Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yu Yu Aung October 2014 Blog

Hello to everyone as I blog about another busy month in the Humphrey Fellowship program at VCU!

The month of October was full of fun and festivals, and we had a wonderful time together.
On October 4th we a great visit to Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia, which are historic places in America.  We met with people from the seventeenth century and learned about their lives in the early days of settling in the United States. 

                                       Field Trip to Williamsburg, VA on October 4th 2014

We also had a great first retreat on October 17th at Lewis-Ginter Botanical Gardens. We were challenged as we played team building games under the lovely sun, and also reviewed opportunities and challenges we have had so far during our fellowship time. Most of us found that finding a good host organization for professional affiliation was challenging. It was like “a woman looking for a man to marry and worried about not getting the right one”. Although professional affiliation is for only six weeks, we look forward to the value and benefits we will receive from it.  This decision is very important and none of the Humphrey fellows want to make the wrong choice!  By the time I am writing this, most of us have found the right one and are happy with the one we chose.

Retreat at Lewis-Ginter Botanical Gardens on October 17th 2014

October was a month full of festivals too. Back at home, we had The Thadingyut Lighting Festival. It is held at the end of the Buddhist lent and is the second most popular festival in Myanmar. We usually pay respect to our parents, teachers and elderly relatives and offer them some fruits and other gifts. In Richmond, we were enjoyed the Richmond Folk Festival and Halloween. It was amazing to see houses decorated with beautiful lights and carved pumpkins and people dressed up so differently in Halloween costumes that were creative and interesting. This not only helped relieve some of our homesickness,  but also gave us opportunity to learn about some lovely American culture.

Myanmar Dinner and Movie Night

Nanda and I also were fortunate to have our dinner and movie night at Randy's house in October.  We served food from our home country of Myanmar and showed a documentary about Aung San Suu Kyi from Myanmar, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.  Thank you to everyone helping make our Humphrey Fellowship a wonderful experience for all of us!