The Face of Newark Abroad

Posts tagged ‘Student’

Grab a BBQ Bite in Charlotte (CLT)

This trip was during August 2011. I was headed to Florida from New Jersey but had a connecting flight. I chose my connection location carefully. (Continue reading and you’ll see why.) I arrived at Newark EWR without incident and went through security. Of course my Jersey girl costume jewelry went off in the metal detectors and I received a friendly pat-down. After making a couple phone calls I boarded the plane. I chatted with a gentleman in my row. We talked about him living in Florida and me going to visit family there. He asked where I lived and we talked about Paris. He told me he hadn’t been there in almost 30 years. We had a few laughs at the expense of the cigarette smoking, skinny, wine drinking, French. A young lady then sat between us. We talked about her life. She shared that she will be a freshman this fall in college majoring in Art. She worked on a little drawing during the flight that was very good. The drawing was a girl character of some sort and she was putting wings on it.

Once in air all I could think about was my layover in Charlotte. Truth be told I thought about it when I knew I had to book my flight. I was excited to stop there to get some food. I love CLT airport. There are cute little shops that cater to your every need and whim. I remember about 3 years ago a coworker and I had a layover there on the way back to New Jersey. We decided to have a drink in Tequilaria. The name alone sounded exotic and wonderful! The drinks were pretty good too. We sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender until our delayed flight was finally ready for boarding.

During my most recent layover there, 1 month ago, I was looking for food. Burgers did not interest me and I settled on Chinese food. I looked for it on the giant directory. While walking towards the Chinese food, I noticed a long line. It wasn’t for the Chinese, it was right next to it. I looked up to see that it was North Carolina BBQ. With the line being so long I figured it had to be good. I glanced at the food behind the glass before getting in line. I saw a giant piece of meat that was being sliced. I had made up my mind after reading the menu. It was a tough choice between the ribs or the pulled pork but I opted for the pulled pork sandwhich with fried okra. I was so excited. I love Carolina BBQ!

The staff was very friendly. The food looked good but I hoped the meat wasn’t too dry. I asked them not to put bbq sauce on the sandwich (since I don’t eat it). The man at the end of the line reached in a food bin and put something on my plate. It was fried and in the shape of a wedge. I paid for my food and happily sat down.

The pulled pork was the best pulled pork sandwich I had ever had! It was soft and it seemed to have melted in my mouth. The fried wedge that I thought was a potato turned out to be a fried pickle! Even that was yummy too. I was a greedy person in heaven. I had bliss on my face as I held the sandwich with two hands and ate it.

I had told the man in my row about this experience and he said he may join me for a bite there before his next flight. We got off the plane and shared a delicious meal at Brookwood Farms. After finishing the meals, we exchanged names and wished each other good luck in travel and life.

Please stop at this place if you have a chance!! You will love it!

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For the Love of LENNY

Lenny's Promotional Poster

Lenny Kravitz LIVE!!

The finale of Lenny Kravitz’s Black and White European tour 2011 was held on November 29, 2011 in Paris at Bercy. I knew this information well in advance. Knowing I’d be in Paris at the time (and being one of the biggest Lenny Kravitz fans ever), I purchased my ticket in JUNE! Arriving on time of course, my adrenaline was pumping as we walked through the crowds of people to get to the entrance way.

Once inside I knew I needed Lenny merchandise. The question was just how much should I buy. I wanted one of everything! I ultimately settled on a black Lenny t-shirt with a photo of Lenny on the front and the European tour dates on the back. (Love the shirt!)  The purchase also came with a giant program.

Lenny sang all of his great hits as well of a few rising singles from the new album, Black and White America. The concert appeared to have ended when Lenny reappeared with Craig and an acoustic guitar. They played a few slow tunes. As the crowd continued to roar, Lenny began taking his jewelry off and spoke to the fans standing in the front. He said, “Don’t worry I’m coming down there.” Lenny went into the crowd! He made his way through thousands of people to emerge on an elevated island. The standing crowd was going crazy! He then pointed into the seated crowds and said he was coming up there too! Could it be? … Is Lenny Kravitz coming to my section?!? Lenny made his way around the entire stadium walking the crowds (heavily guarded by security) giving people high-fives and allowing fans to touch him as he passed by.

Though some may have thought Lenny was dangerous and crazy for doing that, it made the fans feel appreciated. Lenny put his heart and soul into a great performance and then showed even more love to the crowd. This is a much different approach than some so-called artists that lip-sync or ask the crowds to do more singing than them. Lenny is a veteran musician and still knows how to WOW the crowd. Thank you Mr. Kravitz for the best concert of the entire 2011.

Lenny's In the Crowd!

My finger touched Lenny Kravitz!!! ahhhhhh

India: Day 13

I decided to do a vlog for this one. We survived the cyclone and were putting on brave faces.

… At least we did have some snacks.

NGOs Galore

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I traveled to Tamil Nadu, India with my university through a required course called the Sustainable Development Practicum. The aim of this practicum is for students to act as consultants to various organizations, assisting with their communication needs. Between day 2 and day 8 we toured and visited several non-governmental organizations (NGOs). There were about 23 units on our list of possibilities to work with. Each day was packed with multiple units where they presented their goals and missions to students and answered any questions we had about how they function and the groups they serve.

The overarching themes of the NGOs we worked with were health and human rights, environmental sustainability, education, and sustainable fashion. These broad terms included causes such as women’s empowerment, Dalit rights (formerly known as Untouchables), children, sustainable and ethical fashion, sustainable living, radio, solar energy, waste management, and more. This NGO practicum really offers something for everyone’s interest or passion.

With so many “good causes” it was difficult to choose just one. I could have easily chosen about 3 places I was interested in working for. The other factor that could make choosing an organization difficult is matching an organization with student’s skill sets. Some organizations needed assistance with website building, creating pamphlets and flyers, or creating short videos to display on existing sites. Fortunately, there was a wide range of skills within the group and we mentored each other.

After a few days of visiting 5 organizations per day, we had an idea of where we wanted to work. Many of us were quite anxious to begin our jobs and projects right away. I chose to work at the ADECOM Network. This agency advocates for the rights of the Dalit community. I was happy to assist with my small contribution, helping shed light on discrimination against an extremely vulnerable population. Check out their blog here: www.adecomnetwork.wordpress.com

 In the end we wound up doing a major project at only one organization, but we’re well informed on almost all that Auroville has to offer in terms of advocacy and non-profit organizations. For communications students/professionals, the work we did came naturally and we were able to produce useful and practical material for the agencies to use and build upon long after we’ve gone. All of the organizations were extremely impressed and grateful for the projects accomplished with such a limited amount of time.

For three years, my school has genrously offered the free services of students. In turn, students gain practical skills that are useful for their professional experience and invaluable to the NGOs. It’s kind of a win-win-win.

India Bound

India Bound

India, Here I Come!

Preparing for my month-long trip to India has been swift. I did not have a lot of time physically and mentally to prepare for India as I was finishing the end of another semester of graduate school. Finally Friday night arrived. After submitting two final papers that day and taking two final exams that afternoon and evening, I was looking forward to getting at least 10 hours of sleep.

Saturday I made an early morning trip to Decathlon, a sporting goods store in Paris. I purchased a few last minute items including a 1-piece bathing suit, waterproof watch and headlamp. After a load of laundry, I was finally ready to pack. All of my other supplies had been waiting patiently in the closet for at least a month.

I packed medicine for a variety of possible illnesses and situations I may incur, including but not limited to, anti-malaria pills, traveler’s diarrhea, antibiotics, pink eye medication, infection medication, Neosporin, Pepto-Bismol, Nyquil, Tylenol cold and flu, Advil … The list goes on.

The flight experience onboard Qatar from Paris to Doha was wonderful (minus two sets of broken headsets). I was also very pleased with the entertainment selection. I watched episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Arrested Development. The food was delicious. Great experience overall and I would highly recommend the company.

Most of this blog was written from the plane on the second leg of the journey, Doha to Chennai. I will keep you posted on my Indian adventures throughout the month. This will be an adventure of West meets East. I hope I will learn and enjoy all that I’ve hoped for. Stay tuned!

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