SMU-in-London 2008

This summer 48 SMU students are traveling to London to study communication courses, including international media, free speech, creative advertising, British cinema and the global civil society. Some students also are interning with international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Pants to Poverty, and Save the Children, to name a few.

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London showers and Scottish sights

Rachael%20in%20London.jpgRachael is a senior CCPA major from St. Petersburg, Florida, who is working for Pants to Poverty:

London, the incredible city filled with so many opportunities and adventures, remains one of my favorite points on the globe.

In case you were wondering, the typical London weather has returned. I have now personally experienced the term “flooded” … shoes completely filled with puddle or rainwater, which is quite uncomfortable not to mention really rough on internationally fabulous footwear. I have also observed Americans to be the only nationality to wear Burberry wellies.

Happy Fourth
I must confess that spending the Fourth of July abroad pulled at my heartstrings. Knowing there would be no family BBQ, sparklers or fireworks illuminating the UK sky, a plan formulated for the next best thing … a Texas Margarita at TGI Fridays! It appeared as though all the Americans in the city had the same idea. The locals played along with our celebration, complete with waiters dressed in variations of red, white and blue. Almost felt like we were back across the pond.

Without a doubt, the Parliament tour has been one of my favorite activities to date. I found it fascinating to view the history-rich walls that held the keys that unlocked the life we enjoy today. Parliament member Julian Brazier spoke of the historical significance of slavery in Britain, which included the stories of great political figures playing major roles and the subsequent global impact.

Seeing great sights
The weekend sightseeing excursion commenced with a quite chilly sunrise at Stonehenge warmed by the majestic colors of dawn peeping through the rock formations. The balance of the day was spent in Bath admiring the amazing craftsmanship of the preceding centuries. The sheer fact that these ruins remain even partially intact blows me away and by comparison makes modern architecture appear almost unimpressive.

Our tour of Scotland took us down the narrowest roads in Britain in a 48-passenger bus, through Loch Ness … no monster in sight, past the now famous Harry Potter Bridge and around breathtakingly beautiful countryside and a myriad of castles. In my mind, the most regal dwelling of them all was Eilean Donvan, the castle featured in the American film Made of Honor starring Prince Patrick Dempsey, aka Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. McDreamy.

At Pants to Poverty
The first few weeks interning with Pants to Poverty has dramatically broadened my perception as to the global importance of the concept of fair trade and the process required to mobilize an off-beat product.

Relationship-building is essential for the Pants organization, from clients to merchants to designers to the supply chain. The value of all partners is equal, which works to expand the mission of equality embraced by Pants. Each meeting with current and prospective partners further perpetuates their mission. Watching the expansion just over the last few days fills me with extreme excitement for the future of this fair-trade product. Stay tuned for updates as I pursue my intern assignment of ridding the world of bad pants … one pair at a time.

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    One Response to London showers and Scottish sights

    1. Nina says:

      I knew when you bought shoes the first week in London that you were destined to see them under water.

      As for being homesick on the Fourth of July, I haven’t been home on the Fourth in 7 years. But this year, ironically, I watched spectacular fireworks from Louise’s room in intensive care at Children’s Medical Center.

      Glad you enjoyed Parliament. Julian Brazier tells me he is planning to come see us at SMU this fall. Can’t wait to hear more about Pants to Poverty.

      - Nina

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