11 Aug First Days in London!
I finally arrived in London on July 10th… exactly a week after I was supposed to. Due to some unforeseen shipping issues with the Tier 5 visa, my departure for London was postponed for a stress-filled week as I basically harassed the company issuing my visa via telephone calls and emails. Clearly only two weeks in between returning home to the US from Brazil and then taking off again for London was not enough time to get my visa issued, even after paying for expedited shipping! Literally the day I received my visa on my doorstep I booked a flight for later that afternoon and flew straight to London. I couldn’t contain my excitement at finally being on my way! I felt anxious to catch up on work, meet my new friends, and see the sights as soon as possible. I had already missed the orientation, welcome dinner, and some other after-work drinks with the Absolute group. I didn’t want to be left out of anything else!
The weekend was setting in upon my arrival, and I had some great activities planned for it! Despite my droopy eyes and long day settling everything in my apartment, I went to the London Eye with some of my Absolute Internship group. Unfortunately it was pretty overcast (despite it having been an incredibly sunny afternoon), so my pictures from and of the Eye weren’t fantastic. However, I was happy to meet some of my fellow interns and talk to them about how they were liking London so far and their jobs. I marveled openly at the efficiency of public transport in London (versus Brazil) and my beginning perceptions of English people. So far I had found the English more helpful and nice than I had been told previously (or maybe it was just the men… I’m not sure). After the London Eye a few of us headed to take pictures of the Tower Bridge at night, an absolutely spectacular view! I had only ever seen it in the daytime when I had come to London four years ago on holiday with my family, so I was already chalking up new experiences on my trip! On Saturday our group went to afternoon tea within the building that houses the Wallace Collection, an incredible collection of art and armory from around the world and from different centuries. The cool part about the collection to me was that it all was once privately owned by one family! Before the tea I took it upon myself to wander around the museum and appreciate the expansive collection assembled there. I wasn’t keen on the tea, but that’s simply because I don’t drink anything except water! But I gave it a try, preferring to eat the finger sandwiches, biscuits, and small pastries provided instead, however. I left the Wallace Collection with a few other girls to head over to the Tate, London’s modern art museum. I visited a lot of modern art museums when I was traveling in Brazil, so going to the Tate kind of reminded me of those experiences! Sunday was our first day trip as a group, and we traveled to Brighton. It would have been a cute little beach town; except for the rain and high wind speeds that day! Sadly our group spent most of the trip inside the mall or walking through the arcade on the pier instead of actually traversing the pebbly shores of the beach or dipping our toes into the chilly water. I still managed to have a reasonably good time, familiarizing myself with Top Shop (a popular English clothing store, kind of like Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe) and enjoying a crepe full of Nutella and bananas while walking on the windy, cold beach. Maybe someday I will get to go back when it’s sunny and warm!
Coming off of a fun-filled weekend getting to know London and some new friends, I sailed right into the work week. I work as an education intern for a non-profit organization that delivers financial and enterprise programs to children aged 11-25, usually in schools. My first week I spent familiarizing myself with the office and helping out other members of my team with some of their work, at the same time being assigned mini projects of my own (mostly having to do with research or entering administrative data). My coworkers are all lovely people who appear genuinely interested in getting to know me and incorporating me into the family. On my second day I even went to a concert with one of my coworkers on the education team, another intern from the US! We both bonded over our love for Spanish music and dance, and all of a sudden she was inviting me to come with her to a concert of an artist I knew of! I am so lucky to share a workspace with people who are so likeminded to myself.
I think that’s all for now! Until the next post, when I will have just come back from Brussels, Belgium and another week of work! If this was week one, I can’t imagine how attached I will have grown to London by the end of the month!