International students – unique, diverse, and proud blazers! As a part of the large blazer family, we have a commitment to return to the community that have embraced our unique presence and welcomed us all with open arms, semester after semester. This spring semester, the biggest project that we have had to tackle is the INTERNATIONAL DINNER. This dinner is the third largest event of the school, and as a result, takes lots of time to prepare and practice.
All the individuals, both students and citizens of Valdosta, who attend are always left impressed, well fed, and very entertained. However, this blog won’t be focused on what happened the night, but rather the events that led to the spectacular night and the people who made the event possible. We won’t deny the fact that the last days leading up to the event were the most chaotic; everyone was scattered and last minute changes to the programs were being made. However, many moments of laughter, small jokes, and clowning around took place. I believe that what made each moment even more special was the fact that everyone was trying to have fun while working. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
President Katya from Kazakhstan and Vice President Gloria De La Garza from Mexico
The day that often tests the patience of all those involved is the practice evening held the day before the dinner. In addition, while the practice was taking place, there is a full staff kitchen in Hopper Dining Hall with a very talented and dedicated group of international students who were putting their taste buds and time to the test. I was able to take a peak in the kitchen, and if you love food just as much as I do, you would have wanted to taste everything that was being made. There were cuisines from all over the globe being made and perfected, and there I was hanging around in the kitchen with a camera and the urges to dip my finger in the batter that Daniel was making and pick on pieces of Turkmen patty that Merdan, Suleyman, Genna, Carly and Jordan were working on.
Belizean students: Carly, Idelfonso and Jordan cooking in the kitchen
Columbian Student: Daniel Araque cooking
After getting away from the hall of temptations (Hopper Hall), I went back to the Student Union where I caught many of the other international students practicing their performance. I got a chance to learn a few steps of Azonto from Tochi, Somaya, and Vianey, pick up a few words from the K-pop song that was being danced by the flash mob, and got to walk around the stage with the hosts of the show: Aysia and Kirk.
Francisca (Belize), Aysia (USA) and Mistress of Ceremony, Waleed (Saudi Arabia)
Japanese Students about to practice their traditional Japanese dance
The night was a long one for all those who were preparing for the successful day to come. Even though, for the most part I was walking around and taking pictures, through my lens, I was able to capture the effort, dedication, and work put into the International Dinner by the international student community of Valdosta State.
Student at the 38th Annual International Dinner
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO NAOMI CHEE FROM BELIZE FOR SUBMITTING THIS WONDERFUL PIECE ON HER FIRST INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE AT VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY. WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE STUDENTS AND MEMBERS OF THE VALDOSTA STATE COMMUNITY FOR MAKING THIS EVENT A SUCCESS. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR.
Naomi Chee (Belize)