By Irene Nyambura Mwangi
“228 E 71 were my first numbers….in New York”
My experiences in New York at the WYA headquarters include a lot of fun, serious stuff and adventure too. I arrived on Sunday 22nd January with a lot of expectations and fears as well. I was eager to meet the other interns and also the staff whom I would be working and interacting with for the next three months.
I was to experience winter for the first time in New York City. I had been informed prior on the need to carry heavy clothing to keep me warm, and I surely carried all the necessary stuff but I could not fathom how cold the COLD can be(hahaha!). AT JFK, the outside looked very sunny and I thought I was very lucky that winter would not be that cold. Shock on me! The bright sunny weather was just an optical illusion. I realized this when I got to the cab, I have never experienced such cold in my life. I don’t know if I have undergone acclimatization and now seem to cope with the cold but that Sunday was the coldest thing I have ever come across. Shannon, the director for North America, welcomed me that afternoon. I later met all other staff (Phil, Mary,Cathy and Kris) in the evening and was to meet Maria on Monday.
Shannon can now testify that I slept in double clothing, mittens and double socks on my first night at WYA house!
………..and my intern friends
Meet Aliah Dimaporo, my fellow intern from The Philippines who came in on Monday 23rd January. We exchanged greetings and the usual curiosities about where we were coming from. I found her very welcoming, diplomatic and pleasant. Next came in Elise from Sidney, Australia. She seemed a bit scared of the new environment but was quite comfortable on one end. She is open-minded, humorous and efficient. Patrick Birde joined us later. He is from New Jersey and the youngest in WYA house. Pat, as we call him, is energetic, humorous and dedicated to his work. He seemed very comfortable and free with the new environment as he has interned here before. I don’t know if he has gotten used to my accent. And there is Katarzyna (I have just got the spelling correct! :-)) Petriw or Kat as we fondly call her, I’m told that her name is Catherine in English. Kat is from Poland, she has a nice accent. She is inquisitive, serious and has a hearty laughter; I’m probably the only one in WYA house who has had the privilege of witnessing Kat laugh to tears!
I will probably be talking more about my first experiences in the big apple in the month of February. These are experiences I have shared with my other interns and staff at WYA who are from different parts of the world and they are all so lovely! J. That is why WYA house is a small globe-just like the earth. Check in later………..