The Sandia Room in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Building filled with laughter Friday afternoon as university President Steven Gamble talked about his international travels to various countries, such as Germany, England, China and New Zealand.
“I’ve seen the castle that they modeled Cinderella’s castle after in Germany,” Gamble told his audience Friday. “That was pretty fantastic because I felt just like I was in Disneyland.”
The presentation of Gamble’s traveling adventures was the wind down event for International Week at the university in which daily presentations were held for various cultures.
The week kicked off Monday with a presentation on Mexico by graduate student Maria Garcia and was followed by a question and answer session Tuesday with FBI agents.
“I think a lot of people see the FBI as very serious people but they were a lot of fun with good humor,” said International Affairs director Kaiwen “Kevin” Xu, who helped host the week’s presentations. “I saw people very happy and enjoying themselves (all week). For the Mexican presentation, we had authentic Mexican dishes, which you don’t normally get in New Mexico.”
Associate professor of marketing Patt Burusnukul of Thailand told about his native country on Wednesday, sharing with his audience the philosophy of Nam Jai, which means “water of the heart” and is the act of kindness.
Burusnukul also shared photos and facts on the traditional new year celebration of SongKran, which is a water festival and natives celebrate good fortune and health in the new year.
“Not only are Thai people known for our smiles and friendly faces but for our delicious food,” Burusnukul said. “Usually, Thai dishes come with a lot of flavor.”
After a presentation on Thailand Wednesday and Ghana on Thursday, the week ended with Gamble’s Travel Luncheon in which Gamble shared his biggest fear and favorite sites with international travel.
Gamble told his audience traffic in England, Bermuda, Japan and New Zealand scared him due to driving on the left side of the road. He named Bermuda and New Zealand as two of the most beautiful places he had seen.
“One thing I’ve seen that had a huge impact is the Great Wall of China,” Gamble said. “Just standing there and knowing it’s part in history.
“Something else I remember for all the wrong reasons was the Rock of Gibraltar,” he added. “Sharing this peninsula are a bunch of ugly imported monkeys.”
Gamble filled the room with laughter once again as he shared an anecdote of a monkey biting him for no reason.
“What I feel is very different is that the presenters enjoyed it as much as the audience, which is why the audience enjoyed it so much,” Xu said of the foreign-enriched week. “I think the audience enjoyed the whole week and all the presentations.”