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By John Meade

Coffee and Policy Dilemmas

dubrovnik university     On the morning of my second to last day in Dubrovnik, Croatia I went to the campus of Dubrovnik University.  I had the intentions of speaking with some university students about their thoughts on the United States, the war in Iraq, tourism, and the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.  Before going to the university, I consulted Michael Angrosino’s article, "Conducting a Life History Interview" to help me prepare some questions for my potential interview.  After almost an hour of wandering around the campus, I sat down at a café next to a young man reading a magazine.  After gathering my bearings and telling myself that he would not think I was crazy, I asked him if he had a minute to discuss a few topics with me.
     As it turned out, he was more than happy to speak with me.  His name was Vica and he was a sophomore studying agriculture in Dubrovnik.  He seemed generally interested when I told him that I was an American student traveling the world.  I asked him how he felt about our current president and American policy abroad.  He told me that he did not like the direction that the U.S. was going with regards to foreign policy, but he did emphasize the fact that he liked Americans very much.  He did not have a great deal to say about the Balkan Wars because he was not very old at the time, but he said that older people in his family talk about it quite often and it definitely had an effect on his life.  Vica also told me that he has had great experiences in the past dealing with tourists in his country.  My talk with Vica allowed me to have a greater understanding of the mindset of the youth in Croatia.

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