Around the Potomac

It is difficult to believe that I am almost done with my internship! I have to admit the novelty of being in the capital has definitely worn off especially with the temp hitting 100F plus!

Update on the Work: 
I definitely think I enjoyed the first month more than month two and three. I think things have slowed down a little because many members of the team are on holiday and as a result, those who are here have to put in some extra hours to cover for them. The most interesting part of being here I suppose is seeing the non-glamorous part of development first hand (I’m not suggesting that development is otherwise glamorous, but you know what I mean) One of my supervisors at the Washington office is a Project Director called Ann who I have really come to admire. She’s super smart, cool, funny and chic and does great justice to the multiple hats she wears. I have been helping her with logistics for her upcoming training in Zanzibar, Tanzania and have also been providing some assistance with the Youth Development (Work Ready Now!) curriculum. Logistics include booking air tickets and hotels in Africa, and helping with paper work for the tedious visa processes. It isn’t too bad though because I enjoy logistical work. Other than that, I am helping the Communications Team with EDC’s Social Media strategy and content for International Youth Day which is around the corner. My job is to think of ideas of how the organization can portray the work that it is doing with Youth around the world using the UN’s ‘Transforming Education’ theme. Working on the Social Media campaign has been fun but also taxing because there are so many different people involved and they each have a different idea of what high engagement means. Learning about an organization’s communications work has been super interesting though! I keep telling them I’m shocked they don’t have an Instagram. Hopefully they might do something about that. 

Another project that I am assigned to is called Eqwip Hubs, which is again a youth development project funded by CIDA (the Canadian equivalent of USAID). Eqwip Hubs works in six countries, namely: Senegal, Bolivia, Peru, Tanzania, Ghana and Indonesia. EDC has been contracted by CIDA to carry out the curriculum development and teacher training for the project. Generally speaking, EDC finds it challenging to implement the Work Ready Now curriculum in six such diverse countries, especially since they want cross cultural engagement and are very committed to delivering high quality work. To that end, one way by which they bring all the local trainers on the same page and have trainer working exchange, is by running a facebook group titled Eqwip Hubs Learning Exchange. Part of my job is to oversee this group: the posts, discussions, polls and to keep a database of how frequently the participants are posting and how high/low the quality of their content is. There are units that the EDC technical advisors cover on this facebook group. For example, the unit we are currently on is about giving and receiving feedback. I guess one of the more exciting parts of this internship is that I asked whether I could be assigned the writing of one of these units (on teacher trainer reflections) and my supervisor Ann agreed. So after I’m done with this blog, I’m going back to that! 

Outside of Work
 There is so much to do in DC! Of course I wish the weather was better, but that hasn’t completely derailed me from exploring the city every weekend.  Last weekend, I went to see the national holocaust memorial with a friend of mine. I’ve only ever been to Holocaust museums/memorials in Germany, so this was a very different experience as I got to see a lot more of how/when/why the US got involved and eventually became a bystander. Other than that, I went kayaking with my cousin and niece who are visiting from Lahore. We got really excited the first 15 minutes, and although we were warned not to venture too far off, we didn’t really listen. Paddling back to the harbor was a nightmare. It took us almost two hours. What certainly did not help is that people started making videos of us and laughing at us being stranded in the middle of the Potomac for two hours lol! It was absolute madness! I also managed to burn my skin so that’s always fun!  

The calm before the storm! My 13 year old niece and I!

That’s all from me today! Stay tuned for more! 

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