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Week 3: Congressional days 

Updated: 21 hours ago

06.09.2024 Riverside Walks

Sundays are rest days, catch-up days, and quiet days. The majority of Sunday I spent inside working on my journals and cleaning up the apartment. I explored the building and sat outside in our courtyard to do work. In the afternoon, I needed a breather; I was in desperate need of a walk, and so were Esmeralda and Gizel. We walked to the Watergate Complex, an iconic building and historical scandal in my history classes. We then realized we were really close to the water and headed to the Potomac River Walk. It was packed with people and had so many stores and restaurants. Because it connected with Georgetown, we headed up for something to eat and to show Gizel the cupcake shop. We had a peaceful rest of the afternoon, and I ended the night by meal prepping for the upcoming week. 


06.11.2024 Briefings and Receptions

On Tuesday, I returned to the office straight from meetings and caught up on the emails I had missed on Monday. It felt good to walk back in and be part of the team again, and I was able to quickly jump back into my work with a renewed sense of focus and productivity. I joined our LA, Nick, in a meeting with the National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association. When I was a child, my brother and I were migrant head start students, and it felt like a full-circle movement of how far I had come and the change that I could potentially create. It was a reminder of how far the fields had allowed me to go. I left the office early because the USDA had invited the HEP/CAMP interns to a reception where we got to meet the Latinos in the department and the presidential appointees. They brought us Peruvian chicken and cupcakes. It was a great opportunity to network and connect with individuals who come from similar backgrounds and understand the struggle to make yourself heard and be at the table for important discussions and decisions. I met a man in the department who lived in the same city as me and was friends with my district superintendent. He was the first person I met who actually knew the valley and had made it out. We connected, and I hope to continue building relationships like these.


06.12.2024 Let’s go out to the ball game

On Wednesday, I got to the office knowing it would be a long day. I went to a briefing on the root causes of gun violence in the U.S. and Mexico. This meeting was powerful; it empowered voices that are rarely heard in American media and focused on the U.S. involvement in the crimes that occur in Mexico. I learned that 70% of guns in Mexico are U.S.-sourced firearms and that Mexico only has one gun store in the whole country. I became aware of the legislation trying to stop gun flow from the U.S. into Latin America. I had the opportunity to thank one of the Uvalde victims' moms; her speech was heartbreaking and left the room in silence. The Uvalde shooting hit close to home, and being from the valley, our community was shocked and saddened when the massacre occurred. The rest of the day, I worked on regular office work. At five, the office got ready for the Congressional Baseball game. I was told that one thing interns should do is go to at least one game. I joined my office, and we went to a rooftop event where I got to get to know them better before the game. For the game, I joined my cohort; I also invited Perla to come, and we all sat on the Democratic side. The game was really fun; we lost by a lot, but we enjoyed our time. Getting back was a struggle; the metro was extremely packed and delayed due to game traffic. When we finally got home, we called it quits and went to bed. 


06.13.2024 Scavenger Hunt

Thursday was a really busy and packed day. As soon as I got to the office, we, the interns, headed straight to a briefing on postsecondary education and the workforce. Though we arrived late, I thought the meeting brought up important points about the future of careers and the skills that need to be developed. Specifically, it shed light on the importance of community colleges and their efforts to help supply a knowledge-based workforce. After breakfast, we prepared for our next briefing on the emerging heat crisis and government agency partnerships to help inform the public. For this briefing, we took notes to write a memo. I also got to speak to one of the presenters on heat and the correlation with migrant farmworkers and other outside workers. One thing that I have been trying to do is connect the information I am learning to the topics that affect the communities the congressman serves. Quickly afterward, we rushed on over to lunch. We were going to get together with the natural resources interns to get to know each other better. Lunch went great, and the interns were really nice. We were then surprised with a scavenger hunt! Together, we went all over the Hill in search of each spot, taking pictures of the Hill. By the end, the selfies became even funnier, and slowly, our members started to dwindle. We took the opportunity to visit the House Gallery, where we sat in shock at the comments being made by both parties. I was then hit by the reality that this was my life for the next few weeks. Political agendas and power struggles were going to be part of my everyday life. It made me realize how important it is to be here and to make sure we are heard.


06.15-14.2024 Sunny Walks

Friday and Saturday were really slow days. I wrapped up the week's work at the office, got coffee with one of our staff members, and prepped for the upcoming recess and what that would mean for us as interns and our schedules. I went on a long walk after work and visited the White House from the outside. I took some time to listen to music and enjoy the D.C. summer. Early on Saturday morning, I woke up in the mood for a walk. So, I left the apartment early and walked over to the National Mall, visited the Lincoln Memorial, and then walked on over and sat at the steps facing the Potomac River. Afterwards, I walked back to the apartment and made some really good breakfast tacos. The next day, I joined Esmeralda and Juan Diego and went to the Eastern Market. We got aguas frescas from one of the stands and walked around exploring. After we headed back, I unfortunately stayed inside for the rest of the day. I am allergic to some sunscreens, and the sunscreen I put on my chest earlier that day caused me to break out in rashes and minor hives. I spent the rest of the day applying topical lotions and drinking medicine. Thankfully, it wasn't my first time experiencing this, so I knew exactly what to do. I rested inside, cleaned the apartment, and watched Criminal Minds.


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