that I had a chance to visit countless sites of human history and landmarks! In this reflection, instead of simply listing the places I visited, I am going to recount a few moments that remain the most memorable to me.
Culture lies everywhere, in the lifestyle and daily bases of people. It is embedded in the restaurants we go to, in the streets we walk, and on the faces and in the words of people we meet. But I believe that there is no place like home to reflect the cultures and lifestyles of people so precisely. What kind of food they eat, how many security locks are set in the door, what kind of books are stored on the shelves, and what time they turn off their lights and go to bed are the small details and factors that define identity and form a culture. During my trip, because our family chose to stay in Airbnbs, which are actual houses rented from the local people, instead of in regular hotels, we were able to directly experience the lifestyles of the people in Europe. Of the dozen of Airbnbs we have been to, two still linger in my heart, and I wish to share them.(more…)
By Edna Kilusu, VI Form
A Journey More Than 7347 Miles: From Tanzania to the United States for High School
I am always smiling! However, so much that is hidden behind the smile on my face.
I was born in a traditional mud wall house in a Maasai Boma village, surrounded by bushy mountains of rural Northern Tanzania. In the fall, brown dust fills the air and blankets are blown everything. Despite the beauty of the Maasai community, I had to walk long distances on dusty brown roads to get to school, to get to town, and to get to the market.
At home, the girls work on the farmland, do all the laundry by hand, cook, fetch water, collect firewood, and clean the house. Girls do not have enough time to study or prepare for the national exams, so they are often considered to be not as smart as boys.
Four years ago, I made the tough decision to leave my friends, my family, my culture, and my country to attend St. Mark’s School. At that time, my dad was sick, which made the decision more difficult for both my parents and me. I was the first person in my community to leave and study abroad. As a child, I never thought of attending school after grade six because most of the girls in my community were forced to marry as teenagers. Going to boarding school seemed like a dream. (more…)
By Reina Wang, Maya Scully, Michael Fisher, Arthur Gao, III Form and Grace Zawadzki, V Form
Spread No More: The Effect Global Aid Has on the Spread of Tuberculosis
Editor’s Note: The Global Seminar teaching team works with all III Formers on an infectious disease project. This is a complex project that involves group work with other members of the III Form and with V Form biology mentors. The final result is exhibited in a poster session, allowing for visitors to do a gallery walk and have questions answered by the poster’s creators.
ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that threatens health and life throughout the history, but with the help of global aid, there has been a solution to decrease the number of contagious people, especially in developing countries. It is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is a bacteria mainly attacking lung surfaces since it spreads through air. Latent and active tuberculosis are two types of the disease, in which latent tuberculosis does not show any symptoms while active tuberculosis does. The most common treatment is a prescribed combination of isoniazid and rifampin, but it only works if the patient completes the procedure and takes the medicine regularly. With the assistance of global aid, there have been many non-governmental organizations (NGO) dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis worldwide. They offer treatments and technologies to developing countries which does not have access to them. Even if the volunteers who work at the NGOs have the possibilities to carry the bacteria when traveling and spread it to other places, global aid has made huge progress in dealing with tuberculosis. Global aid will influence more and more countries so that tuberculosis will slowly be dissolved in the near future.
By Kaley LeBlanc, IV Form
Global Influences On Artistic Expression
I am an artist. My love for art originated when I lived in Barcelona, Spain. I was around two years old when my family and I relocated there. While I do not remember much, I do recall how the next few years living there highly influenced my passion for the visual arts. I took art classes with my sister and visited stunning places with my dad such as La Sagrada Familia and the Louvre. I then moved to Shanghai, China at the age of seven. I was introduced to a completely new style of architecture and visual arts. While in Asia, my family and I visited floating villages, Buddhist temples, and the Forbidden City. Europe, I felt, was more industrial and Gothic, meanwhile, Asia was simplistic and filled with peace and nature. Both of these places had completely different styles of architecture and art. Only when I moved back to the United States did I realize how incredible these experience where and how unique they were to me.
By Jenny Shan, VI Form
Rebel with a Cause: Delving into Comic Books
Crammed into the tiny pocket of space behind the painting hanging in my study lies one of my greatest secrets: a magazine of weekly comics. As a child, I would purchase a new one from the local newsstand every week after school. On the twenty-minute bus ride from home, I would quickly consume the updated stories featuring young detectives investigating unsolved murder cases, or sentient toys mediating domestic disputes for maltreated children. My favorites were the grand adventures, in particular about the cursed pirate families searching for a place to bury their treasure.
Unlike those pirates, the treasure I would be burying was a bit more personal than gold. Every time I brought home a magazine, my immediate response was to conceal it: in the drawers, on top of the bookshelf. But these would all inevitably be found. When I noticed a secret crevice between the painting and the wall, it was as if the most perfect coastline had finally revealed itself from the mist. I could not let another one of my treasures fall into the hands of other marauders and hijackers, the most notorious of whom was my forbidding mother. (more…)