Phase I… complete(?)

I write this post with very mixed emotions in the busy C terminal at RDU with very mixed emotions. Anytime now, they’ll call for boarding and I’ll be on my way to the UK. Numerous friends and family members have contacted me these last couple of days, asking me about my trip.

“Are you excited?!” they ask. “Take lots of pictures!” they demand. “Have fun!” — another request.

And though I certainly will take pictures (they’ll probably exclusively be of old buildings) and I will likely have fun, I wouldn’t say that I’m wholeheartedly excited at this point. It’s not how I expected to feel, but, alas…

I really enjoyed my time in NC. Working at CEF these last weeks has been one of the best experiences I’ve had since coming to Duke. Now, however, we are leaving what was home for the last 6 weeks for a new experience abroad. And I’d be lying if I were to claim that it didn’t bother me a little.

This practice of “ditching” (for lack of a better term at the moment) about which I’m feeling so torn is one of the aspects of DukeEngage that I find to be glaringly problematic. At least, because my Engage placement was in they city where I go to school, at least it’s feasible for me and my DE peers to continue working at the site in the future– sustainable service.

However, in this other, UK, Durham this will not be the case. The service experience is temporary, more reminiscent of a one-time experience working a soup kitchen than of anything sustainable.

Is this circumstance non-ideal? I certainly think so. But is it necessarily negative? Of that I’m not sure yet. Content for future blog posts, I suppose.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Remey says:

    I hope you are able to live in the moment while abroad–and have fun living and learning in a completely new environment. I was able to live in Europe for 3 years after I graduated Duke and it was the best experience of my life. Try not to compare everything to the US, because there is a different way of life in Europe that I think Americans can learn from. Take the time to ask locals about their government–especially after Brexit, favorite restaurants/shops, favorite thing to do on weekends, etc.

    Like

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