I arrived to DC on September, 8th. My first days here were like an emotional rollercoaster, I was so excited to be in a new place that it is so cultural, and with people from the whole Continents. People who are trying to change their perspectives to create a new world, and why not, heal it. However, sometimes when I was returning to my house after a long day in my host organization, I felt homesick and a little down.
I knew that at the beginning I could feel ups and downs because I lived like the same experience in Port-au-Prince, Haiti when I was an America Solidaria volunteer. Also, I told my friends in Lima, Peru, that during the first month I have to adjust some behaviors, and discover the activities that I like to do and spent time with people who like the same activities.
Even with my experience in Haiti, there was something that it could not handle well at the beginning, my accommodation. It was difficult to accept that my house in Haiti was better than my house in DC. Now I can said that I arrived with big expectations because I thought that living in the capital of the United States, it would be fancy, and that only can happen if you are ready to pay more than 75% of your stipend.
Finally, I started to share with my fellows who live in the same complex than me since two weekends ago. We had potlucks, I shared some Peruvian dishes, and I am starting to feel the complex as my home. Now I can said without doubts that I love the neighborhood. You can see the photo below, it was taken from one block to my home.
Moral: It is normal arrive to a new place with big expectation, but you have to breathe in and develop a strategy when that expectations are not in the same page than the reality. In my case, I decided to take pictures of the sunsets and cook with my fellow fellows. However, if I could return to the past, I would prefer arrive to DC without expectations as when I arrived to Port-au-Prince because since the beginning everything was cool.
The soundtrack: No expectations, The Rolling Stones
Who is Carlos Jáuregui? He is the second Atlas Corps fellow from Peru and he is a communication for development specialist. He love cooking, dancing and taking pictures of sunsets. More about him in the following blog posts.