Sunday, June 8, 2014

To be a Global Citizen

To be a global citizen I feel like you would have to travel around your nation and the world to grasp the different cultures in different areas, you cannot simply read about it in books and see the pictures. When you go somewhere you've never been before you begin to study the people; their motions, their words, how they live, everything. The smallest weirdest stuff would grab my attention while in London, things I never would have imagined being different in another part of the world. The way the doors open is opposite of those in America, weird right? Being a global citizen means engaging in the current events of the world, to continue to keep up on the politics, to know what is going on globally. Of course growing up you learn small things here and there about different countries and parts of the world, but until you get to immerse yourself in the culture, you will never understand the lifestyle of those people. The way the land is shaped, how they build their houses, how advanced are they in the world, are they a large importer or exporter, do we trade with them? All common questions that are answered when developing your "citizenship" into the world. I will never say that one must be an expert to be a culturally sound person, but one must study the past, present, and future of the world and its many different places and large population to begin to understand why the world works the way it does. Why are all people different? No one will even be able to open their eyes and minds to others if they do not learn about who they are and why they do certain things. And without respect for others and their differences from oneself the world will continue to become this place of growing war and violence. People say they are global citizens because they watch the news and gather all the negative facts about another nation or place, and I will not defend those who have done wrong, but not every nation has a 100% population of horrible people. Global citizenship, in my eyes, is defined as when a person finally opens their mind and accepts the differences of others in an area after studying and dealing with it personally. They may not agree with the difference, but they  respect that person or those people for their choices and culture.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Unexplainable Experience

Coming home with such new and excited experiences I have come to realize that hardly anyone truly understands what I saw and did. Outside of my family when people ask, I start with oh it was amazing! and that is about where they stop listening. Many people do not understand how the legal system works over there compared to ours, even when I attempt to explain it. It has slowly dawned on me that unless someone gets to experience something like this themselves, they will never appreciate or understand how much it has changed me. While over there I felt like I was able to pick up the culture very easily. Some of their customs were completely crazy to what I am use to in the states, but blending in was not too extremely difficult (minus the fact I could never get my money out and my credit card was clearly American!) In this giant city of 6 million people it was my responsibility to take care of myself. To do so, you had to learn the city quickly and quietly or people began to judge you. The classes we had to prepare for our trip did make a small step for us, but you had to have the want to learn the city and the culture. It was amazing to watch the way people lived their lives. The culture within the criminal justice system was so different as well. Much more different than I thought it was going to be. Every part of their system seems softer than what we have here. The different events we attended and the sights we saw made me a better person, a more open minded person, and a more cultural person. I am so blessed to have been able to attend this trip and learn the incredible amounts of information that I did while in London. I would not give up my cultural gains for the world.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Oops! Charlotte and I ruined the changing of the guards for ourselves. But the second time around was so much better for we got to go behind the gates of buckingham palace and watch he ceremony! Groups rarely get to go behind the gates and it was not boring this time and I didn't have people pushing and kicking me(: the guards carrying the colors talked to us even. As we walked out of the gates people were taking out pictures thinking we where important (and duh we are.) what an amazing experience. But it didn't end there! Richard also got us through the security and into Downing Street to see the 10th door. This is almost unheard of getting in simply to tour it! 
Richard gave us some of the best days while we were here and I feel bad for the groups who come and don't get to spend time with him after he retires! After those amazing surprises Richard took us back to his "home" of the Scotland Yard. We met up with the UNO group and listened to a presentation Richard had prepared for us. Being the emotional and giving person he is, he gave Professor Nobiling a rare coin he had been given for organizing and working the Olympics. A heart felt moment to end a day full of blessings (: 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Legal walk of shame?

Today we focused mostly on the legal aspects of the system, which is not my interests. But, we started off at the Supreme Court where I truly realized just how different our laws and cultural upbringings are. Cases we heard about today have already been long solved by our constitution or would have been to small and silly to make it to our Supreme Court. Here, these cases were huge turning points! 
This is the symbol for the Supreme Court here. This little patch is literally everywhere. The walls, the railings, the windows, and even the carpets. 
After going to the Supreme Court and getting to hear a case we moved onto the court of appeals, the start of out legal walk. Here we were able to watch another case. The actual case I watched was not a interesting case, the fun part to watch was how they have the court room set up. There are two types of lawyers, a solicitor and a barrister. The barrister is the one who is allowed to speak to a judge. The barrister on the defense side in the case we watched was clearly new to the case and had no idea what was going on! I felt horrible for the man for the judge was just tearing this man and his defense apart. The barrister held his own very well, but I'm sure this will greatly hurt his reputation which is how they get all of their jobs. This will also have great affects for when he walks into the court rooms any time soon if hired. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Trooping of The Colors

Today the group was the only ones able to watch the rehearsal of the queens birthday parade! Practice runs take about an hour longer than the actual parade to make sure everything is perfect. I cannot imagine standing in the heat, wearing a full queens guard uniform. Being so heavy and hot there are normally a few men and women who faint during the parade and we actually got to watch a guard faint! (Such a shame because he was extremely cute) the rest of the parade consisted of the guards marching in different formations around a very right spaced square. If only the queen herself had attended the parade would have been much more interesting! 

For the majority of the two hours these men stood in a single place or marched in the same small square. They are in full uniform that is layered and extremely heavy as well as hats made of Canadian black bear fur. The hats are hot and weight quite a bit. When standing still they must also lock their knees. All I know is I would never be able to do this so props to these men (even the one who fainted!)

Foreigners found their way

Free day #1:
Today we had our first free day. Charlotte and decided to knock out a museum today and went to the British Museum.
This was a building full of history! We walked through time periods and saw African, Roman Catholic, and many other peoples history and how beautiful the past truly is. After seeing the museum we walked down random streets looking for small boutiques and restaurants to eat at and found a great little place that had a pasta special.
That drew us into one super meal. After eating a fulfilling plate we decided to hop on the closest bus and ride it to anywhere we didn't recognize. But we didn't stop there, we continued to get onto different buses to view the city and road until we got back to the hotel a few hours later. Such a way to experience and see the city! 

Pub Crawl

As a group we decided to have a night out together and sign up for a pub crawl! This was a guided tour to 5 different pubs/bars/clubs where we stayed an hour at each. Each stop was completely different and amazing. All out stops were packed and full of fun drinks and music. There was about 20 people in the entire group from all over the world; Brazil, Australia, America, and many other places. The first club, the verve was a sleek classy bar. We then moved to an old time decorated bar with original tv sets and posters. The third was my personal favorite called Ruby which played fun music and had a fun dance club atmosphere. From there we moved onto the grace which was a very typical bar. Our last stop was the zoo which was a fun jumping place with good music as well! Afterwards I took a carriage cyclist home to the hotel. This is something all cities have but I had never had the chance to experience. Just another night on the city (: