Exposure initiates a call to action. My exposure to a global education through the Semester at Sea circumnavigation voyage sparked a passion for social justice and international human rights which inspired all of my professional and academic aspirations. The four months I spent encountering diverse cultures around the globe introduced me to people bound by constraints that forced them to make sacrifices rarely required in the United States.
In mid-February, we ported in Accra, Ghana for three days. Dirt coated my skin and aromas of smoked fish, sewage, Cayenne pepper, and fresh peanut butter engulfed my senses as I played with four year old Mariama. In the center of the Makola Market, we played hide and seek and danced to music only we…show more content… I traced my fingers over walls that imprisoned thousands of people herded and auctioned as animals. Whether by the acrid smell of the subterranean dungeons or the injustice of it all, I struggled just to keep breathing. One concrete wall housed a quote. It read, “Until the lion has his historian, the hunter will always be a hero.” That evening, I watched Ghana fade into the horizon and I decided to dedicate my life to the pursuit of social justice.
Exactly one month later, I stepped out of a white Honda in Jaipur, India, to meet my host, Amit. Over homemade Basmati rice and Masala tea, Amit shared that years earlier he had left his village, and had a relationship with a woman in a lower caste. Amit’s father insisted that Amit end this relationship and agree to an arranged marriage with an appropriate woman. Amit agreed. I asked Amit how he felt about the arranged marriage. He spoke highly of his wife and said his father knew best. I met Amit’s father and his family when he invited us to visit his village. In order to reconcile my aversion to the caste system with the kindness of Amit’s family, I suspended my pre-conceived notions about right and wrong and examined the nuances of traditional practices within their specific cultural context.
The Semester at Sea voyage crystallized my passion for social justice and international human rights. Fueled by that