Our exchange students are engulfed in the American culture and life during their time living in the U.S. While our students also share the joys of their culture and traditions with new friends and host community, what happens when their home country becomes the center of a global crisis? Our students, who are so far away from home, instantly become the go-to resource for those looking for additional information. This is no different for Mahdev from Malaysia.
The world has been searching for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ever since it went missing March 1 during its travels from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. While there are still many questions left unanswered, Mahdev has taken the opportunity to share even more about how the event has affected his country and help answer questions his classmates may have. Mahdev shares his experiences as an ambassador for his country with us!
"Over the past weekend and week, news stations world-wide have been reporting over the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane that took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China. However, it never did make it to its destination. Details aside, everyone around me suddenly became aware of where I’m from, Malaysia. As much as it was a tragedy, I had the opportunity to speak and report on the situation back home to my fellow friends and classmates here at Valley Springs High School in Valley Springs, Arkansas.
Throughout the week, a good number of classes that I attend had deep discussions about what is now a global crisis, from conspiracies to the show of humanity. My Psychology teacher, Mrs. Sandra Tramell would never fail to ask me for the latest updates and (if I have been in contact with my friends and family back home to get the 411 on the matter) every morning during my first period class. Students would do just the same after watching the daily edition of ‘CNN Student News’ during Sociology class. Even during History class, my teacher Mrs. Jessica Halems had me stand up front (as requested by the students) where I spoke on the matter with great detail as I have been keeping up with the disappearance of the airplane. I also recall sharing a moment of disbelief with my Oral Communications teacher, Mr. Harness, who had stopped me in the hallway to talk about it.
As much as I am in disbelief myself to see such a thing happen, I was glad to be able to clarify when there were questions and to prevent assumptions when we spoke of the many theories of what had happen. I had the chance to share how things worked in Malaysia, especially in dealing with ‘Search & Rescue Operations’ and how Malaysians were all united in prayer and hope to see some break through.
As an ambassador, I realized that we as exchange students need to be ever ready to talk and be a representative of our country at all times especially in times like this. I really hope that we will be able to discover the missing plane and the passengers."