Dobar Dan! (Good Day!): Study Abroad in Croatia

By on 10-07-2012 in Australia 2012

Dobar Dan! (Good Day!): Study Abroad in Croatia

Hello from Zadar Croatia!

This is Professor Davison, aka Prof D, aka Papa D. My wife, Mary (aka Mama D) and I have just made the trip to Zadar Croatia with 12 great Central Penn College students for a seven week study abroad program. This is the Central Penn Cultural Immersion Program.

Our flights, Philadelphia to Frankfurt, Germany and Frankfurt to Zadar, Croatia, went well and were on time. We arrived in Zadar just before noon on Friday, September 27. All 14 of us made it with all our bags except one bag that arrived on the 28th. Our apartment owner, Tomislav Kera, met us at the airport with some friends and took us to his apartment. When we arrived, the owners of our second apartment, Ivan and Dragica Knezevic had a luncheon waiting for us on white-table clothed picnic tables outdoors under kiwi vines. The temperature was 21 degrees celcius (about 70 degrees fahrenheit) and the sky was clear.  After lunch several students went swimming in the beautiful, clear, Adriatic Sea which is 50 yards from our apartments.

It is our tradition to have a “first night dinner”. Tomislav arranged a magnificent meal at a traditional Croatian restaurant in old town Zadar where we feasted on the local seafood: fish soup, mussels, ink-fish risotta and pasta, and tuna. (Arsenio Hill learned how to eat a shrimp’s head!)  Tomislav and his sister Maria joined us as we were serenaded by a trio who sang us the local songs while they played accordian and guitars. The trio also led us in a “Happy Birthday” tribute to immersion student Dwight Mckell.

The next day I took all students to the local supermarket where they tested their Hrvatski (Croatian)-to- English phrase books and their “Govorite li Engleski” (do you understand English?) to buy a supply of groceries for the week. The students were quite proud of their acc0mplishments at the supermarket. Food prices are very reasonable in Croatia.

Tonight, students are preparing a home-cooked group dinner and a birthday cake for Christal Lewis.

Students will spend the next seven weeks exploring Croatia and meeting people to learn about the Croatian culture. Students will read books about Croatia, meet and interview Croatian people, plan and take excursions to Croatian and other European destinations and write reports on all of this to tell us what they learned. They will also research selected topics about Croatia, write research papers, and give a presentation on their experience when they return to the US. They will be very busy!

Look to this blog to hear their experiences!

Professor Davison (Papa D)

Arrival in Zadar

Arrival in Zadar!

First Night Dinner - Stomorica Restaurant in Old Town

First Night Dinner – Stomorica Restaurant in Old Town

Ink Fish Risotta, Pasta and Shrimp

Chasing Kangaroos

By on 10-07-2012 in Australia 2012

Chasing Kangaroos

Mama and Joey

G’Day Mates

This is professor Davison. My wife, Mary Davison (aka Mama D) and I are escorting 13 Central Penn students on a cultural immersion program in the land down under, Australia. We are staying in Hervey Bay, Queensland for 7 weeks. Students are earning credit by interviewing local people, reading books about Australia, planning and participating in learning excursions to different parts of Australia and conducting research on selected topics.

‘Roos on the Ridge

One of the delightful things we encounter in Australia are the kangaroos. They run wild in Australia much like deer in the United States. The kangaroo is a truly unique animal. It is one of the most efficient runners (or should I say hoppers) of all animals. It can go at high speeds for long distances. The female kangaroo, once mature, is always pregnant. Her pregnancies are of varied length, depending on whether there is a joey in the pouch. Once the pouch is clear, and not until then, the new kangaroo (joey) can be born.

So, a few days ago, at about 6:00AM in the morning, Mama D and I ventured out to see if we could find some wild kangaroos. We had great success. Just on the outskirts of Hervey Bay we found altogether 15 kangaroos, including mothers and joey’s, both in and out of the pouch. Since then I have been taking car loads of students (4) to look for kangaroos at 6:00 AM every morning. The first group (Brittany Woodard, Caprice Taylor, Cierra Warner, and LaTanya Gilbert) saw altogether 20 kangaroos from the car. While driving down a dirt road, a kangaroo jumped out of the woods just 10 feet from the front of the car and bounded down the road ahead of us before disappearing in the woods. The second  group (Quinn Wetherall, Barend Woode, Marilee Houtz, and Joy Graves)  saw a similar number. This group was not satisfied with seeing them from the car, however. They got out of the car and followed the kangaroos through the woods. Unfortunately, the kangaroos were quite a bit faster than our students.  Tomorrow we all embark on a three day exploration of the World Heritage site, Fraser Island (look for another post from one of the bloggers), but when we get back, the rest of the students (Carl Roberts, Kelsey Berkheimer, Megan Champagne, Brother Dent-Bey and Ericka Joseph) will get their turn at chasing kangaroos! (By the way, there is a very good book by that title).

Mama and Joey in the pouch

Cheers, and enjoy the photographs!

Professor Davison