The Political Science Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, with the assistance of the University’s Division of International Studies & Programs, is pleased to introduce its Pacific Studies Program - a pioneering collaborative initiative between A&M-Kingsville and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The Pacific Studies Program (PSP) is being co-directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, A&M-Kingsville and Dr. Elaine Webster, Director, Summer School and Continuing Education, University of Otago. The PSP will include graduate and undergraduate students traveling to and staying in New Zealand from July 5th, 2012, through July 22nd, 2012, attending classes at the University of Otago, and visiting multiple sites through field trips in the greater Otago region. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, sustainability and environmental policies, etc., with reference to both the greater Pacific region and New Zealand.

Dr. Christine Reiser-Robbins, Anthropology Program, Texas A&M-Kingsville, is directing a Service Learning Project, a special component of the PSP. The PSP will facilitate interaction between middle and high school students from Bishop School District, Texas, and Logan Park High School, Dunedin, Otago, through the application of Internet-enabled technologies.

You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the uniqueness of New Zealand and the surrounding region. This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chocolate Makes Everything Better

A few of us gathered together for a Cadbury Chocolate Festival Event and headed to Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. On the way we picked up amazing nachos. They make them with melted cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Today’s event was the Jaffa Race. Jaffas are large round chocolate balls with a colored coating. Members of the community purchased a Jaffa for the race and were assigned numbers. The race started at the top of the street and the Jaffas were released, coming down in a wave like fashion, it was an amazing sight. Thousands came to watch. The person with the number which matched the first Jaffa to make it across the finish line won a $1,000 grocery gift card. The money raised from the race was given to children’s medical charities. This event allowed me to see the sponsoring corporation in a different perspective and I really respected their decision.  Chocolate can be good in many ways, even when cascading in a wave down the world’s steepest street!

-Cassandra W.

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