Six Months into the Fellowship… The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
I can do two of the three things I like learning new things, engaging in a new culture and learning new things.
I discovered that I am more reliable than I thought, not just for myself, I am reliable for others as well. I can provide help and strangely accept it. I was looking at help is like getting charity, nothing wrong with that, but the receivers will look down at themselves. Help from a colleague or a professional is totally fine by me now.
I did not experience diversity in culture and people like this before. My experience started with my class, I met people from countries I never heard about, some I could not locate on the map. Most of them Mistaken my country Palestine with Pakistan and I totally understand that first because I look like a Pakistani, second my accent is heavy and it looks I say Pakistan, third Pakistan is 140 times bigger than Palestine (if anyone knows what is the actual area of Palestine). It is nice to the one who introduces your country to a future leader.
The amount of information I learned during this six months exceeded what I learned in the last 2 years. Atlas Corps fellowship did not just add new information, it changed how I look to things.
I was lucky to be serving in Washington State (yes it is different and far away from Washington D.C.). the WA state is an absolute beauty, nature is everywhere, I can find a waterfall 2 minutes from my office. Seattle is a big city lost in a forest. Let me tell you another thing, it looks more beautiful with its fall colors. I did not experience this before. I did not feel happiness like this before.
Checking one of the boxes in my to-do list, I spent my New Years’ Eve at Times Square (Woop Woop), it is the craziest night in my life. I spent 6 hours standing with strangers shoulder to shoulder, sometimes I couldn’t scratch my nose. It was mind-blowing, I did not see that amount of people in one place before. I will never forget that night, the amount of energy there was super. I noticed there is a fun side of this life, if you did not notice this before please do something crazy (I am going to do something crazier SKYDIVING I will keep you posted). If you know me well you will not believe I tried to ice skating, yes, I don’t believe that too. It was quick but I am definitely going back to learn how to skate.
The USA is colder than Palestine, this is a fact. I usually don’t feel cold, and I walk with a T-shirt in cold weather in Palestine ( yes we have winter, yes it is cold, and no it is not a desert). The USA cold is different, it taught me a lesson, don’t mess with it, I will get sick quickly.
This is my second time spending time away from home, definitely easier than the previous year I spent in the UK, not because the US is better, but because I have experience how to deal with this situation.
Making friends is not an easy task for normal people, what about a super introvert like me, I am super glad for my class members are awesome friends.
Another bad thing about this fellowship is, it is going to end (whaaaat). It is in your DS 2019 it is a finite number of days. Please make each one of these counts, not all of them will be beautiful, it could be challenging. That is how we grow.
The USA spoiled me, life is easy here. For example, did you know there is a time for the bus to come early or late? at least it has a schedule. Back at home, the bus will move when it is full. I was complaining about the bus system and how bad it is. I know I am going back to no system at all.
Enjoy your fellowship, make a difference.