While today marks my second week in Seattle, it feels like it has been much longer. Since arriving, I have gotten lost downtown on multiple occasions, talked with locals about problems such as housing affordability, and traveled to three different neighborhoods to register voters. Each day has been filled with so many new experiences, perspectives, and challenges that have taught me so much. Yet, I still feel as though I know so little.
The organization that I have partnered with this summer is the Washington Bus, or The Bus, for short. This organization works towards empowering the youth of Seattle in tackling issues important to them and their communities. For the past two weeks, Natalie (my fellow DukeEngager) and I have had the opportunity to explore and learn about some of the diverse neighborhoods within Seattle, such as International District, Capitol Hill, and Columbia City. It has been eye-opening to learn about all complex issues that affect each community. For instance, the LGBTQ community within Capitol Hill are affected by gentrification, a process that limits housing affordability and has been blamed for the rise in hate crimes. While it is impossible to truly understand these unique problems faced by all the different communities within Seattle (especially in eight weeks), I will try my best to learn from and serve my organization and the communities of Seattle.
6/28/15 Pride Festival
Beyond the workplace, Seattle has been a beautiful city to explore. The parks within the city (especially Gas Works), the waterfront, and the abundance of trees has given me the incentive to run every day. The food in Seattle has also been amazing. From the delicious dim sum in the International District to the fresh kale and raspberries from the farmer’s market, it is safe to say that this summer will also encompass many food adventures.
Looking forward, I hope to continue to fill my days with new experiences and perspectives, and doing my best to serve the Seattle community. There is so much to learn, but so little time.