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Small YES Victories

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Over the past month, YES Abroad virtual students have been celebrating small YES victories. Check out more highlights from the virtual program on the YES Abroad Instagram page!

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Arushi (Virtual YES Abroad 2020-2021, Thailand) shares one of her recent virtual program accomplishments: learning to write in Thai! Arushi has practiced vocabulary learned during lessons by making flash cards. In particular, she has enjoyed practicing vocab from some of the other virtual program activities, like learning about rice farming from Thai farmers! 

Arushi reflected, “I loved meeting people from Thailand, who were generous enough to show us their rice farm plantation and even around Thailand by car! I’ve enjoyed the cultural activities and learning the language. Everyone was so kind and really worked with us and encouraged us!”

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Andhisty (Virtual YES Abroad 2020-2021, Ghana), shared that one highlight from her recent virtual program experiences has been learning to cook fufu, the national dish of Ghana! While this dish is traditionally made by pounding cassava and plantains in a mortar and pestle, Andhisty was able to find a fufu powder which proved to be a simpler substitute. 

Andhisty realized how food can demonstrate nuances of a culture. Andhisty learned that in Ghana, it is normal to eat fufu with your hands.  Andhisty believes this speaks to Ghana’s hospitality and community-oriented culture. “In the U.S., we mostly use our hands for food when it's something that can be shared. For example, a bag of chips, candy or a box of cupcakes being given out. In a community-oriented country like Ghana, eating with your hands and around others can give a feeling of hospitality; anybody is welcome to 'dig in' and join."

Jesus (Virtual YES Abroad 2020-2021, Indonesia), shares one of her recent virtual program accomplishments: making fantastic improvements with her Indonesian language skills! 

Jesus has enjoyed Indonesian language lessons, meetings with Indonesian peer buddies, and cultural activities, writing that “learning Indonesian has been such a lovely experience so far for me, and as someone who has attempted to learn several languages over the years, Indonesian is such an inviting language that I feel like most native English speakers could learn! I can't wait to fine-tune my speaking abilities as I continue on with language lessons!” 

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Recently the YES Abroad Jordan cohort learned how to make some Jordanian foods! After watching a video created for the students by a Jordanian chef, they had a chance to try out their own skills at home. 

Melia (Virtual YES Abroad 2020-2021, Jordan) shared some pictures of her Arab salad making process! Read more about Melia's experience on the YES Abroad virtual program here

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Last month, YES Abroad Bosnia and Herzegovina participants did a transatlantic holiday gift exchange with their YES inbound peers in Bosnia and Herzegovina! Participants were asked to find something that, even while small and inexpensive, highlighted something important about their city, country, or culture like books, recipes, and even handmade items.

In a year where in-person exchange has been harder, the partnership between our YES Abroad and YES inbound participants has been a true highlight of the virtual exchange.