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Wherever the Wind Takes Me!

Monday: June 10th, 2024

As I awoke to begin getting ready for programming the day felt very mundane, but it's these days that seem to be the most tranquil. After having gotten ready, I met up with my fellow interns as we did our usual commute to the building where programming is held. We had elected, as a cohort at the prior meeting, that we would prefer CHCI to provide us with lunch rather than breakfast, which meant that the morning would be a mental endurance test of patience as I waited to see what amazing food they'd be providing! Why? I had forgotten to pack the breakfast that I had made before leaving my dorm! Aside from the mild hunger I felt, the morning began as usual with Cristian, the person directing our cohort, having a discussion about the group norms. We went over which ones we felt were being met the most and which ones were not. We had a really good open discussion about how we can work towards fixing that. Afterward, the professor arrived and taught a lesson on delving into our own identity. We went into the various Latino identities that exist, brief histories of each, and how each of them play in role in the representation of various peoples. It was a beautiful exploration of the building blocks of our sense of self, while also serving to reinforce what many of us already knew to be true. We had a quick break and then went into another session on growth mindsets. This one was more focused on how we handle difficult situations that we've experienced, and how we should go about processing them. Following this was a session with a speaker who helped us to work on our "elevator pitch", and how to make it the most effective introduction it can be. I found this one to be the most helpful out of the day's sessions, as it really broke down the core of what should be included in the few seconds you have to detail who you are! Then, our final session of the day was regarding where we saw our futures. Writing out our goals and dreams on paper and seeing it as a road map towards our success, really helped me to envision my future! After the end of programming, I decided that I needed to have a sweet treat as a reward for making it through the day! I ended up going to my favorite spot in all of D.C., Captain Cookie! From there I made it back home and prepared to get back to work on Tuesday!


Tuesday: June 11th, 2024

I woke up excited to get to work, as today I was supposed to present to my supervisor the slide show that my partner Michelle and I had been working on over the past week. I got my suit on and, a dos pasos, made my way to work! Once I arrived I was going over talking points and different supporting data that I was ready to present to Ray, but just then I heard my email go off. It was from my supervisor telling me that we would have to postpone the meeting until Friday, as an urgent matter had come up and he wasn't going to be present. At first I was slightly disappointed at not being able to present that same day after having been so prepared, but not wanting to let my energy go to waste I asked another office staff member, Edwin, if I could present to him. He set up a meeting at 3 pm and when the time came, he and all of his interns were in the conference room waiting to listen to my partner and I present. After we presented, he and all of his interns provided us with some amazing feedback on how to improve both our slides and information! This feedback was super helpful, so my partner and I set off to our office to do more research! Once the day was over, I excitedly went home to read up on a bit more of the info behind the subject, and got my clothes for the congressional baseball game ready before going to bed!


Wednesday: June 12th, 2024

Another day and another morning excited to go to work! After getting to the office, I honestly spent most of the day entrenched in articles, research studies, and scientific journals! I was looking for more evidence to support the argument that I was trying to make. The workday seemed to speed by, and once the time came, I made my way out of the office and straight home. I was cleaning up for a bit before needing to leave to the game, and after meeting up with the other interns we found ourselves at the Nationals Stadium! The lines coiled on through the streets like snakes of people stretching from corner to corner, and what I had anticipated as a short wait turned into a lengthy, but interesting time in line. As the line moved up slowly, more and more people seemed to pour into the narrow street towards the entrance of the stadium! Before we got in, however, we saw a group of protestors who were outside chanting together. Everyone was watching them as they were making their statement, and all the while helicopters with security were flying overhead. As we got into the stadium I was in awe at the lights and vibrancy of the park! The game had already started, but a stand selling Italian ice and gelato had caught my attention! It was one of the best frozen desserts that I'd ever had in my life! As much I would have loved to have taken a photo, unfortunately I was more preoccupied with eating the treat than getting a good picture! Irene from HEP/CAMP was there sitting alongside us watching the game, and being just as passionate as we were about the game! She was even kind enough to take out the interns to get a snack from the concession stands too! I was really sad to find out that after leaving to get some food, my goal of seeing someone run onto the field was for not. They had gone out right after we got in line! After coming back however, we got to sit and watch the game play out. As the night stretched on our energy slowly depleted, and we got to see the landslide victory that was going down in front of our eyes! By the end, we were all ready to get home, and pass out! However, the night decided to surprise us one last time, the train was delayed by around 15 minutes, so the station just kept getting more and more full! Thankfully, we were able to make it back and get some rest!


Thursday: June 13th, 2024

I woke up feeling extremely drained from the night before, but got dressed and ready to attend a conference for the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI)! My social battery was beyond exhausted, so I found myself MUCH more quiet than I typically am. Through this, however, I still made myself go out and network with other interns who were present to be able to make more connections with Latino interns who were also at the event. Soon after, I got back to my office where I continued to read up on the court case. However, I wanted to do some more work on the topic of diabetes so I went to my supervisor's office to ask him for an additional assignment. While there, we were discussing several of the things that I could be a part of to be able to help, when out of the blue he asked me if I would like to go with him to lobby in Congress! Without hesitation, I said yes! And on top this, he also invited me to an event at the house of the Ambassador of Spain! We left right after to go to the Rayburn building but were unable to speak to the Congressman because they had stepped out in order to go to a meeting. I was fortunate enough to meet someone representing Green Latinos and after a long conversation, he took a pin that I had complimented him on off of his shirt and gave it to me! I was so happy! Later that day I found myself in the house of the Ambassador and it was like an entirely new world to me! They had finger foods, Spanish food, and even Jamón Ibérico! The event itself was amazing and the experience is one that I will treasure, and after a very long day I was able to get back home and get good night's sleep!


Friday: June 14th, 2024

Casual Fridays should be a thing everywhere! It makes it so much more of a relaxing atmosphere for the end of the week to be less formal and more comfortable! I got to work excited as I would FINALLY be able to present the slide show to everyone, and Michelle and I were informed that the other two interns would also be presenting. Still ecstatic at being able to present, we got to the meeting room where we all sat down and the other group began before us. Their presentation was really good, but it ran a bit over time and Ray needed to get to another meeting. So they postponed our presentation again! I was a bit frustrated because the date kept getting pushed back again and again, so to make up for this I decided that I should go and watch a movie. Funnily enough, the new Inside Out 2 movie had just released, so I made plans with some of the other interns to go and see it later that night. After work, I got home and took a good nap to get some energy back, then I got up and started organizing my clothes and looking for a dry cleaner in the area. The time for the movie was getting closer and the other interns and I met up and started walking towards the the theatre. It started to rain just as we were getting to the movie theater, but it only made the ambiance even more peaceful. After getting there I got to my seat and was able to enjoy a very heartfelt and realistic film. There were many situations in the film that I related to, and they were put together so beautifully that I even got teary eyed towards the end. After the movie, we walked along the same route and got back to our dorms to sleep.


Saturday: June 15th, 2024

I ended up switching Saturday and Sunday as my rest days for the weekend. The week was jammed with events, meetings, and outings, so I wanted to take a step back and get a chance to unwind and breathe. I went with Esme and Cindy in the morning to the Eastern Market, and it was there that I tried West African food for the first time (I wholeheartedly recommend it!). I ended up purchasing some blueberries & peaches to use for my morning yogurt, and got back home in the afternoon. My roommate had bought ingredients to make spaghetti and I had promised to make some, so I spent my afternoon making some spaghetti and meatballs! After cooking I decided I needed to take a small nap, and once I woke up I cleaned my room and the kitchen and then started working on my journals, but ended up falling asleep on my bed with my computer in my lap!


Sunday: June 16th, 2024

The first thing I did after waking and getting ready, was call my father to tell him Happy Father's Day! He's currently in Mexico and even though we're the farthest apart we've ever been, I still wanted him to know that I was thinking about him and how grateful I am for the sacrifices he's made for my family. I was writing some more of my journals and working on another presentation that I had been working on apart from the one that I had completed, when I started to make my way to the Founding Farmers restaurant to meet with Gregory. I had met his wife my first week at LULAC, and I had made plans to speak with him and get a tour of the District of the Interior (DOI). We finally met in person and were able to have an amazing conversation about his work while we ate, and while we walked to the DOI. After getting to the building and getting through security, he took me on a tour of the building while providing insightful facts about the history of the building and the artwork within! We explored the various floors of the building, and he even showed me his office and the various projects that he was working on and some that were already completed. Being able to talk about the complex ecological cleanup processes was an amazing experience, and getting to learn more about his fascinating life abroad was one of my favorite things about the tour. We finished the tour by getting to see the top floor of the building and even some replica fossil skeletons inside as well! After the building tour, he took me to go see the Vietnam, Korean War, and MLK monuments. He was so well-versed in the history of these monuments that it made it an even better day of exploration! At the end, we shook hands and parted ways, and I made my way back home. It was, in all respects, the second best tour that I had while in D.C., only being beaten by Patrick's (He's still got #1)!

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