We are all welcome here: International Bobcats celebrated during OHIOIWEEK17

The Bobcat family is one that transcends borders, bans, and efforts to intimidate. On Saturday, April 15 Bobcats from all walks of life bared their flags and their souls as they marched down Court Street during the International street fair and parade. The street fair marked the culmination of International Week or OHIOIWEEK17, a week long celebration of international students at Ohio University.

Despite  a group having an “Open Carry/Firearm Education Walk” on the same day which drove fear into the minds of many international students, students, faculty and staff, both international  and domestic, came out in their numbers, proving that they will not be intimidated.

The street fair began with a parade of students carrying the flags of the countries they are from from the ISFS office to the College Gate where a stage was set up and attendees were treated to performances from all over the world. Walking along court street, people were also able to get a glimpse of many cultures and try international food and drinks.

 

The highlights of the event were captured and compiled in this short video:

 

The street fair was the last of a week of activities which included a kick off event and sticking of the flags on the College Green, film screenings, panels and other social events. However, one of the highlights of the week was the keynote speech by Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, a female Muslim basketball player who has been advocating for the right of Muslim women to be able to wear hijabs and play basketball. Listen to an audio recording of Abdul-Qaadir’s speech here:

 

OHIOIWEEK17 was a collaborative effort between the International Students Union (ISU) and International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS). The staff, graduate assistants and student workers of these organizations, along with many volunteers, worked assiduously to make the week a success. Hear from some of the people who made it all possible here:

 

 

 

OU women unite through music and dance at International Women’s Day Festival

Women from all over the world and all across campus were, on Sunday, March 19, united through music, dance, poetry and a variety of other performances. The Ohio University Women’s Center once again hosted a successful International Women’s Day Festival and women from all walks of life took to the stage to express themselves on important issues affecting women, while sharing their talents and uplifting and empowering others.

Some of the amazing performances were captured and compiled in this short video:

Tempt your taste buds: the best of Caribbean cuisine.

Given that the Caribbean comprises of a population with roots across Africa, Asia, Europe and pretty much all over the world, its food is a unique blend of flavors unlike any other.

Here is what any foodie needs to know about Caribbean cuisine:

 

Top 10 Caribbean foods

There is such a wide variety of food in the Caribbean, it may be difficult to decide which dishes to try. From goat stew to callaloo and seafood, how can one possibly choose? Here is a list of the top 10 must tries from BBC Good Food.

 

Roasted breadfruit in stewed saltfish tutorial

In commemoration of Black History Month, here is Trinidadian chef and food blogger Chris De La Rosa with a tutorial on how to prepare a dish with African roots: roasted breadfruit in stewed saltfish.

 

Dhal and roti

You cannot visit the Caribbean and not try dhal and roti. Brought to the Caribbean, specifically Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, by East Indian immigrants, dhal is a soup like dish made from yellow split peas and a special blend of herb and spices, while roti is a flat bread. Paired together, dhal and roti is perfect for breakfast, dinner or any time of the day!

 

Fried ripe plantains

Plantains are a staple in almost every part of the Caribbean. Whether green or ripe, boiled, fried or both, plantains pair well with any meal. There is no doubt, though, that fried ripe plantains are a cult favorite. From chef Chris De La Rosa and Caribbean Pot, here is a twist on the classic fried ripe plantains: panko crusted fried plantains.

Classic fried ripe plantains. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

Caribbean food in Athens

I bet you are hungry for some Caribbean food by now. Who said dreams don’t come through? If you are in the Athens area, check out Mauvette’s for some authentic Caribbean cuisine. Mauvette is a Jamaican native who resides in Athens, Ohio. She caters authentic Caribbean food for parties, socials, and other events.

One of Mauvette’s specialties: Jamaican jerk chicken with rice and peas. Photo via Flickr.

 

Tempt Your Tastebuds is a weekly newsletter bringing you everything you need to know about cuisine from different parts of the world. If you are a foodie, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!

 

6 times Sesame Street characters were Guyanese people reacting to people not knowing what Guyana is

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America, and has a population of fewer than 800,000 people. Most Guyanese people would not know about every single country in the world, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying that no-one seems to know that Guyana exists. I mean, people know Brazil, they know Venezuela, they know Suriname. How could they be completely oblivious to the fact that this country lies in the middle of these three countries?

Here is how I (and every other Guyanese in a foreign country) react to people who are totally unaware of our home:

  1. Me: I’m from Guyana.

Person: Ghana?! But you don’t look African.

Me:

Photo by See-ming Lee via Flickr

 

2. Me: *speaking slowly* No, Guy-a-na, in South A-mer-i-ca.

Person: South America?! Habla español?

Me:

Photo by USAG via Flickr

 

3. Person: Where in India are you from? (Because I’m brown, I’m obviously from India.)

Me:

Photo by Jeepers Media via Flickr

 

4. Person: Your English is very good (as if I haven’t been speaking it my whole life).

Me:

Photo by USAG via Flickr

 

 

5. Me: I’m from Guyana.

Person: What? Where? I’ve never heard of that country before.

Me:

Drawing by Sketchport user Ter-Riff-ic

 

6. The one time someone knows something about Guyana and it’s “that’s where Jonestown happened.”

Me:

Photo via Wikipedia

 

The recovery room

Early one morning in the spring semester of 2016 I confidently walked in to Room 321 on the third floor of Baker University Center. All a part of my “new year, new me plans,” I guess. Those plans lasted for as long as most resolutions do.

The door to Room 321 on the third floor of Baker University Center

You see, Room 321 in Baker Center houses the Ohio University Collegiate Recovery Community called RISE (Recovery to Inspire, Share and Empower). No, I’m not an addict. RISE does not only provide support to students, staff and faculty members who suffer from addictions and addictive behaviors, but also people who have been impacted by the addiction of others. This is where I come in. My father was an alcoholic for as long as I can remember until he died in August, 2012. As one would think, growing up in a home where the person who was supposed to care for you was almost always drunk came with its challenges. Needless to say, I have some issues.

Now let’s get back to the Spring of 2016. I had emailed Ann, the woman in charge of the program, to let her know I was coming in. Before, this my dad’s drinking and how it affected was not something I talked about, but I was determined to do something about it. So, I put on a brave face and told Ann my story. She was super nice and invited me to RISE meetings which happen every Friday at 3pm.

I attended three RISE meetings that entire semester. Don’t get me wrong, the meetings were good. However, it was not easy to open up and get comfortable talking about the things that were so personal to me. I made excuses (mostly to myself) that I was too busy to attend weekly meetings.

Flash forward to last semester: the fall semester of 2016. I was taking a Strategic Social Media class and needed a client to work with on my project for that class. I remembered that Ann had mentioned that RISE needed help with social media. So once again I contacted Ann, this time asking if I can work with RISE to develop a social media plan. She agreed but urged me to attend weekly meetings so that I can keep abreast with what was happening with the group. This was a blessing in disguise.

Students are encouraged to use this area to take a break anytime during the day

It’s funny how it was once so difficult to sit in this room for one hour each week and now it is one of my favorite places in Athens. I just needed to give it a chance. The room is always warm and inviting. Motivational and inspirational quotes cover the walls. There’s always pop in the fridge and coffee in the pot, and there’s a comfy couch that I can take a nap on anytime I need a break from the day.

What I love most about this room, though, are the people who fill it. It is so comforting to have a group of people who understand and support me. They always say at meetings that you can share as much or as little as you are comfortable with. Sometimes our conversations get really deep, but sometimes we just sit around and talk about our week, or whatever is happening in the world at that time. They have helped me to understand addiction so much more, and they also help me to keep my own actions in check since I know that it could be easy for me to also go down the path of addiction.