The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 19, 1996, Page 6, Image 6

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    Traveling opens eyes to other cultures
THOMPSON from page 1
exposure to foreign countries.As she
matured, she wanted to get away from
the tourist traps and submerge herself
in the culture, she said.
“You can go around to all the ma
jor sights but you learn more if you’re
talking to the people who live next to
the sights.”
Thompson’s first experience living
with international people was during
a six-week stay in Ecuador with a pro
gram called Amigo de las Americas.
She lived with a family in a small
village where there were no electric
lights or telephones, teaching the vil
lagers English and basic sanitation.
‘1 had never done anything like that
before,” Thompson said. “It opened
my eyes to how others live and feel.”
She found the people there were
hard-working, caring and happy, even
though they had virtually nothing, she
said. All they needed was the basic el
ements for survival.
She learned to admire the families’
commitment for each other, she said.
Every member of the family worked
and took care of each other. The people
took care of all the children, especially
those who had been orphaned.
“It felt good to be in an environ
ment where everybody respects each
other and looks after each other,” Th
ompson said.
Thompson found that caring,
friendly lifestyle during most of her
Total strangers always invited her
to their homes, offer her something to
eat and a place to sleep. They just
wanted to be friendly and find out
about her and the United States.
‘1 have never felt so much love as
I have traveling in all these countries,”
she said.
In most countries Thompson went
to, she was embarrassed by fellow
Americans who acted like stereotypi
cal tourists, she said. They would flash
their money around and ignore the
people, she said.
“They’re rude, they’re condescend
ing. They treat people like crap.”
To break the typical tourist mold
and make more of her trips, Thomp
son travels with no agenda, no hotel
reservations and hardly any luggage.
“Just get off the plane and go,”
Thompson said. “You just go the way
it’s right for you to go at that time.”
Among all Thompson’s stories of
trips to Vietnam, Spain, China, En
? gland, Japan and India, she makes one
point cleW — people have to see the
world forthemWlyes.
“How can yoirexperience life with
out experiencing things that aren’t
common or comfortable to you?” she
asked. “You need to step out of your
comfort zone.”
Thompson has tried to encourage
other students at the University of Ne
braska-Lincoln to do the same.
She recently has tried to rally sup
port for a study abroad scholarship pro
gram, but meetings with the student
affairs office and the Association of
Students for the University of Ne
braska have given her the same excuse
— the money is not there.
Thompson will graduate in May
and try to take her efforts elsewhere.
She plans to spend the summer in
London, and return to Ecuador next
fall. \4
Because her life has been shaped
by her experiences around fliie world,
she wants others to expand their lives
outside the confines of just one small,
distant part of the world.
, “The world is a beautiful place and
there’s so much to learn,” She said.
“You’re depriving yourself of an in
credible experience if you don’t do it.”
Snowy weather doubles
Lincoln traffic accidents
ACCIDENTS from page 1
While an increase in accidents
when the roads are slick is to be ex
pected, some of the days saw acci
dent totals more than 60 higher than
the daily average range.
On Nov. 10, 1995 — the first
snow of fall 1995 —- police offic
ers were dispatched to 134 acci
dents. On Dec. 21, 1995, officers
were dispatched to 100 accidents;
on March 3, 1996, officers were
dispatched to 95.
Surprisingly, the amount of
snowfall had little relationship to
the number of accidents. On Nov.
10,1995, officers were dispatched
to 134 accidents as 4.1 inches of
snow fell. However, on the next
busiest day for the police, Dec. 21,
1995, only 1.2 inches fell.
Police records show that the
number of snow-day accidents de
creases as the winter rolls along.
While snow days in November and
December saw accident totals sev
eral times the average numoer,
snow days in late March had acci
dent totals only slightly higher than
the average range.
Heermann said the department
does not bring on extra officers to
help with the increased workload,
but it does reassign some units to
help out. She said the traffic unit is
often reassigned, adding five or six
officers to the effort.
Larry Anderson, an insurance
agent at Allstate Insurance Com
pany, said every insurance office in
Lincoln feels the effects of snow
and freezing rain. He said each of
fice will see two or three accident
claims after a good snow.
Anderson said his office re
ceived two or three claims from this
past Weekend’s snowy weather.
Sometimes, Anderson said, he
thinks motorists don’t use common
sense. ,
“They get in a hurry and don’t
think about things,” he said. “It’s a
lot of common sense, really.”
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