I am looking forward to Asia. Not particularly the duck fetus, but other things. I like seeing the ways cities are designed in different parts of the world because of how a building layout can affect a person’s feel and interpretation of a city. I hope Asia will have some pretty interesting aspects of this.
I am looking forward to the food too, especially Asian dishes that are not normally served in North American eateries.
The next biggest thing I am looking forward to is seeing the natural environment and animal life of South East Asia. I am bringing a camera with me for reasons like this.
One of my more serious hopes for this trip will be to shake my underlying prejudices toward Islam and Muslims. I want to see its purpose, beliefs and values without blinders. While I almost completely disagree with the tenets of Islam over God’s plan of salvation for the world, I want to see the good things of Islam.
Past experiences with Muslims have been strained because of my prejudices. In past situations, I have tried unsuccesfully to foster a dialogue with Muslim people. The problem has been that my discomfort with the faith has stopped me from getting too close to a religion that has been associated with fear and misunderstanding by individuals I have interacted with. I can only hope and pray that I will be able to learn patiently and humbly from Muslims this time around.