Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cheers to the weekend...

I hope everyone has been busy for the past couple of days, because I have! As much as I want to keep, DC has me exhausted from these long commutes! Nevertheless, I'm committed to this blog, and want to share my experiences with you all! Summer is truly my favourite season because of the amount of people outdoors, the motivation and laziness that recur this time of the year, and the warmth of the sun. Unfortunately, in the past 5 years, I've only experienced one full summer. I went to an international school in India for 2 years, and as the "summer" rolled up, I would go back home to Namibia for the summer break. Unfortunately, summer in the northern hemisphere means winter in the southern hemisphere! So needless to say, last year was the first time I fully experienced summer as I stayed on campus and worked for Luther College Summer Housing. The good ol' Summer Housing Days! Since I haven't blogged for a couple of days, Ill try and go through last Thursday till today...its been quite the couple of days!


Thursday, I believe I woke up on the right side of the bed, because the sun was out and I was woke myself up at around 8am. It was quite morning as I even walked my nephew to the bus stop again...only to come back home and jump in bed again. When I woke up, it was 10:57am.....HOW DID 2 HOURS JUST FLY LIKE THAT??? oh deary me! So it was the usual drill: quick shower, get dressed (with Collegiate Choir music playing in the background, coz we just cool like that), quick breakfast and then dash to the bus stop. Fortunately I got there in time, and got on the metro on time as well. I was pretty nervous to be late today, because we had a group activity at 12pm sharp, and it takes approximately an hour to get down to that part of town and another 10mins to walk to the class. I decided to relax on the train and listen to some Ray Lamontagne while knocking off some soduko puzzles while I wait. Before I knew it, I was there...so I dashed out like it was some Die Hard movie, and ran up the heaven escalators of Dupont Cirlce...I think bee -lined through the pedestrians and made it to class with 12 secs left to spare. For a lack of a better term, I did feel like a boss! And so the day began! Today we learned about creating strategic objectives and indicators for these objectives, in order to evaluate and monitor that they are going as planned. Its an effective measurement in project management! It was frustrating doing this exercise as it required the measurement of behavior as opposed to outcome alone. Even though the change in behaviour can be seen as an outcome, more emphasis should be put on defining a specific behavioural change that we expect to see as our goals are met. This is a fundamental aspect of development, as it is all about changing people's behaviour.


Sights from the metro...
After this I decided to head home early today. Its been a while since I've actually gone home before 10pm, so it was nice to head home this early. It was drizzlying as I was in the train, and from one the train stations, one could see a horizon view of DC in a cloudy splendour. As I was admiring the view, a random girl comes up to me and tells me that this is what she loved summer for. A lot of times, we take our conditions for granted, so appreciate it  some times. Just take a moment to look out your window, and breath in air, clean or dirty!



Friday started off pretty standard. I woke up, class/workshop, but after that I went to go hang with Nick. His roommates didn't move in yet, so I decided to go chill for a bit and just enjoy the downtown vibe. I left my house around 9:30PM and got to his place around Midnight...I couldn't believe how long I had to wait for buses and trains! It was insane;I even knocked off about 20 soduko puzzles. However, on the train down to Rosslyn, a guy on the train needed to reach his friends, but his cellphone died. I saw this and decided to lend him my phone. He luckily wrote down his friends number and could call him. I then just realized how dependent we are on technology. Our digital phone books keep all our numbers and data these days. Not even a decade ago, I knew every number I needed to know by head. I didn't even have a cellphone then, and didn't need one.
Lunch, yes?


Now, I feel a nervous twitch in my right side pocket if my phone is not on me...no beuno! After he got in touch with his friends, we started chatting, and he introduced himself. His name was Yasar, and was Pakistani. He was born in the states, but his parents decided that he should attend college in Pakistan. So he just returned sometime in the past few weeks, and was trying to catch up with his friends. I told him of my adventures to Northern India and how the I went to the Wagah border ceremony (which is a daily ceremony where the Indian and Pakistani border patrol strut their stuff...for lack of a better term). He was pretty amazed, and was even more surprised when I said "mera taluq Namibia se hain" which means I'm from Namibia. This was in Urdu, a Pakistani language similar to Hindi. He got off at the next station, but left with a big confusion on his face..I bet the question on his mind was "How does a Namibia who lived in India and now stays in Iowa know Urdu????" well, the world is smaller than we think, people. Trust me. I know this too well!


oh...ok! :P
On Saturday, my friend Meghan told me about a food festival that was going on in Georgetown. I stayed the night at Nick's place, so we walked over the Potomac from Rosslyn, VA, to Georgetown, DC, lol! We met up with Meghan and her friends, and we all went to wander the food stalls on Wisconsin Ave. The were some pretty good food tastings. Firstly, one had to get a token, and each token was $5. However, for $20, you could get 5 token; $4 a token. I bought a box of two cupcakes from the Georgetown Cupcakes, which were pretty good! Every time I pass that store, on M street, the line is always outside the door. One would think some sketchy business is going on in there, the way people visit this place! My second and third tokens went to a pretty good Gazpatcho with a large shrimp, and key lime pie. My final two tokens went to a cherry pie and a pumpkin pie from Shut Your Pie Hole (picture to the right). It was thee most amazing pie I ever had. No offence to everyone who's pie I've had before, but this pie was off the chart! It was quite an intense experience, to say the least! aaaah!


On my way back home after this, I sat in a pretty empty train car. As I stroked my fingers through my hair, I pictured Benell giving me this really mean look, and telling me that I better cut my hair before I get an ass-whooping. Without hesitation, I got off at the next train station, and coincidentally, it was the station near the barbershop I always visit when I'm in DC. I met up with my regular barber, Tony, and he gave me the usual: high fade with a trim. Needless to say, I felt pretty fly leaving the barbershop! I love the atmosphere of the barbershop...its pretty similar to any barbershop movie you see on TV: old men chatting away while the young ones listen/play card games and just chill. When I finally got back to the metro platform, I had a 8 minute way until the next train was to come. Just then, a random guy came up to me asking if he could use my phone. His story was pretty similar to Yasar's, but he seemed in even more of a rush. After making his call, he introduced himself. His name was Feliks, and he was from Poland, or as Redwan would say: "He is a Pole!". He just got to DC last week, and was having a tough time navigating his way around. So I volunteered to take him back downtown and close to where he had to go, just because I had the time to. Conversation with him was very easy and he had a likable personality. I'm glad I met Feliks today, because it reminded me how being friendly can go a long way sometimes. In this world or stress and personal growth, it is easy to shut strangers out. A little help can go a long way for oneself, and/or for someone else!
Chuck's back...shit just got real!


Sunday was a slow day as I woke up around noon, and just zombied around the room, trying to get my clothes off the floor. Having to dress up everyday is quite a task...so I guess, I can say I know how it feels, ladies! Just saying! At 2pm though, my program had a bbq at one of the participants' home in Forest Glen, which is pretty close to Glenmont. Fortunately a majority of us could make it, so it was quite an enjoyable time! It was pretty sunny, and so we had to call on Mr Corona and Samuel Adams...it would have been a sin not to! After this, I promised my niece, Siku, and nephew, Simasiku, that I would go with them to see a movie. I met up with them at the Silver Spring Mall Cinema, and we paid to watch Avengers 3D. It was worth it, I thought. However, towards the end, I needed the bathroom really bad...and with 20mins left in the movie, I had to dash out of the theatre for a quick visit to the loo, and back in my seat. According to Siku I didn't miss much...PHEW!!! It was nice being able to go out with the kids and just see them have a good time! On our way home, I decided to treat them to some Nandos Chicken, which made us all think of home, and how we miss Namibia so much. I never knew that Nandos has Portuguese origins tho! It will be great to head home for a little bit, in a couple of weeks, but I wish I could take the kids with me...at least for a while!


Ill stop there for now...this is quite a heavy read! Hope everyone is doing well, and that you all are making the best of your time. Overhearing two guys speak about motivation on the bus made me want to do more and be more...and that would be my message to everyone out there. Be empowered!


Cheers


PS: If you want to comment on any of these posts, click in on the blog entry in the "Blog Archive" box on the right-hand side, and the comment box should be visible at the bottom of the entry :)

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