Texan. What does that word mean to you? To some it may make you think horses and cowboys. To a Texan, it means who you are and where you come from. There are many cultures in this world, but few are as rough, rowdy, and proud as the Texan culture. Whether this Texan is a Houston city dweller or a full blown western cowboy, that pride remains the same. It is what lies deep in the heart of every Texan.
From the Rio Grande to the Panhandle, since the Battle of the Alamo to present day, Texan pride is common thread. Following the cultural heritage outside of Texas on this Namibian expedition is an intriguing subject. The students of Texas A&M and Prairie view A&M including myself, bring a unique and special heritage. Not all of us are native born Texans, and we all come from different walks of life. This demonstrates our own cultural melting pot in action. One could describe this group of adventurers as odd or strange. Though from the outside looking in, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We desire to show our Texan pride to others. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
The group was invited to the University of Namibia’s Neudamm Campus, a cutting-edge agricultural campus for the region. To me, it was like stepping back in time to the beginning of Texas A&M University, with the exception of military aspect. Texas A&M started with six faculty members and 40 students. I estimated Neudamm had severaland 150 students. This new veterinary medicine-oriented agriculture school started in 1985. When we showed up, we were greeted by 10 Neudamm students and campus faculty. The tension was almost laughable as we walked into the large lecture hall and introduced ourselves. It took a long time to break the tension, but slowly the mingling began and we all got the courage to introduce ourselves before the tour.
We began our informal tour of campus. It was fascinating to see the campus from the students’ points of view; they showed us many things throughout the tour, such as their own chicken and pig farm. Another equally fascinating thing was the dairy production.
One thing that really intrigued Neudamm students was our stuffed animal, little Reveille, who has earned the name Flat Rev. The Neudamm students were curious about why we had a stuffed dog with us and immediately, we Aggies began to explain the many histories and traditions of A&M. The pride in which we all spoke of Reveille and how loudly we sang the War Hymn demonstrated our Aggie pride. I know we left an impact of our heritage because as we were leaving, some Neudamm students started to follow us to the bus jokingly. One student turned to me and exclaimed, “Time for us to start making our traditions!”
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