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10 months in Arizona

Life in the Valley

USA | Wednesday, 23 April 2014 | Views [374] | Comments [4] | Scholarship Entry

It was always my childhood dream to visit the United States of America. When the opportunity presented itself on Facebook one day I knew my time had come. To cut a long story short I was selected to participate for a Community College Initiative Program from July 2013 to May 2014. I found out I was going to live in Mesa, Arizona for 10 months and to be honest I wasn't as thrilled about this news. All that went through my mind was "why on earth would they send me to the desert? Surely this is a mistake." Nonetheless I was still excited to travel abroad for the first time in my life and on July 16, 2013 I landed in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. I arrived just after 11 pm and I was welcomed by the heat, it must have been around 30 degrees Celsius. I soon discovered the rich diverse mix of cultures, made up of Native Americans, Mexicans, European Americans and other minorities. The two most spoken and languages are Spanish and English. The locals work really hard, they have a positive attitude towards their work and they are friendly. Customer service is excellent. Their only downfall is that they work so much they don't have a balanced social life. Most of the relationships I built where with other foreigners. Getting around using public transport is simple because the roads are built on a grid system, if you know where North is you'll find you’re way. However, there is only a bus route and a light rail system and they don’t come often enough or go to all the cities. Having your own car is a must, especially with the heat, otherwise a bicycle is ideal to assist in getting somewhere faster. Other essentials must haves at all times in summer are a bottle of water , sunblock and a saline nasal spray just moisture your nasal passage. It is surprisingly lush and green for a desert with plenty Saguaro and Prickly Pear Cactus, you will also find different plants brought over from other states. The popular dishes include Tacos, Burritos and Tortillas because of the major Mexican influence, there is also a vast coffee and beverage culture with Star Bucks as King. Tattoos, dyed hair and piercings are also fad and a majority of locals constantly have earphones on in public. Although it's not the most exciting state in America it is among the most affordable State. The key to having a great experience is to do you research, Google map your destinations, get creative and try new things like visiting a shooting range or checking out Grand Canyon.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip



Nice insight sister, great piece of work. I also enjoy this part, "...there is also a vast coffee and beverage culture with Star Bucks as King" :).

  Lwandile Apr 24, 2014 12:22 AM


Thank you Lwandile. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my journal.

  madlove Apr 24, 2014 8:09 AM


I love this, should create a booklet for the next group, you make me want to again come to Arizona. have you been at the shooting range?

  Sagwadi Apr 24, 2014 8:44 AM


I will definitely take that into consideration. Yes, my friend took me to one over the winter break. I was really scared, in fact I was trembling from the car to the location. For some reason I thought it would be a painful experience but once the professional instructor guides you through the correct procedure you ease into it. It is the craziest experience of my life in a positive way, not that I am condoning gun violence in anyway. I now feel like I can conquer more of my fears because it's the last thing I expected I would be able to do.

  madlove Apr 24, 2014 5:11 PM

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