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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Blog Applications 


Over the weekend I heard of two ways in which blogs can be used.

Application One

One way was discussed at a meeting of foreign exchange student advisory volunteers, talking about the issue of an exchange student adjusting to the environment of the foreign country he or she is visiting. If the exchange student continuously contacts family and friends "back home," then the exchange student may have problems adjusting to the new home. In some cases the people "back home" may assume that things are the same with the exchange student, not realizing that the exchange student is at a different school with different friends and different experiences.

One suggestion floating around was that the exchange student advise his or her "back home" friends that there would be no direct contact and e-mails, since the exchange student was busy in the foreign country. Instead the exchange student would start a blog to update the people back home.

After some searching, I found such a blog, from Christopherus Ray'onaldo. Here's the first entry, from last September:


This is a blog from an exchange student. I'm from Indonesia. For 1 year(2005-2006) I live in TX,USA. I have a very good family. I have 2 brother. My big brother live in Netherlands now. My little brother still 3 years old. He is so funny. I'm very interested in computer. I wish I can be a computer programmer. I wrote this blog because my brother told me to write a blog and his blog is nice(only in his post about poem). You can check my brother blog at http://andrewchris.blogspot.com. That's all I can say. Have a great day ^O^.


Later that same day, he wrote to all of his Indonesian friends - in Indonesian. He'd continue to post occasionally, and wrote this in early November:


Just want to post something :D

Hmm..... like my title said i just want to post something but i don't know what is it :D

Last day i went to cinema. I went with my host brother but only me can get the ticket. Because it's the last ticket. I watched Chicken Little. It was fun and cool movie. There is an education behind the movie. It said that you must be honest and keep close to your family. Never lie to your family.



He has continued to post, and often posts about heartache. I don't know if he always does this, or whether he was going through the struggles that are inherent at the beginning of an exchange year, when you're thrown into a new culture and everything is weird. In many cases for North American and European students who leave home in the fall, the worst time is during the Christmas holiday season. Here's what Christopher wrote in mid-December:


No Matter what.......

4 months had gone
7 months will be gone
You are my friend
Even a great f[r]iend
Can't change it

Fight make nothing
Love make everything
Even earth are shaking
Even mountains trembling
You are still my friend
No matter what

Christopher, 13-12-2005

This poem is for my AFS Friends...... Happy Day all....



By January, he was saying: "Man my Indonesian Language is getting worst. But my english is getting better^^." (By the time he goes home, he initially may only want to speak in English, as he grieves over the loss of his new country.)

By March 2006, Christopher was finding inspiration via YouTube:


The song above is called "Mama" by Spice Girl. Just listen to it. It really touched me. Thx mama for loving so much.


(This is an old 1996 song; information here. Posh, did your mother teach you to go around in a bikini top when all of your other friends are dressed more conservatively?)

Application Two

I discovered the second application for a blog after reading this entry from Annika:


Please remember Gcotharn's mom in your prayers....[I]t's a sad thing that has happened in his family. I hope his mom will have a full recovery.


I clicked on the supplied link and read this entry dated Wednesday, April 19:


My mother is fighting for her life. She lost consciousness on Monday evening at approximately 9:00 pm. Cat scans pointed to two aneurysm, located behind her right eye, and 1 1/2 centimeters apart. One had leaked blood into her brain....


I read some of the other details, then checked the blog (The End Zone) to see if there was a subsequent update. I found this:


Mom is still deep in the woods, and will be for weeks. However, she has made tremendous progress since the incident occurred last Monday night. It is exciting to watch. I've started a blog to update friends and relatives about her progress:

www.nancycotharn.blogspot.com

It's difficult to express how much I appreciate the outpouring of love and support for Mom, and also the prayers sent up on her behalf. Thank you....



I'm sure that a lot of people set up limited blogs for temporary purposes. The only thing to remember when you do this, however, is that if you delete the blog, some spammer may grab the domain because of its popularity. That's what happened with the old Random Picture, Random Story blog (needless to say, I'm not providing a link).

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
The exchange student blog is very heart warming. I wonder how old he is? I guess I could go check out his blog profile and see for myself.

The second one is sad, but also heartwarming in a way. When you are going through a crisis, a blog would be the perfect way to keep friends and family updated without sending mass emails every other day, or calling 100 people and repeating the same news. My younger sister started her blog when she was a missionary in Korea, for the same reasons.
 
I'm more familiar with YFU (Youth for Understanding) than AFS, but I believe that people on full-year exchange student programs are between the ages of 15 and 18 (although sometimes 15 year olds may not be allowed to participate in some selected programs). So the participants are not only dealing with a new culture, they're dealing with all the usual teen stuff.

The fascinating part about the Nancy Cotharn story is that people such as Annika, me, and you who have never met Nancy are now aware of her situation and are praying for her. Good way to mobilize people.
 
Hi...
This is Ray...
I changed my blog to :
http://cr4y88.blogspot.com/

Thx
I'm almost 20 years old now ^_^

Ray
 
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