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My name is Abby Bridges Nielson.  I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to Alpine, Utah my junior year of high school.  I went to Utah State for a couple of years before transferring down to Utah Valley University.. I love it here!  After switching my major three times, I can finally say that I LOVE what I am doing now- Speech Communications.  This is my senior year.  After I graduate, my husband and I have plans to move to Hawaii and maybe spend summers in Bali, Indonesia.  I am a yoga instructor and love living a holistic lifestyle.  I am very excited to take this class because I love learning about other cultures and am on the path to becoming the most compassionate and loving world citizen that I can be! 

In chapter one, the text touched on diversity.  Growing up in Las Vegas, I was surrounded by all different types of people.  My friends taught me a lot about their culture, and I am extremely grateful for it!  My next door neighbor was from Thailand and she taught me how they pray and worship.  At first I thought it was odd because it was so different from what I was accustomed to, but it helped me realize that everyone is different, and that’s what makes us human and so special.  My dad also introduced me to a lot of different cultures – through food.  When we lived in Las Vegas, I was about six years old when my dad and I started doing weekly date nights where we went and tried a new type of food from a different culture.  We had Ethiopian (that we ate with our hands and sat on the ground) and we ate a Vietnamese speciality, pho, where I first learned how to use chopsticks.  We ate Mexican cow tongue street tacos, buttered croissants from a local french bakery, curries that were so spicy I would cry, and countless bowls of Japanese ramen.  I truly believe that my weekly date nights with my dad opened my eyes to the world.  At six years old, through food, I was able to recognize how diverse this world truly is, and how fun it is to truly embrace all culture!

In chapter two, the idea of going into a country without any background knowledge was addressed.  Last summer, my sister and I spent a month in Bali, Indonesia.  While Bali has become fairly westernized, most of the surrounding areas are not.  One weekend, we took a little weekend trip over to the island Lombok, and had to learn a very hard lesson.  After spending most of the day walking around the island in little bikinis, and receiving many dirty glances, we did some research.  It turns out that Lombok is predominately Muslim, so our exposed bodies were extremely offensive and rude to the community.  We felt so terrible that we didn’t do research; our intent wasn’t to insult the community.  However, after this experience I have learned to do my research before entering a country that is foreign to me.  


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