Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Greetings from Atlanta

The non-essential staff at the CDC, including me, are at home because of the government shutdown. I'm supposed to be working in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention on a perinatal HIV transmission policies. It's really exciting stuff, though I've only been on the job for a week. So I've had a couple days off to be contemplative, or bored perhaps.

These past few months on away rotations I felt similar to when I studied abroad during my last year of college. The similarities is the constant stimulation of new experiences. There is always some new to do, a new restaurant to try, new people to meet. I'm in a new part of the country I had never been to before. I'm planning to go to a Korean Southern restaurant.

Today really felt like studying abroad because I had a Google Hangout with some classmates in Flint.When I was studying abroad I Skyped frequently with friends in the U.S. Today was actually for a med school committee I sit on, so it was for business. I've met other medical student doing this elective but it was nice to see some familiar faces of my classmates today.

Just like when I was in Denmark, I had so many new and exciting experiences but I also missed the familiarities of home. It's a bit wearing to always be navigating an unfamiliar city, always answering the same questions from new acquaintances. I never thought I'd say this but I kind of miss the Michigan fall. I find the climate here in Georgia strange.  It's literally 80-85 degrees here. It's October! I do a doubletake when I see Halloween merchandise in stores because it feels to me like summer.

I'm on my third and last away rotation of my fourth year. But I don't think I will feel like I'm home for some time. When my elective ends at the end of October, I will continue to travel. I'm planning to interview in November and December so I expect a lot of traveling, staying in hotels, and living out of suitcases yet. And still yet after that I will be living in a sublet apartment in Flint.

It had been and will be a nomadic year. Next summer I will have a place of my own, at an as-of-yet unknown city for residency. Maybe then I will feel like I am home.

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