My First-time Experience

Qi Zhang, intern at CCAO
December 5, 2012

Qi Zhang

Time flies! It is just like yesterday when I had the orientation and now I am sitting here to write my closing blog for CCAO internship. Since it is the season for thanksgiving, the closing summary of my past three-month experience will be more like giving gratitude to life, to my colleagues and my director. Thanks to everything, I have a lot of first-hand and first-time experience.

I had the chance to have hill visits with representative office in the capitol. As an international student, although I study public policy, I have never imagined that I can give a cold call to representative office to schedule a meeting. I have never imagined I can sit in front of the legislative associate to lobby the Water for the World Act. It is just way more beyond my imagination and what I think I can do.

I have drafted a letter to the Korean Ambassador concerning the Jeju Island to show our environmental concerns. That’s another record in my life, at least to amaze my peers.

I had the chance to attend the Washington Interfaith coalition meetings on the environment. It broadens my environmental concerns since I get to know a lot of new issues. The first time to that meeting to me was a total loss. I could barely understand what they were discussing about and I had no idea about those acronyms. Gradually, I can follow the topic and have more understanding.

I had the chance to feel connected with my colleagues thanks to the weekly gathering. We shared our life, our epiphany, and our caring through all kinds of reflections, in a fashion of poems, songs, play dough, and puzzles. To be away from home, like a complete unknown, I don’t have a lot of connections with my classmates like the weekly gathering did.

The internship expands my knowledge of the unknown world. In being responsible for the countries to update every week, I get to know Fiji and Jeju Island, South Korea. I also know more about Pakistan, the Philippines, and those other Columban countries.

Life is comprised of come-and-go moments. I have no idea where life will lead me, maybe going back to China after graduation, maybe working in a for-profit business. But every time I look back to this experience at CCAO, it will remind me that once I fought for justice, wholeheartedly.