My time in Texas

Dear readers,

This is your IMS formal intern, Reina.

While rainy season is just right around the corner, I am also freshly starting my summer semester in university. I just returned from spring break that consisted of traveling to South Korea, Texas in the United States and Bali in Indonesia. Although a US citizen, it was my first time returning to mainland US (that’s not Hawaii) in over 6 years — I strongly believe that there is a vast enough cultural difference between the mainland and Hawaii that it doesn’t count as an “american experience” — I was nervous visiting. With all the recent political turbulence and particularly gun violences among other safety issues, I felt uneasy stepping foot in the most stereotypically American state of all: Texas.

Throughout the week I was there in Houston to visit one of my close friends, I was pleasantly surprised to have no dull moments during my time and indeed turned out to be a memorable one. I tried Craw-fish for the first time, in Japanese ざりがに in Cajun style which quickly became one of my favorite foods: apparently it’s called the cockroaches of the sea.

As it is right by the Coastline, Houston is mainly a swampland that has been developed. For that reason, there are no basements, and floods are common. Many houses were still damaged by the large hurricane last year that flooded few feet in and around Houston. Right by the shore, houses were lifted one floor to prevent flood damage. Aside from that, Houston is mainly known for having NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This is where the US trains all their astronauts and build spacecrafts. Out of boredom we visited the space center and ended up learning a significant amount of why the space program is so important.

Many inventions that make our daily lives better and easier is in fact thanks to the space program. In order to create the most cutting edge technology to make space trips safer and more comfortable, NASA employs thousands of scientists of all fields to continuously invent the newest technologies. These will then be used for the next spaceflight, and/or trickle down to the rest of the society. I didn’t really thought about this previously, but this experience made me appreciate the space exploration program for the first time. Pretty cool stuff.

Yours truly,
Reina T.