August 5, 2011

Barbados Week 1 – Part I

By Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

by Chasmon Tarimel (written on July 26)

Hello everyone from the beautiful island of Barbados! I am so honored to have had the privilege to explore this unique island and all the wonders it has to share. Being on a study abroad trip is more than the imagination can display, but taking a first-hand look personally, it is truly an amazing experience.

When we arrived on the island, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been on a study abroad trip before to Tahiti, but this island trip was different. I would be learning a different history, a history that I have never heard of nor ever was taught in the classroom. Did you know they drive on the left? My very first experience in Barbados! It took some getting used to, but even with a thing such as driving on different sides only made my trip that more intriguing.

Our class sessions were pretty awesome. During our first week, we had guest lecturers from all different places and fields. One professor, Dr. Pedro Welch, was a pretty funny and intelligent man. He brought to us new knowledge that would change my thinking about history. For example, sometimes when we refer to slaves during the 19th century in Barbados, we call them “slaves.” But he informed us and reminded us the power of language, by changing the word “slave” to “enslaved” it gives a different context meaning to “slavery.” It may not make sense right now when you’re reading this, but to say “enslaved” allows us to see the legacy of slavery (whether in Barbados or America) as a process. I think that this was one of the important pieces of knowledge that I took from Dr. Welch, something I will never thought of before and I will never forget.

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