On a different note, today was the meeting for the committee on which I serve regarding International Student programs. We were learning about a program for students for other countries to study for a year in America, with financial assistance. The countries of eligibility are limited to date (the State Department selects them) but still, it is exciting to be a part of this and think about the opportunities for the exchanges. Certainly I am a believer in the idea of traveling and meeting with, living with, and learning with people from other cultures and nations changes our entire perception of the world. My work with Pastors for Peace, in South Africa, in the Pribilof Islands of Alaska, and other places has convinced me that understanding comes from being with people. There is nothing like your actual experience there to help you see if what you read and hear in the news is accurate or propaganda.
My experiences in South Africa are nothing like many of the things I had been and have been told by people who left South Africa; my experiences with people who have been to Cuba are nothing like what I read in the news about Cuba. Indeed, travel and meeting other people is the way to open our minds and hearts to the realities of others' lives.