It begins in D.C. – PDO Day One

I remember arriving at the tampa bay airport around 7:00 a.m. on the big day of August 11 and my best friend Lara drove me and my parents to the airport.

Our first stop was a quick one at my brother’s high school because school started around 7:05 am for him and we were running a little late (sorry Jackie). And then we quickly made our way to the TPA.

My dad wanted to hang out with me for the last time before my departure in D.C. so he went with me to D.C. and drove me to the orientation site after. My mom and my best friend quickly said their goodbyes to me and dropped me off because me and my dad were running a little late. My checked bag was about 51 pounds, so I quickly took out one item and it was exactly 50 pounds. Before arriving at the terminal, they checked our tickets and the lady saw that my bag’s expander was used, so she helped me zip it without the expander. We then made our way to the security line, which was a breeze, and we made our way through the airport to our gate at United.

My flight was a direct flight from the TPA to the Dulles airport. And shortly after we landed in Dulles, my dad and me drove to a neighboring with a dense population of Vietnamese people that we had visited when I was many years younger. We chose a restaurant and I ate pho, while my dad ate bun. We then made a quick stop to Target and CVS and I brought last minute things like deodorant, a neck pillow, chapstick and etc.

Finally, the time was here. I arrived at the Hilton Dulles airport and went to the CIEE booth and received my orange CIEE t-shirt and orientation schedule, along with my room mate and room key.

One of my closest friends that I have made at the Atlanta interview was named Junnie (she was an alternate that became a finalist 🙂 and one of my closest friends that I have made during the interview ) and I saw her there and we were at first kind of disappointed that we were not able to select our own room mates at the orientation. But then I asked her who her room mate was and I saw that our cards had the same room number and we were extremely excited at this coincidence.

We hung out and explored the hotel. We were also able to talk to some German students and then later had dinner with some alumni.





Farewell Party

It was such a memorable night for me.

I had great plans for my party for several months but as the days dwindle on, I realize that my procrastination and part-time laziness was catching up to me. I didn’t really start to gather things for my party until a week before the finalized date. I remember messaging some of my good friends individually, asking if they wanted to come. Then I had made a list of invitees with going and maybes. As the day of the party became closer, I became more excited. I was happy to have the opportunity to have a party with decorations made by me. A few days before, I went party supply shopping with my best friends to several shops and we had lots of fun. We were goofing around and enjoying our last couple of days together. Long story short, we got most of the items that I needed f`or the party, with a little bit of mishaps then and there.

On the actual day of the party,

I was so happy.

I skipped breakfast and went straight to decorating my house with streamers, banners and balloons that I made. After doing so, I set up the food table with platters of appetizers, entrees and desserts. I had early on decided that the theme of my party would be white and some kind of shade of blue. I then quickly made some mini sandwiches with Hawaiian bread rolls, swiss cheese and ham. I was done with almost everything approximately 30 minutes before the party, which started at 6, and I took a shower and got ready in time for the party.

I was then greeted slowly, one by one, by some of closest friends and joy was quickly seeping into me and let me tell you,

I was ecstatic.

Throughout the party, we ate, talked, took pictures, tried out a game of spinning Bean Boozeled (the majority out of the 24 of us, were unlucky) and played Cards Against Humanity.

All in all, I really appreciated the time that I got to spent with them.

On another note, one of the CBYX CIEE finalist named Jared, lives 20 minutes away from me and he was able to come to my party as well!

At the end of the party, I asked people to write little notes for me on a quick watercolor painting that I made and framed.

I also made a cute little snapchat filter for my farewell party, which took me a whole day to make with several advices from my friends for ramifications throughout the day.

I just want to leave on a note of thanks to my family and friends that have been so supportive, it truly means a lot! 🙂