Well, it’s week 9 of 10, and I suppose that it is better late than never to start blogging. Time here has well and truly flown by, and I can hardly believe that there are less than two weeks before I go home! It has been an amazing experience filled with many unforgettable memories. Here are some of them.
Going to work on ‘The Hill’ each and every morning has been a surreal experience. I've been attending a multitude of Congressional hearings and briefings, sitting in on meetings between Congressman, drafting form letters and answering constituent phone calls. It has been an especially interesting time to work on the hill with issues such as the impending sequestration, gun control, predator drones and immigration reform meaning that I get dozens of angry (and crazy...) constituents calling each day about their guns and taxes. In addition to improving my knowledge of the intricacies of the US political system (which is already confusing enough at the best of times), working at the Hill has meant that I’ve been able to use my ID to explore the labyrinth of tunnels and passage ways under the Capitol, as well as visit the Rotunda during lunch! (Oh...and did someone mention inauguration tickets.)
Around DC, we've all come to act like locals (albeit without the accent). We can safely say that DC has truly become our second home, with things like catching the metro, shopping at Safeway and not giving the White House a second glance firmly entrenched into our everyday routine. Another aspect of the daily routine is the YMCA gym across the road. As the place where Timothy Geithner 'supposedly' plays pick-up basketball, a group of us go most nights to have a game of social basketball. Besides getting schooled by players cherry-picked for college basketball, we have a great time meeting the friendly locals who are always happy to hand out some ‘constructive criticism.'
However, outside of work we have traveled almost every weekend. Exploring places like New York, Philadelphia, Boston. Toronto and Orlando has meant that we barely have any down time (or time to do our assignments). From the amazing theme parks in Orlando, to the donuts and coffee in Toronto, we have pretty much done all the major cities on the East Coast. The city that really stood out for me was Boston. Being able to sleep in a Harvard dorm (big thanks to Alice) may have slightly biased my experience, but the culture, architecture and vibrancy of the city was distinctly unique to any other city! However, despite all this, Niagara Falls still takes the cake for the best Kodak moment!