Southern Adventures and Fireworks

Week 3 has been really exciting and interesting for me. I was able to travel to Tuskegee and stay there for a week. It has been a whole different experience for me here at Tuskegee. This was my first time ever living with a host family. They have been really nice and have given me an opportunity to experience some Southern life style. This week pretty much involved some adventure as well as hearing stories and learning more about the Civil Rights Movement. I went fishing and caught my first fish, drove a Yamaha Viking Fi 4×4 through the woods and got the opportunity to meet a Civil Rights Movement legend, Amelia Boynton Robinson. I also celebrated my first ever 4th of July here in Tuskegee. I have never been in the U.S. for this holiday before so that was pretty interesting too. We had a big BBQ feast and watched the fireworks standing behind a pick up truck.

In Nepal, there is a festival of lights, Diwali, which has similar firework action involved in it. The purpose of the festival seems similar to the one in the U.S. as well. Diwali is celebrated to honor the victory of a Hindu God, Ram, over the demon king, Ravana. It’s a pretty big festival for the people in India as well.

My co-Fellow and I volunteered in the local public school here helping them out with their summer program. The interaction between the kids and the teachers was totally different than what I had observed in the local schools in Selma. The main difference I noticed was the application of corporal punishment. Teachers and students here seemed to have a better understanding with each other and simple words are used for discipline. When I witnessed Corporal Punishment in Selma, it kind of made me think back of my boarding school days when I was in third grade. I went through corporal punishment myself a lot of times. Trust me, corporal punishment only makes individuals scared of the person inflicting the punishment. They really do not learn anything after getting beaten up. Only hate and fear develops within.

All in all, it has been a very fun week. I will be returning back to Selma next week. I heard that more interns from other universities would be joining us so I look forward to meeting and working with them. I’m sure going to miss Tuskegee though. I haven’t felt homey like this for awhile now ever since I came to the U.S. Living with the host family, eating home cooked Southern soul food and participating in the family’s every day activities really made me miss home.

Karan Shrestha ’18
Selma, Alabama