Where to begin… I must admit I was rather nervous to begin this endeavor of coming to Washington DC for an internship with the AAPD. I was nervous, but extremely excited for the opportunity. I think the thing that made me the most nervous was the flight, as that it would be the first time I was traveling by plane being in a wheelchair. However the flight went rather smoothly with only a few bumps that perhaps were expected but overall it was not the horrible nightmare that I had envisioned. Once I arrived in DC, was placed back in my wheelchair, and all of my luggage was accounted for, I felt at ease and overcome with excitement for what lie ahead of me. My mom was able to make the flight with me and will be staying with me for the 10 weeks to help take care of me. For most twentysomethings this may be a nightmare, but for me I’m not nervous at all because we get along very well.
Once we eventually found a way to the dorm room we are able to check-in and get some much-needed sleep. Morning came quickly and my mother and I made our way to the beginning of orientation. Once I arrived there it was a little surreal meeting all the individuals that I would be having this experience with, as well as finally meeting face-to-face the individuals that I had been in contact with at the AAPD via e-mail and telephone. As this first week of orientation comes to a close, I must say that I’ve met numerous individuals I believe will not only become great friends throughout this experience, but also a lot of individuals that show great promise in helping me achieve my future goals. We have been able to listen to numerous speakers that taught many different things that will be beneficial not only in this internship but in any future endeavor. We have been able to learn about living in DC, the history and background of the disability movement, and working in DC–all of which were interesting and insightful.
Tomorrow I will be meeting with the supervisor of my placement at the Department of Education, Robert Buggs, I believe he and a couple of his colleagues will be coming to discuss my upcoming opportunity. I’m slightly nervous, but I’m sure that they will be just as cordial as everyone I’ve met thus far. I wish I could say that I have gotten the opportunity to delve into Washington DC’s culture, but so far it has been nose to the grindstone. In upcoming weeks, I can’t wait to experience all that Washington DC has to offer as well as take full advantage of this opportunity that’s been given to me!