Has it been eight days already? Wow, I've been here for over a week already...only fourteen more to go? Nooooooo, I like it too much here!! Heh.
Um, so, it has been a crazy week, even though I don't feel like I've gotten a whole lot accomplished. Before I get into the work stuff though, I should probably describe my living situation, or, as we have affectionately began to call ourselves--the (Warren Hall) family.
Alrighty, let's start with describing the house. I live in Warren Hall, which is located right smack in the middle of the National 4-H Youth Conference Center (www.4hcenter.org). For many individuals visiting the center, Warren Hall is kind of that mysterious building that no one really knows about, even though it's right in the middle of everything. We (family members) think this is kind of funny. Warren Hall is a 3-story house with a basement; people used to live in the basement but after many occasions of flooding, it has now evolved into a laundry/computer room, and storage of all things unimportant. On the first floor, there are three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living/dining room, and tiny kitchen. The second floor contains four bedrooms and one bathroom (2 toilets, 2 showers, 3 sinks), as well as a few storage closets for linens and other supplies. There are two bedrooms and a bathroom on the third floor. (This makes for a total of 9 bedrooms, potentially sleeping 20 or more people.) We also have this really amazing balcony on the second floor, which has been dubbed as the "Meranda;" it's probably my favorite place in the whole house, and we definitely spend a lot of time there.
As for the family members (housemates), there are nine of us currently living in the house, but we expect to get nine more in the middle of May, as most of the current housemates start to move out. On the first floor: Justin, our Resident Assistant (RA), is a Master's of Social Work student at nearby Howard University and does a lot of work with refugees here in DC, as well as in East African countires. He is originally from Indiana, and has also been a Program Assistant (PA) in previous years, so sometimes he picks up a few Wonders of Washington (WOW) groups from time to time. He shares a suite with Brian, a fellow Howard University student from Illinios, who is currently interning with the U. S. Department of Treasury. Also, Brian and I share a birthday...can anyone say "partayyyyy?" :-p Matthew, Colin, and Nick share the third, first-floor bedroom. Matthew is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia, and living in here for an internship with some important office in downtown DC. Colin and Nick are my fellow PA's. Colin, originally from Virgina, is a former Americorps member who did assignments across the nation--a few of which in Arkansas and South Louisiana (BTR/Houma!). He's currently taking courses for a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management with LSU Shreveport. Nick, from Maine, is the baby of our family (only by age--he's 18), graduated high school in June 2008 and just returned home from a semester in France--as an English teacher and student of French. ...We try to burst out in random Frenchness from time to time, heh.
The second and third floors of our home are much less populated, to say the least. Myself and Christy, from Ohio, live on the second floor. Christy graduated from Ohio State in June 2008, and has done a lot of work with the state's 4-H Operation Military Kids program. It's kind of fun that I know a lot of Ohio people that she references from time to time. :) We each have our own room, which is super nice, and there are even two extra rooms on our floor. Ah, the life.
Two marketing interns for National 4-H Council live on the third floor. They each have their own room (freakin' awesome ones, at that) and share a bathroom. Amanda's from Baltimore, Maryland, but spent 10 months working as a journalist in Nigeria after graduating college. She's in New York this weekend--sounds fun!? Marcie, or Mama Marcie, as we like to call her, is a former 4-Her from California who co-owns (?) her own film/production company. Marcie's a silly girl who seems to love life and is teaching me piano!! Woot. (Now I just need to remember to practice every day, hehe.)
Now that I've described everyone, do you happen to notice a common theme? Though we all come from different places, I've noticed that we each have our own stories of adventure, life in diverse places, and a desire to serve others. Coming from South Louisiana, it's not always easy to find people with these sorts of interests and experiences, and I am just so in love with this opportunity to live with people who are just like me (in that regard). These people just insire me so much--I live with a feeling that I truly can do whatever it is that I want to do in life, and I don't feel like such the oddball anymore. It's really a unique situation, and we all seem to really love our family members. It's pretty rare to find this many people who can live in one house together and get along with each other--not to mention care for one another in such a way that we know where everyone is at most times, and even take care to wait for them at meals and things like that. I do realize this is only the end of week one, and things could change, but at least for now, I am thriving in the Warren Hall family. There's so much love!
When living with eight other people, I'm sure you could imagine the silliness that often ensues. Because we live at a youth conference center, the rules are very strict about alcohol and that sort of thing (it's not allowed in the house at all--and I'm perfectly fine with that), but it really doesn't matter, because no one needs a "substance" to have fun...we have plenty of fun on a daily basis. The "Meranda" has made for some great times in studying for our DC tour guide exam, as well as brief dance parties and coreography sessions. LoL We have also watched plenty of movies, including National Treasure (gotta study for the exam! lol.), which we got from our blockbuster mail-in account. We spend hours in the cafeteria joking around and having intense discussions. Yesterday, we spent seveal hours playing monopoly in the middle of 500 guests' dinnertime. Good times. I mentioned that Marcie's teaching me piano (slowly), and Colin plays the guitar a lot. Last weekend, Marcie called a post office in Hawaii in hopes of solving our debate about which day is the busiest postal day. (It was late in the day, so only Alaska and Hawaii's offices were open. She refused to call Alaska because she wanted to say, "ALOHA!" lolol.) There's always something going on, but we also have plenty of space to take time for ourselves, which will be important as time goes on.
I could go on forever about the house, and I haven't even begun to describe my first week at work. However, I think this post is long enough for now. Perhaps I'll write another entry tomorrow about all things work-related. For now, I think I'm going to stop here, and drag Nick with me to the office (such a far commute--the next building over) to find some scotch tape so that I can decorate my room. Did I mention I love my view??? It's so great!! Speaking of which, I'm in the process of taking pictures of the house and DC stuff; I'm going to start posting them on Facebook soon, so check it out!
More to come soon.