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Immersion 101 - an introduction!
Immersion: Complete involvement: involvement in something that completely occupies all the time, energy, or concentration available. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing up a small series titled “Immersion 101” for a while now. I don’t know how relevant it would be, though, given the fact that those who do immerse themselves into a different culture do so because they want to for the most part. They have a desire to learn and experience something new while making new friends. I don’t know, perhaps I am wrong but, the way I see it, immersion is common sense. But then we all know common sense has a tendency at times not to be too common. But what about those individuals who for what ever reason are forced into immersion? What is out there for them to read and learn from? Is there some kind of “guide” or “manual” out there for those who suddenly find themselves thrust into a foreign culture with a language barrier to learn from other people’s experiences: trials, tribulations and mistakes? If this publication does exist I’m as ignorant to its whereabouts as you probably are. If you can provide or know where to obtain a book on this subject please feel free to share it here! What I’m talking about is actual “real-world” experience from those who have been “been there - done that!”, so to speak! There are lessons I had to learn the hard way, and when I reflect back upon them from time to time it amazes me how simple the solution could have been. For example: there will be times when you, the foreigner, will be so damn fed up and frustrated you will find yourself disrespecting your host nation’s culture and customs without even knowing it. And this is where I will tell my first story. I was in a rural village called Bratunac in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and I wanted a spaghetti plate like there was no tomorrow! Shit, a spaghetti plate would have saved my day that week! LOL… Thing is, though, I could not buy the stuff needed to make my own spaghetti. So I went restaurant to restaurant looking for a spaghetti plate! Now remember I’m in a rural, mountainous region of Bosnia here - there were not too many places to go and eat out. Those that were there, of course, made their own native foods. Well, God damn-it, I wanted a spaghetti plate! I went establishment to establishment asking in Serbian, I have a good command of the Serbian language and can make myself understood easily. I learned to speak Serbian through immersion - just the Bosnian Serbs and I. Serbian is basically the same language as Bosnian and Croatian. But don’t you repeat this to these respective ethnicities, for you just may have a fight on your hands! All three are very proud and I have seen fights actually break out because of the right words being spoken in the wrong way. But back to my damn spaghetti plate… I could not get a single cook to understand what I wanted! LOL… I left angry and rudely place after place not because it was my intent to do so, but because my mental state at that time was affected by my surroundings. For just one night I wanted to be alone in my flat eating a spaghetti plate feeling “normal” and free from the crazy shit going on around me that I was involved with. I can honestly remember being so upset and frustrated because I couldn’t find a stupid spaghetti plate. I was actually cursing in Serbian as I left the last few establishments. The poor cooks and owners of the respective kitchens I visited probably thought I was just another crazy ass spoiled American. In their minds they experienced my one act of offensiveness towards them and their culture and from that point on they wrongly judged me and every American. Who could blame them, though? I mean, put yourself in their shoes for a moment! If there was a place on the net or a book I could have read to warn me of my frustrations, I just may have avoided looking like a damn fool. This being said, though, don’t ever underestimate the power of a good spaghetti plate! Hell, I wish I had one right now! I have yet to find a good spaghetti plate here in the Middle East. Fast forward about seven years… I was on the pier of a remote South Pacific island called Santo fishing with a group of Marshallese youth when all of a sudden this large boat from a distance is spotted. Much to everyone’s surprise, mine included, the boat moors up and three white guys disembark with a butt-load of gear. This was very uncommon given the remote location and the fact that I was not aware of their arrival. I usually got word from the Marshallese when something out of the ordinary was planned. Even the kids and the young adults on the pier didn’t know what was going on. Well, I approach these white men to learn they are American dentists on a global charity trek providing dental services free of charge to indigenous populations all over the world. Before the Marshall Islands these dentists had visited nations if South EastShih Tzu Champion Lenon
Introducing "LENON" - Multiple Group Winner, Best Baby Puppy In Show Winner Artemis Incredible Success. "LENON" won the hearts of many judges and shocked many show people when he won BEST IN TOY AND COMPANION GROUP 1 and BEST OF BREED from the classes over local and imported specials, during PCCI all breed show last December 2008. We are so happy and proud of him with his remarkable win! "LENON" is a proud son of "KEVIN" the Number One Shih Tzu 2003, 2004, 2006, Multiple Best In Show Winner, Multiple Best Baby Puppy in Show Winner, Hall of fame, Phil Champion Midnightdream Winning Edge of Artemis "KEVIN" Sire of Merit (from South Africa). "LENON" is the half brother of "CHAMPION MARY" and "CHAMPION MARIA". He's the uncle of "ROMEO", Multiple Best Baby Puppy In Show Winner Artemis Fabulous Marvelous. "LENON" came from a litter of four, in which all brothers are BEST BABY PUPPY IN SHOW WINNERS, and all of his litter mates are all pointed for Championship Title. "LENON" is now being groomed to be one of our specials to compete for his Grand Championship and Hall Of Fame Title. Look out for this special boy!
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