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.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Culinary Delights and Organic Farming

July 14th, 2012

            On a free day here in Dunedin, a few members of our group braved the cold and ventured out to a local farmers’ market.  The market is held once a week in the City’s historic train station.  Although the rainy weather was a little harsh, the experience was endearingly pleasant.  On arrival the most enticing aroma of a variety of food greeted us.  Unlike your average farmer’s market back in the United States, the one in Dunedin had much more to offer than simply fresh produce.  Authentic cuisine from various countries lined the street—the possibilities seemed endless!  Our group had the chance to sample spanakoptia, a flaky pastry triangle of deliciousness made of spinach and theta cheese and mushrooms native to Lebanon.  The best, however, was yet to come.  We soon discovered the “Holy Grail” (as Dr. Goswami described it) of market entrees:  barbequed lamb shish kabobs, the best-flavored and tender meat in the southern hemisphere.  Needless to say, we had to have multiple servings.   Our journey to the farmers’ market was a fantastic introduction to the region’s culinary diversity and its emphasis on organic farming.

-Matthew R

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