Letter from DC (Part 1)- How I made friends in a new place?
I hope you’re doing well. It’s been a week since I arrived in DC and I am still getting used to being away from family, home and India. Missing you all will be an underestimation of how I feel about not being around you all and being able to meet you whenever I wish. Although, when I was in India I couldn’t meet you all as frequently as I would like to I knew I could if I wanted.
While in India, I knew I could make any place home where I lived. I am yet to figure out if I can say the same about my place in DC.
Well, the college and the professors are exceptional. I am studying Foundation of American Law and it’s taught by Prof Abernathy who is a great teacher. He follows the Socratic method of teaching (I guess most professors do that in US), so you have to be prepared for the classes while attending. That pushes me to finish all the readings before class, but I feel it’s stressful for some people who are shy.
The class of students attending the Foundation course is a mixed bag. We have people from 35 countries attending this course and I now have friends from India, Japan, France, China, Brazil, Mexico, Ethiopia, Kenya etc. I’m staying in the campus accommodation for this month and my flatmate is Japanese. She is a very gentle person, 35 years old and extremely shy (so much so that her leasing agent is showing her place far from college and she wouldn’t tell him because she feels he will be hurt). She says this is a great time for her and her husband to lead a single life after being married for 9 years. She also told me how she does not know cooking because they don’t have to cook in Japan. Apparently it’s more expensive to cook at home in Japan than to eat outside.
The Latin Americans here are a lot of fun, they love to party and I have been suggested by my Teaching Assistant to join the Latin American group if I wish to attend the best parties in town. It’s amazing how people forms group instantly based on their own comfort, either on the basis of language, race, liking for a game or on spending capacity. I can’t tell if I am a part of any group yet, I am trying to meet as many people as possible and remain less exclusive. I have been trying to speak to two new people every day and make friends.
There are some people here who are not very comfortable speaking English and they seem to be left out. But the class has some incredible people, who have reached here after a lot of struggle. Especially the women from Africa who are on a special program called Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA). Most of those women have 8-10-year-old children who they have left behind at home to study here.
There was a barbecue party recently hosted by the college where there were food, drinks and music. People danced to music from different regions of the world. All the communities played their own music and taught each other their dance steps. It was a lot of fun. As most of you here know that I am trying to make a routine to wake up at 5 am every day. I have been waking up before 5 am for the last 7 days and it feels great. It seems I should be able to make it a habit soon. I wake up, finish my readings and take a walk on the lawn on the campus. A lot of squirrels come out in the morning, which is a treat to the eyes.
I started cooking on Wednesday and invited my India, Japanese and French friends for a meal. Although it was a basic meal, everyone really enjoyed Indian food.
I am yet to explore the city. Will send you pictures and tell you about it when I go around.
Thanks, Tanima for giving me this idea to write to people and get them to experience a part of your journey.
I wake up everyday feeling grateful for everything I have and for the love and warmth I get from you guys. I couldn’t be more privileged! Thank you all.
I will write again later.