It is another cold day in Chicago, and it is the first snow day of the winter that brings me back many memories. I just remember the day when I arrived to Washington DC, a fellow from Pakistan Prem picked me up from the airport, then we took a shuttle from the airport, he was telling me about his experience while we were going to DC and explaining me about the city. The same day I begun to meet other fellows, It was cold enough to make me run through the streets because I was not prepared with the proper clothes, but my dear friend Lucia gave me a coat, details that I will never forget. But this network was so powerful that even I was tired of 9 hours flight and after sleeping only 3 hours, I went out to one to the fellow’s house because there was a birthday. I was with so much energy that I danced until 3 am that night, I felt like I was 21, now I am 27 but I feel young and strong enough. Then, the next two weeks I attended the Global Leadership Lab training with Atlas Corps where more than 70 fellows from more than 30 countries met together to discuss and learn about several global issues. I learned so much about the different cultures and perspectives, I always say that it was like traveling around the world without the need to buy a flight ticket.
Then I traveled to Chicago with many dreams to my host organization: Heartland Alliance International, I experienced the coldest weather in my life with temperatures below 20F (-30C). I arrived the first day to my host organization and I found a beautiful card from my boss on my desk wishing me all the best and many hugs and words of welcome from the team. The warm reception of my colleagues and the beautiful work place in the Financial District helped me to forget all the cold.
That was a quick summary of my first two weeks eleven months ago, now in two weeks I have my graduation day where officially my journey of Atlas Corps finishes, of course with a mix of feeling of sadness for all the histories and friend that I will say bye, but happy to have been part of this amazing experience and hopeful to bring all my knowledge for the development of my country.