Looking Back

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Looking Back

By Kevin Rutherford

After departing Bangkok, I spent 24 straight hours either in a plane, or waiting for a plane to arrive, which meant I ended up spending 19 hours on a plane, with five hours of layover in Doha, Qatar. Coming home, I landed in Boston and travelled home, unable to sleep from the night before. In the end, I ended up staying up 50 hours and almost passed out while standing up.

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To Southeast Asia and Beyond

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To Southeast Asia and Beyond

By Kevin Rutherford

When I first found out that I had been accepted to study in Hong Kong, I was excited to be able to go to the other side of the world. This then followed the inevitable, “Okay, now where do I go after the trip,” thought. Fortunately, some of my other classmates thought the same thing, and we decided on first visiting Vietnam. After a short trip to Hanoi, we walked around the city, viewing the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and walked around to various temples in the city. After walking around and dodging motorbikes (including pulling a friend back from almost being hit by one just minutes after leaving the hotel), we made our way to a water puppet show, which was based on traditional Vietnamese water puppet history.

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Stress, Fun and Lasting Memories

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Stress, Fun and Lasting Memories

By Kevin Rutherford

Sunday brought the first day of rest that I had in over two weeks so I decided to sit in the dorm and stay dry. Monday brought the first week of real preparation for the project, as we worked tirelessly to ensure that our project would be done on time. Travels this week included trips to a landfill (where we were unfortunately unable to physically drive on) and a great experience at a dry market.

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Adventures in Hong Kong

kevin-rutherford

Adventures in Hong Kong

By Kevin Rutherford

Saturday was our first day of adventure in Hong Kong as a class. This entailed taking a trip to Lamma Island, to the south of Hong Kong. While there, we hiked an easy two miles in the heat and were able to see what the region used to look like before the rapid growth of the past century. The hike itself ended in a separate village to the southeast where we were treated to an incredible local lunch. As it is monsoon season, we also got to experience a torrential downpour, but were kept dry by the intricate patchwork of metal roofing that the villagers had installed over the main street.

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Arrival in Hong Kong

kevin-rutherford

Arrival in Hong Kong

By Kevin Rutherford

hong-kong_buddhaFollowing my travels to Japan, I arrived in Hong Kong on June 2, the day before my program was to begin. Due to a coincidence in timing, my first stop was to visit the Big Buddha statue with a friend from my undergraduate days. Accessible by tramway, a short bus ride, or a long hike, the statue was built in the mid-1990s and functions as a sort of tourist trap. On a good day, you should be able to see much of the harbor and surrounding area, but alas it was the rainy season, and we were clouded in.

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A New Englander in Japan

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A New Englander in Japan

By Kevin Rutherford

Coming from New England, I often take for granted the many opportunities that are afforded to us when compared to the rest of the United States. However, it often takes traveling abroad to get a whole new perspective on what you previously took for granted in your life. In order to do this, I decided to become a part of the Hong Kong trip in order to see how other cities manage their population when dealing with explosive growth or stresses upon their aging urban infrastructure. However, before I arrived in Hong Kong, I spent a week in Japan. Immediately, I was struck by the cleanliness of everything. This is not to say there is no litter, but everything is swept clean in order to ensure that public spaces are presentable.

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Pre-Departure Jitters

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Pre-Departure Jitters

By Kevin Rutherford

Having been abroad before, I kind of knew what to expect when going abroad. However, nothing prepared me for the whirlwind of doing so in Asia. While it was easy to go out and not want to take precautions, I considered it wise to get some basic vaccinations. At the same time, coming so soon after I had just returned home for the semester, it really hit that I was going from class to class, without a break in between.

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The True Reality of Sustainability

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The True Reality of Sustainability

By Eric Rodriguez

A common misconception about sustainability is that it relates primarily to environmental issues. When I first interviewed to participate in the joint ASU/City University of Hong Kong Urban Sustainability Study, I already understood that environmental concerns are but one dimension of the study of sustainability. I knew that food and water supplies, medical needs and land use are other challenges that require sustainable solutions. Despite that understanding, when I arrived in Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, the true reality of sustainability hit me right in the face.

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Apply What You Know

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Apply What You Know

By Isaac Bernal

Although I finished my study abroad program in the middle of June, my trip did not stop there. Because of fortunate circumstances I was to stay in the region for an extra two weeks. Being privileged enough to travel abroad is not something I take very lightly. Rather, it is an opportunity to take advantage of. As such, I decided to backpack through Cambodia and Thailand.

Hong Kong_Isaac Bernal smallEven though the program I went to in Hong Kong was over, continuing to learn about those issues never really stops. I found myself constantly looking at regions I was travelling through and thinking about what policies the various government could implement to help relieve certain sustainability issues. Each country and region is unique and requires a different tactic when trying to address various issues. Sustainability problems don’t stop at a political border; rather, they often cross over and affect the region as a whole. My time studying in Hong Kong left me with a new lens through which to look at the world. And because of this, I am thrilled. It shows that I really did take important lessons away from the program and experience. So as I was traveling around Southeast Asia, I was constantly reminded about various lessons learned in Hong Kong.

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Feels like it was all a dream

eric-rodriguez

Feels like it was all a dream

By Eric Rodriguez

A little over two weeks ago we gave our final presentations and proudly displayed our posters. I still can’t believe that we were able to put everything together and crank out a finished product. I think often of the two days prior to our presentations and the day of. How far we all came. Those moments of doubt when I thought I’d never make it. The voice inside me and the voices of my colleagues and mentors assuring me that I WOULD make it. Flash forward two days later and it was over.

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