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.