Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Atlanta Continues to Surprise Me

I almost got into a car crash minutes before arriving El Cerrito High School around 2:45 AM. I stepped out of the truck already frustrated because I was at least three minutes late because of the said incident. I arrived El Cerrito High School being the last to arrive. Above being embarrassed and frustrated, I also felt nervous because I was going to finally leave the "bay area bubble". I had dreamt of this moment for months and it was overwhelming to see it all come into picture. Being an individual who has gone through so many transitions in life, and not always for the best, see this opportunity as a good thing. I know that this program will show me how to appreciate and take advantage of the resources given to me, not that I haven't. Being admitted into the Ivy League Connection has shown the potential I have and I will use that to prove to myself that no matter the circumstances, anything is achievable and to always think positive.
Ready to "Kick-off"

Moving onto what actually occurred at ECHS, my cohort, chaperone, and students parents stood before two tables, one filled with goodies and the other filled with useful material. Don handed out contact cards to each person and also distributed the itinerary. After all of that business, we quickly said our goodbyes and loaded our luggage onto the the airport shuttle.

Picture taken before we said our goodbyes
On our way to the San Francisco Airport, my cohort began to share what we had done during the summertime. Jahnvi and Edward had gone to a week intensive program focused on different concepts in engineering, while Jae-An went to the Dominican Republic to attend a leadership program. I did not really share much of what I did but did admit to devoting hours to learn about and virtually tour beautiful Italy through the power of a controller and a game system in place. It was quite fun while it lasted, but my summer starts now.

We arrived the SF Airport and checked in and found ourselves a bit delayed. Once all of the mess got cleared up, my cohort went to out gate number and waited to be called up for departure. While we waited, we all fiddled around with Edwards totally "rad" and "high-def" camera. 

We boarded the plane and found out that we were not so separated after all. Ms.Thomas sat next to Jae-An, Edward sat next to me, and Jahnvi was behind. The plane finally was getting ready to leave and I felt a rush of adrenaline pulse through my veins. We lifted quickly into the air and I began to fill up with childish joy. We went above the clouds and the view was beyond gorgeous. When I was a child I had always wanted the power to fly. My childhood dream of going over the clouds has become true. Of course I couldn't tell if my eyes lit up at the sight of the vast landscape, but am positive of it. The flight was unforgettable. Especially when I fell asleep, flinched while I was sleeping and managed to spill sprite over Edward's leg. That happened twice, not a mistake that happened once. 

We arrived Atlanta around 2 PM. I felt a rush of energy fill me after four hours of sitting in the same position. We grabbed our belongings above the seats and got off of the plane. I felt normal at first. We called our parents and told them that we had landed, went to grab our main luggage and left the airport. 

As soon as we left the airport, I felt Atlanta's humid air stick to my face. It was hot but quite pleasant, well at least not for Edward. We loaded our belongings onto the family van and left to the hotel we were to stay at. While driving to the hotel, my cohort decided to call Ms.Thomas "Mom". That will stick for the duration of the program. 

We finally arrived the beautiful Emory Conference Center Hotel and were left with our mouths wide open enough for a swarm of flies to creep in. The hotel is beautiful and is grander than I would have ever hoped for. We quickly left our belongings in our rooms and went back down to find Jae-An playing beautifully on the piano located in the lobby. We then went to play pool, girls against guys. Of course, Jahnvi and I have very little experience playing pool so decided to end the game on a frustrated note. 

Me in front of my future job!#CDC
We soon went to eat at a nearby sandwich shop called "Witch Wich". After, we decided to walk around and took an uncalled for hike. I love hiking. I love everything about being outdoors. I become vulnerable and find myself at peace. There was no better way to start my stay at Atlanta, it was an emotional one.

 After our hike, we walked back to the hotel and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool. I was great. It was an indoor pool and kept us safe from the thunderstorm that occurred outside. It also set the mood for all cohort members to share "scary stories". We soon left the pool after a series of marco polo games and heartfelt conversations and had one final dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Today was great and cannot wait to see what else Atlanta has in store for us. For a fact, Atlanta has already surprised me beyond anything I could ever imagine.

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