Tout est bien, qui finit bien. I’m back in the US, and all I can say about my year abroad is ‘wow’. I keep saying ‘I’m blessed’ and its not just something I say for the sake of saying, but rather because it is the core truth of my entire existence. Living, studying, working and being in France was an exceptional experience that I would do over again in a heartbeat.
Sure, it wasn’t just a jolly ride with just fromage, vin et nutella, but despite those not so merry experiences, the entire picture came out beautiful. I’m just thankful for the experience and the places I saw – Montpellier, Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Tours, Nimes, Nice, Les Bagards, Sommiere. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the wonderful people I met: the MHC Montpellier Crew; the Loth Family; Adjoa, her beautiful family and Salon Au Coupe du Monde team; the CAPI crew; the Playaway crew and kids; my Language partners; the Erasmus crew; the new friends; the UPV professors and classmates, and every single person who I interacted with in some way or another. Oh, and not forgetting – Le Sandwicherie where I got most of my sandwiches, the Kebab place where me and Nana Yaa would go for our Carnival style kebabs, the Creperie at the Comedie etc etc
So as you can see, the list of blessings I was endowed with over that nine-month period is endless. And this is just a sneak peak. I can’t go in depth with every single experience I had, but ….oh, how could I forget….Nana Yaa Amoah! A definite blessing. Made living in France exceptional. Merci cherie, and my family – thanks for the support et all, and MHC peeps!!!. Yea, so as I was saying. I can’t go in depth, but it was one of the most- enriching experiences ever and I would encourage anyone to go to a different town, city, village , or country if ever you get the chance. There is so much to this world that we haven’t an inkling about until we experience it.
Now for the summer: I’m in DC interning at National Strategies Incorporated (http://www.nationalstrategiesinc.com) and so far so good. I do mainly policy research and I get to work on Jim Rosapepe’s projects – he’s a Maryland senator! I’ve only been there for about 1 1/2 half weeks but I’ve already learnt so much and I look forward to the entire thing. I get to see Oyinade who also went to MHC, so thats an added bonus. And there’s another intern who’s from MHC, and one more from Ghana….see, I told you I was blessed…you call these coincidences? I should think not!!!
Still not convinced I’m blessed? Okay, for the month of June, I’m living with an MHC alum -Whitney, her husband – Toby and their 2 adorable dogs Thea and Peter. Their apartment is located only 15 minutes walk from my office so I get to enjoy downtown DC as well as get to make an important MHC connection, and interact with really nice people.
Now, up next is YOWLI – Young Women’s Knowledge and Leadership Institute – which will take place at Ile de Goree in Senegal. I am sooo excited for this not only because it is going to be another wonderful experience, but also because its gonna be intellectually stimulating and inspiring and right up my alley. I already met one of the participants while tryna process my transit visa and if the connection we made is any indication, July is gonna be mind-blowing! Check out their website: http://www.awomi.org
Alors maintenant, I am on the bus on the way back to DC from NYC and I am online typing away and all. How? Umm…you should ask my dad for the technical definition for this phenomenon, but basically, Its mobile wifi. Yea. and the fares are soooooooo on point! Waaay cheaper than Peterpan, Greyhound etc. And rumour has it….if you purchase your ticket well in advance, you might just pay $1 for a trip; courtesy the Bolt Bus. Check it out: http://www.boltbus.com .
Okay, so i have done enough talking for a day. So, I’ll do my best to keep you all posted on happenings, but def hit me up and keep in touch! Enjoy ur summer!!
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.