Who’s Abroad!

News & Events from Keystone College, La Plume, PA

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Megan Barcheski- Friday May 25, 2012

May 26th, 2012 · No Comments

3 things about Global Health: 1. While at the Arecibo Observatory, we learned about “sahara sand” and how researchers at the observatory are using the telescope to track its journey from Africa to Puerto Rico. The guide also said that after it rains, the cars and roads get covered in this sand, and this sand may be one of the leading culprits in the high rate of asthma on this island. 2. We attended a pre-school graduation earlier today and among the things I noticed was just how loving the families seemed to be. Of course any parent is going to love their child but, there were slightly older siblings helping out their younger brothers or sisters; attempting to stop them from crying or leading them up to get their certificate. I don’t really recall seeing that back home. Also, the teacher hugged and kissed each child as she was handing out their diplomas, which is another thing that people back home would probably be uneasy about. Since the family environment is plays a crucial role in the healthy development of a child, seeing just how loving and caring the families were for their own children, as well as those not, makes me think that Puerto Ricans are certainly not lacking in that department.  3. Before we left our condos, we had a class meeting type thing to briefly discuss our specific topics we are individually studying for global health. One of the topics was the extremely low rates of STDs in Puerto Rico. What I found pretty interesting was how low the rate was considering condoms really aren’t used here that much, according to a person at the senior care center we went to the day before. So, if people don’t usually use protection and the STD rates are low, then I would think there is another part of this equation that may be utilized in other countries to reduce their rates as well. 

3 things I found fun: 1. The preschool graduation was so adorable. All the little girls wore these cute little tutus and all the boys wore little ties. They all seemed pretty excited to be there, although it may have been the bounce house they got to play in afterwards.  2. The van I was traveling in got a little lost on the way to the Arecibo Observatory, so it took us a bit longer to get there. Even with all the U-turns we had to make, we got to see a great deal of the community. The houses looked slightly different than the ones we have gotten accustomed to seeing and there was much more open land. So I think instead of saying we got lost, I am just going to assume we took the scenic route.  3. The observatory was mind-blowing! The radio telescope is gigantic and so heavy. It truly is a remarkable feat of engineering to have almost 100 tons of equipment just hanging above a satellite dish so fragile that it requires special shoes to walk on. It was sad to hear the guide say that mainly only tourists come to see Arecibo. I know if I had that in my backyard, I would certainly want to know all I could about it and meet the people who get to work with it. It was good to hear that there are plans in place to really spruce up the place because some of the exhibits were broken and it didn’t really feel as modern as it should be.  

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