As the aforementioned quote from “Mahatma Gandhi”, I believe that when you are serving others, you will learn about yourself in the process. The true core of a person is the part that is not selfish and which works for others. This is the reason why I decided to apply YSEALI pro fellows. I believe this program is a great door of opportunity for me to make my community and country better. Moreover, I could find myself better and unlock my potential by immersing myself in the service of others.
After taking a long flight, finally I arrived at Washington D.C. My first two free days have gone by so fast with greater than 30,000 steps of strolling around the city with the fellows. Actually I have been in D.C. before but that was around 6 years ago. I would say D.C. never cease to amaze me as the same.
Next 2 days after that were all about the orientation conducted by ICMA. Since I’ve been here in US and meet other fellows who have shared the same passion in better change, their passions drive me to think better in different perspectives. They share their interesting ideas on several issues related to how to make their community better. Plus, we had a great opportunity to join the lecture from related professional people who have worked seriously on the environmental field and US goverment. The lectures that impressed me were conducted by Martha and Jeff.
“Place matters” has been the fundamental thing in common of American. They place importance on the place they live. That’s why we can see tons of great public spaces in the U.S. and the placemaking here all processed by social participation activities. This issue matchs my community challenge as public spaces in Thailand have been facing challenges from both failed administrative process and rapid urbanization. The challenge is how to integrate social participation process into public spaces making to ensure that every voice is heard.
Finally, we ended the last day of orientation by joining cultural activity. That was Baseball Game Watching!!! Thanks Tony, Kara and Tyler for inviting us to the game! This was my first time watching Baseball here with the fellows. We spent such a great time together before leaving D.C. and heading to our host placement city. Of course, Now I’m writing this blog in Albany,Oregon. Tomorrow will be my first day working here. Can’t wait to start the new journey!