As is the tradition of the Georgia Rotary Student Program, each fall the GRSP student partially sponsored by our club presents a program introducing him/herself to the club and in the spring, before heading back to the home country, sums up the year-long experience.
This year’s student is Kirsty Purves from Edinburgh, Scotland, who shared bits of her culture and differences she’s already discovered since she came to the United States.
Already, milkshakes have become her favorite food, she likes fried chicken, doesn’t like grits, was shocked at sweet tea – really, iced tea in general. At home, tea is a hot drink, soccer is football and religion is a background movement.
“I’ve never been to church,” she told the club Sept. 20. “Until I came her it was never really talked about.”
While Kirsty admits she’s not a big fan of traditional Sottish food, such as the famous combination of haggis (a pudding made with sheep organs), neeps (turnip-like root vegetable) and tatties (mashed potatoes), she still loves her home. Her two heroes are J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, and Sir William Wallace, better known to most Americans as the lead character in the movie “Braveheart,” about the 13th century knight who fought for Scottish independence.
Still, the differences Kirsty has already discovered between here and her homeland are significant – guns, lack of public transportation and politics.
“Guns are illegal in Scotland,” she said. “The only time I’ve seen a gun is when I went to the U.S. Embassy to get my Visa.”
Kirsty has been surprised by the lack of public transportation and equally surprised by the current presidential race.
“So many people I’ve talked to about politics tell me they have no idea how the two people running for president became the final choices.”