6 August 2019 or as the Americans write it August 6 2019 marked exactly one calendar month since I arrived at Dulles international airport in Washington DC, the capital city of the United States of America. The home of the brave and land of the free as the Americans themselves like to call it. A familiar feeling kept me company, this has happened before, I whispered to myself. “Has it?” My inner self answered. But I digress. Today marks a full calendar month of learning, unlearning and relearning. Today marks a full calendar month of a new chapter.
Back to July 6, walking out of Dulles airport, a huge backlash of heat confronted me, thick, hot and humid. Before I could complain about this discomfort, I saw Washington DC in her full majesty and beauty. What a city. What a feeling. I had arrived. Two days later, I was meeting the nicest, smartest and passionate young people selected from around the world. The energy in the room was electrifying, the sessions were amazing. Then I remembered what that feeling was all about. The familiar feeling was the fear of the unknown! The fear of failure, the fear of inadequacy, the imposter syndrome among many other fears.
But the energy in that room dispelled all this. Nobody seemed scared. Everyone seemed excited and daring! They all seemed up to the task. I was then confronted with the words of Nelson Mandela. “Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
It has been a month and a week since I arrived, am I still afraid, certainly. Who isn’t? the trick is not to give fear too much importance. am I worried? Resounding no!! it certainly is the best time to be alive. The journey will be long and sometimes hard. It will be exciting and sometimes sad. But we are certainly equal to the task. To my fellow fellows, class 36. Let’s go ahead and confront the unfamiliar!!
Nelson Mandela is rooting for us.