Wednesday, June 18, 2008


You never really know what something is like until you experience it.
That's how I feel at least. Sometime in the Fall semester, I received notice that I had been nominated to be in the University International Scholars Program. Not knowing what this was, I went to the interest meeting. This was in fact the chance of a life time, an awesome proposal to be apart of this group (after an application and interview process) which would travel abroad in May 2008 to Tunisia and Istanbul, Turkey. I basically did everything in my power to become a member of this group and after a much anticipated decision, I was chosen. I could say that I was going to Tunisia and Turkey.

The group met weekly with our fearless leaders, Jim and Marcella (aka Black Diamond), during our 11-1 free session. During this time we learned about stuff, mainly Islam and how it is practiced in the countries we were to visit and here in the U.S. We also went on a weekend bonding retreat in Buckeysville (or Buckeystown), MD so we could get to know each other better (and the elders knew we could be trusted/get along). It was a high ropes course in the middle of bumblefuck (which is located just west of English Muffin Way). We stayed at a Christian retreat camp in a creepy farmhouse, but I made it out alive. We basically did trust/bonding/getting to know each other exercises. Overall it was a good time, and it was something we needed, because honestly, no one knew anyone else. After the trip we were a group, UISP to be exact. Another prerequisite to the trip was community service- 20 hours. As a group we decided to do a 420 hour fast, each of us would fast 36 hours, in order to raise money for a mosque with a food program in Philadelphia. We all did it, raising over $1400.

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