World Traveler. That is what many call me after my return from Namibia, D.C. and Costa Rica. I have been fortunate to take my educational experience overseas and study abroad with Texas A&M’s Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Department. These experiences have broadened my horizon by exposing me to different cultures. Although many things are different between those I have met on my journeys, it is our similarities that have me wanting more! I definitely have the travel bug. Who knows where life’s experiences will take me next?
First stop: Namibia! What most people think of Africa is not a comprehensive view of the continent. Namibia, a country that gained its independence in 1990, is much like me in age and being on the brink of discovering its potential. Being in the country, I learned of all the beauty and uniqueness the country possesses. The problem is getting everyone else, Namibians and outsiders, to see and harness those qualities for the betterment of the country and the world. From visiting places like N/a’an ku se, Cape Cross, Etosha National Park, Heroes’ Acre, The Ministry of Mines and Energy, Gobabeb Research and Training Center and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, you can see Namibia’s passion for conserving energy and wildlife. Lions, cheetahs, ELEPHANTS, kudu, impala, red heart beast, oryx, rhinos, springbok, zebra, leopards… the list goes on.
Words cannot express the surreal feeling of being away from the big buildings and loud noise, and really being able to take in nature in some of its purest elements. This is what Namibia has to offer. This is what makes Namibia great!
After an amazing time in Namibia, and after spending five months in D.C., I asked myself, “WHY STOP THERE?” So off to Costa Rica I went! A different climate. A different language. A different experience. Although both Namibia and Costa Rica are considered developing countries, it is evident that Costa Rica is influenced by America and is a more popular tourist attraction; Jurassic Park could be credited for this popularity.
The first thing I noticed about Costa Rica was that it was extremely green! I loved it. And what I loved more was being able to go into the San Isidro de Peñas Blancas community and experience agriculture and conservation practices first hands. We planted beans for a local farmer, trekked up hills, toured a coffee plantation, saw greenhouses and sustainable farming, and saw a variety of plants, fruits and vegetables. Costa Rican farmers’ motto was to farm things that served more than one purpose to get the greatest use of the land. We got to see all the things we take for granted and all the things we waste on a daily bases. Not to mention, zip lining and hiking through the rain forest to and repelling over waterfalls were perks as well.
To each experience, its own unique experience. They will forever be imbedded in my heart and I will never forget the things that I saw and the people I met along the way.
I’d like to thank the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation for providing me with study abroad scholarships. It is because of those scholarships that I was able to partake in those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I am forever in their debt.
From these experiences, who in the world knows where I will end up? I’m not sure, but I am up for the task to put more places, more cultures, more countries, more animals, and more agriculture, and more experiences under my belt.
Brooke Brock ’13 is a senior agricultural communications and journalism major at Texas A&M University and will graduate in May 2013. Brooke has always had a passion for people and since being admitted into the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she has find her niche in connecting agriculture and people who, like herself, do not have backgrounds in agriculture. You can find Brooke AGvocating around campus and in the local Bryan/College Station community. Brooke plans to pursue a career in public relations after graduation.