Thursday, May 31, 2012

2 states, 1 district, 1 day...e'erday im shuffling!

Since its an hour commute to the workshop everyday, I have to leave the house by 7:45am in order to make it there on time. I told my niece to wake me up when she leaves for school, which is usually around 7am, but today she know what that means! I woke up at 7:32am, from my nephew entering my room to check if I was awake! According to my him, I jumped outta bed and was dressed and looking fresh even before my feet touched the ground! I dashed to the bus station only to find that the bus was 10 mins late...needless to say, I uttered some horrible words under my breath...

Once I got to Dupont Cirlce metro, I dashed to class, and made it with 1 min left to a true African! I was pretty tired when I got there, but somehow I seem to always gain an unexpected burst of energy. Classes are quite intense and cover a broad range of topics in development, strategy management and personal belief systems. Beryl Lavinger is out instructor for the first week out of three, and she is by far the most genius person I've ever met. She has a very critical-thinking mind, is able to effectively and efficiently response to questions and comments that float around the room, and always invites class interaction. I feel empowered by her. On the first day we discussed the idea of empowerment; many of us defined it as the ability to make someone realize a greater personal potential. However, [since we all agreed to disagree] she went on to claim that we don't "empower" a person; the person "empowers" himself/herself. All we do is remove the barriers that allow them to empower themselves. Some food for thought I suppose.

After work, I went to networking event that was organised by the DPMI. It was a networking event that invited old DPMI alumns and students studying at the Monterrey Institute in California that were in the DC area. It was a good time as there was, in the words of Sandra Peter, a lot of  "shmoozing". It was quite the a bar downtown, with fancy finger foods and a bar, and tons of chatter in the air! As soon as I entered the room, I caught the eye of someone in a corner at the opposite side of the room. He stared me at me for 5 solid secs...enough to make you feel like you forgot to wipe the toothpaste mark from your face! Anyways, after chatting to a few professionals and getting to hear their story, I decided to head out. As soon as I got downstairs, two classmates, Marsha and Ayane, and that guy comes out. He makes small talk with us, and then pulls me aside. The first thing he says is:" You're not 21, are you?"...and I was like WTF...who is this guy? I reply and ask why that matters to him. What he said next was kinda comical. He told me that everyone who drinks wine in DC is usually older, and that I don't look old at all...and that he could tell I was young because he had a masters in Criminal Justice. I just stood there with a "are you kidding me" look on my face! I guess Mr Paljar was right...some complexes are just too much! :P

Yoga in the park...NBD
I ended up chatting up Mr Sherlock Holmes here, and found his name to be Hassan. He was from Morocco and lived in the states for over a decade now. He decided that city life was too much for him, and lives in the suburbs. He just so happened to be in the bar when the event started. However, from our conversation he told me how he cherishes smaller places that have a sense of being in them as opposed to being lost in bigger  city. Parallel to this, I love living in Decorah, because I can go to big cities like Minneapolis, Rochester, or LaCrosse, but then I can always come back to peace and quiet of my room at Luther College. Life is good after all! This insight was beneficial as it made me tolerate DC a little more, and also excites me for adventures I will have in this place. I have already met with family, and Nick, and feel like its going to be a grand summer!

After that, I went to the closest Starbucks to use their WIFI to check my email, and saw that my friend, Meghan Kousik, was in town and was down to chill. I called her to plan a rendezvous for tonight. She told me to come over to see her place, and so I began the journey from Dupont Cirlce to Georgetown. I decided to walk instead of taking the bus, as this would be more fun, exercise, and a good way to familiarize myself with more of "residential DC". I walked about 14 blocks, through French looking apartments, narrow roads, forest pathways, impressive-looking academic institutions, and M street. M street is know for its hip feeling and crowded roads. It has everything from fancy stores, like Zara, to eateries, like Johnny Rockets! This street leads up to the prestigious Georgetown University. Walking the streets, I got a better sense of "wealth". You see rich people on TV, and you occasionally see a fancy car riding down the road. However, jaguars and X6 BMW were a common sight here; the fashion sense reflected the same. I felt somewhat out of place, but then I realized that I'm just my own person...and hopefully I'll be that rich one day as well! :)

I got to the Key bridge that divides Virginia from DC and this is where I met up with Meghan. She lives in the basement on a student apartment, which houses her and a friend very comfortably. From outside, these Georgetown town houses look small in terms of width and length, but once you go inside, you see how long they are. Anyways, we decided to walk along the Potomac river and just catch up. We must have walked for a good hour and a half because when we stopped to walk back, the sun was set already. There were a lot of helicopters flying around, and Meghan hoped one of them had President Obama in one of them, and jumped to get their attention....yeah...not much luck with that! After walking back to her place, it was time to head back home.

I walked across the bridge from Georgetown, DC, into Arlington, Virginia, to hop onto the orange line at Rosslyn, transfer to the red line at Metro station, and take it all the way to Glenmont. By the time I got to Glenmont, I hadn't realized how late it was. It was 10:45pm. I waited for the # 10 or # C8 bus, but ended up waiting for 20mins. After that, i decided to ask one of the bus drivers, who was just chilling at the station, when the next bus is coming. He told me that the service terminates at I just missed it. Oh well...I guess my only option was taking a $10 dollar taxi. However, before I left, He introduced himself to me, Gabriel, and we got to chatting and he asked me where I was from. One of the joys of being from Namibia, is that not a lot of people know where it is! Do you know where it is? Don't cheat now! lol...Anyways, I describe the basic traits of my country to him. I told him about the diversity of languages and cultures within the country, our main minerals and economic assets, and how warm Namibians are. I am very proud to be a Namibian, and love tell others about myself, my country, and discovering new things about the aforementioned. This was quite the way to end my day...

Off to bed! This heat is killing me...and here I thought the weather in the Midwest was extreme...smh!


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