It has been an exciting almost three months now in the U.S, the thrills of exploring the country’s beauty and sophistication and the ongoing learning experience are still as captivating as they were when I first arrived, of course I am still in my bubbly honeymoon phase, please don’t burst my bubble.
Change is one of my driving pillars for progress, even though it is painful, we don’t like it but it remains as constant as ever before especially in this 21st century. Talk about how the digital world is changing our lives, my life, I am slowly learning and mastering the art of the digital world with quite a couple of applications that are making my life easy, gradually changing and enriching my digital world perspective.
Talk about learning every day, I feel very privileged to be learning from the best. I am learning from Dame Louise Casey, Institute of Global Homelessness Advisory Board Chair who served under four British Prime Ministers including Tony Blair before joining my host organization, this is a great opportunity accorded by being an Atlas Corps fellow. I learnt a lot having traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas with Dame Louise Casey and my team a few weeks ago, it was one of the most valuable learning experience in ending homelessness. I was privileged to visit a couple of homelessness shelters and meeting the people whose lives we’re striving to change every day. The most gratifying moments are the moments you see smiles on peoples faces whose lives have changed from the streets to get permanent housing, changed lives.
The past almost 90 days have been a true definition of resilient and most importantly a self-discovery journey. I have learnt to embrace each season: summer, winter, and fall, at least I have had a glimpse experience of these even though I am yet to “enjoy” the Chicago winter as everyone around me keeps on insinuating with that fake smile. I must say, all the alerts and knowledge about the winter here is getting me more curious to want to experience it all at once and in full swing, yes I said it with a smile!
Still talking about change and learning, Chicago has taught me a lot: keeping myself warmer twice than anyone else from the other states. I always love how class 32 exchange weather notes from D.C, San Francisco to New York. The connections and catch up sessions are vital, precisely because one always feel connected to a circle of support system rooting for you regardless because you are in the same shoes of changing the world.
I deliberately talk about my fellowship journey with my friends, family, and colleagues, I do it with a smile even in the absence of the subject I am conversating with because being an Atlas Corps fellow is the most exciting and inspiring professional changing journey. I call it my roller coaster year, a 365 days journey and more worth embarking on…
I will sign off with one of my favorite quotes from Dame Louise Casey for all social change leaders: “Start with the worst, and the rest will get easier”.