August 17, 2015

Jafar in Europe: The story so far

Hello Internet! My name is Ethan (aka Jafar, yes from the Disney movie), and I'm a physical therapy student in the 2015 International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (IIP) based in Helsinki, Finland. This is my first blog post and I just want to take this time to introduce myself and tell you about my trip so far! This is my first time in Europe, so there are going to be lots of firsts and lots of mistakes, but I've really been enjoying my travels. So I was born and raised in suburban New Jersey, and I'm of Puerto Rican and German/Hungarian ancestry. My town was pretty diverse so I...
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August 11, 2015

What is the International Innovations Project, you ask?

In ternational Innovation Project (IIP) is an international, multidisciplinary, intensive course. The program was initiated by Metropolitan University College (Denmark), and has been offered from 2011 in collaboration with Seton Hall University (USA), MGH Institute of Health Professions (USA), Metropolia University of Applied Science (Finland) and Metropolitan University College. There are 9 MGH Institute students participating in this year’s 5-week course in Helsinki – 5 Physical Therapy students and 4 Occupational Therapy students. I have the pleasure of attending for the first week and...
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June 15, 2015

“Top Ten” things we’ll miss when we leave Lesotho

Ok, maybe it's a few more... 1. The cordiality of our hosts at Maluti Adventist College. 2. Being asked whether we slept well. 3. Being asked whether we’re warm and having our hosts find additional heaters for us. Our precious paraffin heater 4. The wonderful vegetarian meals cooked for us by the Cafeteria Ladies. The team enjoys the breakfast smorgasbord. 5. Their kindness to us when we requested essential bathroom supplies. 6. The beautiful voices of the church choir and the churchgoers as they sang their hymns. 7. The kindness of the church attendees who shared their prayer books with us...
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June 4, 2015

Winter is Coming

“Winter is coming.” Dr. Corless pronounces sweetly with her usual charming smile. Marian and I exchange glances and laugh because she evidently has no idea of the joke she just inadvertently made, which only adds another layer of humor to the statement. Winter is coming to Lesotho. Rain, wind and chill have replaced what we have come to know of the dry and arid countryside. The air smells sweet and shrived of debris, and the skyline vista from our little cottage illuminates the clouds with robust colors of pinks, purples and blues when the misty rainfall breaks and skies clear. We take...
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June 3, 2015

Run, Boston, Run!

Happy National Running Day! Today, June 3, 2015, we celebrate like true Bostonians and run in honor of the “unofficial” national holiday. Created in 2009, and held on the first Wednesday in June, each year people across the United States celebrate National Running Day by getting off the couch and running wild. Whether you are reaffirming your passion for running, just getting started or still trying to figure out where you stashed your sneaks pre-Snowmageddon; all that matters on National Running Day is that you put one foot in front of the other and make an effort to get movin’! Home of the...
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June 1, 2015

Border crossing

Panoramic view of the mountains. It’s hard to believe we have been here for only a week and a half, it really feels like so much longer. We have made so many new friends here and are starting to feel very settled in our new home. It has been long enough for us to appreciate how much we have learned about the warm culture of Lesotho but short enough for us to also recognize how much we have yet to learn. The exceptional hospitality we have experienced reminds me of how I was raised, in Vietnamese culture the comfort of our guests is an absolute priority. We always try our best to accommodate...
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May 31, 2015

End of Our First Week and the End of the Semester

It is now approaching a week that we have resided in Lesotho. We have been so absorbed preparing simulation materials to discuss with faculty and our presentations to the nursing students that there has been scarce time to write and update our blog. The days have already started to get shorter, and the weather colder, especially in the mornings and evenings, but we are warm and well cared for. Frequently we are asked if we have everything we need and if we are warm enough by staff members as they greet us. An extra space heater was delivered upon the mere mention of the changing weather...
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May 27, 2015

First day at work!

Ever welcoming and refreshing with its fortified mountainous air, Lesotho has proven to be every bit as charming as one could hope for. The people we have met in the last 24 hours have been courteous and hospitable, jolly, funny, intelligent, and with character carried every bit as cooly and breezy as the rolling hills around us. We've already learned quite a bit (including the South African/Lesotho handshake; apparently that's a thing). How much they will learn from us? That has yet to be seen. This morning we awoke refreshed, ready and excited to begin our first full day at the Maluti...
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May 27, 2015

Inspiration is all around us

My Saturday started by waking up at 4:30 AM to go check my email. I was waiting for a message that needed to be answered by midnight EST (6:00 AM our time). Since my computer doesn’t connect to the available Wi-Fi in the house, I have to walk down the path and sit in front of the administration building where the router is. I was bundled up in two fleeces and a winter jacket, grabbed my headlamp and headed out into the dark. I could have been back in Boston, enjoying the beginning of the three-day Memorial weekend in the warmth of spring. Instead, I’m typing away under the stars, my hands...
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May 22, 2015

First Day!

Dumela friends & family! We wanted to write to let you know that we arrived safely and are really excited to begin our wonderful collaboration with the Maluti Adventist College here in Lesotho. Our host colleagues were waiting for us at the airport in Maseru to give us a warm welcome and have been incredibly hospitable to us. We made our first purchases when we realized that the conversion plugs that we brought with us were not ones that would work and were in need of new ones. Our friends kindly took us to Pioneer Mall, one of two shopping malls in the country, the largest one in the...
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