Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Adventure Is Out There!

Today marked the beginning of our physical journey as the Brown II cohort.  A daunting 14 or so hours of travel time from door to door; leaving the front step of my house in Richmond, California at 3:24 AM and arriving at our hotel in Providence, Rhode Island at 7:35 PM.

As I awoke, what seems like so many hours ago, I realized that this is it. This is what I have been waiting for since the first time I heard about the ILC. I woke up in the middle of darkness; it was 2:50 in the morning. My stomach was churning as I ran through the house getting last minute add-ins to my luggage, probably a combination of the fact that I was awake at that hour and the nervous excitement running through my veins. I hugged my dad goodbye and my mom shoved me into the car. Off we went to El Cerrito High School to meet up with the rest of the ILC. We got a little pep talk, got our bags weighed and got photographed at 3:40 in the morning, all thanks to Don. :) We then jumped in the airport shuttle, with bags huddled in masses all over the car. It was a tight fit and I thought the door might pop open, but we made it to the airport all in one piece and full of excitement.
The first flight we took was from Oakland Airport to Chicago Midway Airport. I sat next to Sonya on this trip and was surprised at how easy it was to talk to her and we made friends pretty fast. We also chatted with the sweet lady next to us, Barbara, who told us some jokes, taught us a funny Spanish phrase, and gave us a few words of wisdom for our trip to Brown. It was nice to converse with strangers and realize it's not as strange as one would think and that we all share common grounds no matter where we come from.

The second flight was from Chicago Midway Airport to Providence Airport (our final destination). I sat next to Julia on this plane trip and soon realized we shared a common affinity for puns which we then passed back and forth with laughter for a large duration of the flight. For the rest of the flight we got the chance to talk to the woman sitting next to us about issues of young women, confidence, leadership importance, and college readiness. It was inspiring to share opinions with her and hear commonly held morals despite our different backgrounds and upbringings. Altogether, the flights were refreshing and encouraging indicators of the wonderful adventure ahead of us.

When we had finally ceased the enduring plane travel and picked up our bags we went to retrieve the rental car. The moment I stepped outside of the airport I immediately went into a curious panic state. The air felt like it was drowning me. I was gasping in hot breaths of moist thick gases which made me wonder why anyone would decide to create civilization here. However, after ten minutes I got more accustomed to the humidity and was breathing with more ease. I accept the challenge of the East Coast humidity: I will vanquish it.

When we arrived at the hotel it was absolutely astounding. Everything is so nice and the hotel bell hops parked the car and even carried our bags to our rooms. I felt like royalty. This was not all tiaras and tea however, as we soon realized when Shraddha and I went in search of our hotel room, it took us a little longer than expected since the hotel is not fully connected with hallways. We located our room and the maze to get there was well worth it.
Now it is 11:21 PM and we have been up for more than 17 hours. This was a great day and I am enthralled with the journey ahead of us, however sleep is what I want most at this moment. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.
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