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Having been here one week and change, Seattle has been phenomenal so far. I am starting to get acclimated to my workplace in addition to the city. Because of the myriad of events that have occurred these past days, I will highlight items that were most memorable.
Before the first day of work, all the DukeEngage members traveled to their respective community partners as a practice run so as not to get lost on the morning of the first day. Accordingly, I boarded a Seattle bus to visit the Meredith Mathews YMCA, my work site. After a few minutes on board, I realized that I had boarded on the wrong side of the road, and the bus was heading away from the Y. The driver was nice and waived the fare once I had told her I was lost and was new to Seattle. After some time, I reached my work site and met my community partner, who gave me a brief tour of the building before departing for a meeting. I met some of the staff and was happy to find a welcoming, tight-knit staff. Hopefully, work will be productive and fun.
The day before work begins, the group took a trip to the International District to view the Wing Luke Asian Museum and attend a tour of the neighborhood. We were able to read stories of Asians who tried to adjust to life in Washington. Aside from the museum, walking through Chinatown and Japantown was exciting, as some of the history can still be seen today. In terms of food, for anyone who likes Dim Sum, Jade Garden not only has good food, but non-mandarin speaking people should have no problems ordering dishes. To lower the cost of the meal, go with a larger group (I went with 6).
Later in the week (after work started), the Seattle group went downtown for a welcome gathering hosted by the Duke Alumni of Puget Sound. There, we went through introductions and met our mentors, alumni who could provide us with help throughout our eight weeks. Overall, it was a well put together event and exciting to see the Duke presence in Seattle.
On the weekend, the group went out to Federal Way to join some alums to see the U.S. Olympic diving trials. Although I wasn’t familiar with diving, the event was enjoyable and it was pleasing to see Nick McCrory seal a spot to London. In addition, Duke will be sending Abby Johnston for women’s synchronized diving. We all look forward to watching them compete in the coming months.
A week into DukeEngage, and I am only just starting what is sure to be a fulfilling experience. Despite the overcast weather and barrage of bikers, the University District has plenty of interesting places, and I hope that I can absorb as much of the area as possible. Not to mention the countless spots in other neighborhoods. We’ll see what highlights there are next week (Mariners game, Pike Place Market?). Regardless, I am thrilled to be in Seattle!
Jeff is a rising junior who is interested in soccer and sabermetrics. He will be interning with the Meredith Mathews YMCA, working with the Marketing and Membership team.