Welcome – Bienvenu – Welkom – Добро пожаловать


Thanks for visiting my blog. Almost two weeks ago, I moved from Georgia to attend the University of Oklahoma. Ever since I toured this university, I felt confident that it fit well my interests and desires for my time as a college student. I look forward to pursuing those passions as a student, as a Global Engagement Fellow, and as an aspiring linguist and language-lover. I hope to explore many ideas, regions, and languages over the course of my posts and my experiences.



Cooking with Alejandra: Tostadas

Today, I attended a cooking class with Chef Alejandra from OU’s campus in Puebla, and she taught me a little bit about Mexican cuisine and how to make tostadas.


  • fried tortillas
  • bean paste
  • red salsa (tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, onion)
  • green salsa (tomatillo, cilantro, garlic, onion)
  • shredded lettuce
  • cheese
  • oil


Spread bean paste onto tortilla, and put lettuce on top. Mash together ingredients for salsa and pour onto tortilla. Top with cheese and light drizzle of oil.

Perhaps because all of the ingredients were fresh, these tostadas taste unlike any I had ever had before. They were tasty and satisfying, and a good midday snack! The some of the ingredients (particularly the tortillas) may be hard to find in a regular grocery store, which will hinder how often I can enjoy this recipe, but otherwise, it is quick and easy to make.


Cactus Tasting

I attended a cactus tasting event in Hester hall today. The room was packed with people and there was a table set up in the front, where different cactus dishes/drinks were being prepared. We first watched a video about how cactus is prepared and the different ways it can be eaten. Here’s a short video:

At this event, cactus salad and cactus juice were prepared. For the salad, the cooked cactus was cut into pieces and mixed with chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. As for the cactus juice, pieces of cactus and coconut juice were mixed together in a blender. Here’s a picture of my share of the salad and the juice:


Cactus does feel and taste like okra. I would definitely try it again!

Sadaf x


The Italian culture is very different form what I am used to in America. I knew what to expect from my summer trip, however, the longer I stay the more frustrating it gets. My biggest complaint about Italy is their inability to form lines. I never noticed it in the summer, but I am incapable of ignoring it now. Wherever you go, grocery store or cafe, the Italian people do not know how to form a line. Growing up, my youth group would always joke about how we could never form a circle when needed. The same goes for the Italians and lines. There have been numerous times that people have pushed me out of the way or cut me in a line for no reason.

When you enter the country, get off your plane, and head to customs, everyone is moving quickly. All of the sudden, it bottlenecks a large group of people in to a line. The first time I came, I ended up getting pushed to the back of the heard because I was trying to be polite. However, everyone else seemed to know what to expect. They are not afraid to elbow their way to the front. Then, once you are in the line, people are still cutting and shoving. It’s very frustrating.

I’m not sure why this custom is so natural to the Italian people, but it makes it hard to function in this culture.

This makes me wonder about North American culture. I wonder what bothers international students. One thing is for sure, I will be more sympathetic toward exchange or international students. It is very difficult to adapt to another culture in a semester. I hope the Italian people will continue to show me patience as I attempt to understand their way of life.

OU cousin story (cont.)

Hello world!

Remember when I told you a story about my OU cousin that ended up not being a story about her– and told you about Nikki, my Nigerian friend? This is my story about Nikki.

Nikki is one of the kindest souls I have met on this campus. She is always full of life and has a great outlook on life. She was born and raised in Nigeria and went to a private Indian school where only Indian students were admitted run by the high commission. When Nikki first mentioned that, I was completely confused. So I went to my friend Google for answers! Turns out the Nigeria high commission is actually headquartered in Delhi and oversees all immigration, trade and investment activities between the two countries. They build private schools for Indians living in Nigeria, but only allow those children to go to school there, which is. something Nikki hated about her school. However, she does claim she had good memories and met some good people there, so I’m guessing she doesn’t resent it completely.

When it came time to apply for college, she, like many of her classmates, looked abroad for options. She got into many good colleges and professional certification programs, but because her sister was already at OU, she chose to come to OU to study interior design. She is very active on campus and loves participating in international programs. I enjoy hearing her stories about her childhood with her sister and family in Nigeria and how much they miss it. I’m so glad I got to meet her and wish the best for her future!