Summer Environmental Institute in Manhattan… Kansas, Not New York!

Group at the Jefferson Nuclear Power Plant Welcome to Little Manhattan! The 1st of July I was welcomed at the Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas for a five week summer program on environmental stewardship. I have learned how important sustainability is for our future. Especially the importance of soil. Wes Jackson founder of the Land Institute and renowned biologist made me aware of that, because if there is no soil or poor soil quality then there is no place for agriculture. 
Other lectures on energy consumption, wind energy or water conservation also increased my awareness. Indian Kickapoo Pow Wow Seminars were not the only activities planned during this trip. Getting to know the American culture was also part of it. The two cultural activities that stood out for me were the visit to the Haskell Indian Nations University and the excursion to the Underground Railroad. These excursion made me understand that we have to go back to our roots in order to understand each other. Royals Baseball Game I also had a great time at the baseball game, the rodeo or the Indian Kickapoo Pow wow. The celebration of the 4th of July was probably the funniest activity. This was a once in a life time experience, where I have learned about other cultures as well American as European cultures thanks to the 13 European countries represented. Wes Jackson at the Land Institure I would like to thank Kristina Snyder and David Carter for the good coordination of all the activities and for their time and patience. After this trip, I would like to help my community to be more responsible when it comes to environment and also make them aware that every little change makes a different. Drinking tap water instead of bottled water for example makes us save 3l of clean water per 1l bottled water. This is the kind of education that I would like to share. For my future plans I would like to start a Master degree in International Relations or an MBA hopefully in an American University. Thank you very much to the Fulbright Commission of Belgium for this wonderful opportunity! — Gracia Muleka Kankonde]]>

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