What I have learned from Brussels?

In light of the recent bombings in Brussels, I expected to find Londoners more fearful to fly out of the country and take trains or tubes at any of the large stations. That was the complete opposite of what I observed the days following the Brussels attack.

Since London is such an accessible city, many of the local schools will take their students on field trips and use the tube as their mode of transportation. The days following the attack, I witnessed at least three school groups waiting on the platform for the tube. The tube that I use every other day on my way to my internship was more populated than normal.

The road from Trafalgar Square to Big Ben was blocked off due to a farmer’s demonstration to urge the British Government to do something about the struggles that its native farmers face in this global market. On Thursday the Piccadilly Line workers union went on strike for 24 hours. It is terrifying to be so close to where many major attacks occur, but that does not mean that we should stop living our lives.

If you are deciding whether or not to study abroad, please do not let these attacks discourage you. There are multiple security measures taken by the United States government, your host country, the establishment that you will be studying through, and your home university in order to ensure your safety. For example the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a U.S. travel service established to give travelers an update on international news. Your program has measures to locate all of their students in a timely manner. Your home university will find you and make sure to distribute that information to all of the relevant parties.

The Maids starring Uzo Aduba, Zawe Ashton, and Laura Carmichael is currently playing at Trafalgar Studios. Jamie Lloyd, director of The Homecoming, brought Jean Genet’s 1947 play to the modern day stage. The Maids is the story of two African American sisters, Claire and Solange, who are the household servants to Carmichael’s character, Mistress, and her husband. After years of being degraded and used, the two sisters begin to roll play as a way to escape the horrific life that they live.

During the brief time that Mistress is away from the home, the girls put on Mistress’s clothes and act out the murder of Mistress. The underlying racist message is punctuated with the discussion of the girls rape at the hands of Master, Claire’s Southern drawl, Mistresses fake kindness to garner affection for her good deeds towards the girls, and the clear Stockholm Syndrome that characterizes Claire.

This week is #museumweek on twitter. This whole week museums from all over the world will be tweeting about the highlights from their establishments. This includes but is not limited to behind the scenes, love, and the people. After working tirelessly with a fellow intern over the course of the month, we have put together the highlights for The Benjamin Franklin House. Take a look at what we have put together for this week and check out what other museums around the world have to offer!
In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Eat, Pray, Love.

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About Dajé Walker (17 Articles)
Dajé Walker is a sophomore studying Secondary Social Studies Education and History at the Pennsylvania State University. Her obsessions are learning about the history of different countries, trying new foods, and improving her very amateur photography skills. She will be studying abroad this spring with the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad) in London, England. As an aspiring educator and researcher, she hopes to learn from every experience that she has over the course of the semester. She will be writing weekly reflections on her adventures this semester.

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