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How was the last week? Amazing. Plain and simple. I still am shocked that I have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic group of people in such a colorful and diverse city.
This past weekend, the Washington Bus worked my most anticipated event: Capitol Hill Block Party. I had been looking forward to the concert since the moment I received my acceptance from the Bus. In past years, headliners like MGMT and Macklemore have performed, and I expected this year to be nothing less than extraordinary. On the Friday of opening day, my heart was nearly pounding out of my chest, and before I knew it, Block Party had begun and I was out registering people to vote!
…..Except I wasn’t. Friday was incredibly slow as the streets of Capitol Hill seemed oddly empty. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me as it had thunder stormed that morning, an odd occurrence for Seattle. Plus, most people don’t get off work until 5 PM, so a volunteer like myself would probably not hit much traffic at 4 in the afternoon. Regardless, I was underwhelmed, and to be honest, a bit disappointed. I called it at 6 PM, and Brian and I went home without seeing any shows, believing that Saturday would be much better.
And better it was! Saturday started off a bit slow like Friday, but it picked up quickly. Before I knew it, I had registered 10 new voters, which easily overshadowed my measly two from the day before. Plus, I had wonderful conversations with both residents of Washington and people from places as far out as Germany. Patrons were incredibly warm, and we gave out so many popsicles that I lost count. And, the best part was yet to come.
As the sun began to droop in the sky, I found myself walking backstage of the main stage at Block Party, ready to introduce Dow Konstantine on stage and throw out t-shirts to the crowd. Never mind the fact that Toby, my boss, casually said hi to Macklemore outside of the venue, an old friend of his from high school. No, now was the moment I had been waiting for all summer: I would go on stage in front of thousands. Even though I wasn’t speaking on stage, the whole moment felt surreal.
At night, I had the chance to see headliner, Major Lazer, put on a fantastic show to cap off my night! I moved as close as I could and joined the crowd of people dancing and enjoying the group’s electronic music. Again, the moment felt too good to be true.
On Sunday, we went out to Snow Lake as a group and participated in a volunteer activity with the Washington Trails Association. We restored trails and helped make them more user-friendly for hikers that would be frequenting the trails. If it sounds like easy work, it’s not! With the help of my crew, we moved large rocks that could qualify as small boulders, and we got our hands dirty as we used professional tools like the Pulaski and the MacLeod. I loved the whole experience. Personally, working with my hands is one of my favorite things to do, and this event totally humored that part of me.
Finally, Ramadan has begun! As I type this, I am enjoying the wonderful Ma Pao Tofu dish I ordered at Regent Bakery and Cafe that I am now using to break my fast. The first few days were tough, as usual, and after that, it does not get much easier. But, the body, and more importantly, the mind, gets accustomed to the idea of only eating before sunrise and after sundown. Every bite tastes that much sweeter, and I savor every meal, even if it means getting up at 5 AM to have them. Truth be told, I overslept past those meals several times this week. Regardless, it should add an interesting challenge to DukeEngage for me, and I am excited to take it on at full speed!
Here’s to a wonderful and fruitful final weeks here in Seattle!