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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Has it really only been less than 2 weeks since I arrived in Nashville? So much has happened and everything has felt so surreal, and I haven’t even started my official internship yet. Where do I begin? With the cicadas, I suppose.

So, yeah, there were cicadas EVERYWHERE when I first arrived in Nashville. They were the second thing I noticed about the city after the heat and humidity. I was expecting the heat and humidity, but huge ugly bugs that fly everywhere and run into people? Not so much. Apparently they only come out every 11 years or something like that and I came at just the right time! I hate bugs and these things are just awful. They will fly into you and land on you, which freaked me out every single time, and it’s impossible to avoid stepping on their crunchy corpses when you walk outside. So far the welcome I was getting here was not so impressive.

But things soon got better when I got to the hotel that DCI booked for the interns for orientation – a lovely Holiday Inn Express. After I got settled into my hotel room, some of the interns that were already here decided to go out to get some dinner, so we took the hotel shuttle to Jack’s Bar-B-Que and I had my first very appropriate meal in Tennessee.

Downtown Nashville (live (country) music can be heard everywhere – Music City indeed!):

Orientation began the next day at the DCI corporate headquarters and went on for 3 days, during which we listened to various presentations on topics such as tissue and organ donation, dialysis, brain death, etc. We also got to visit the dialysis clinic, HLA lab, and learned how to scrub in. In the evening of the first day, we got free tickets to a Nashville Sounds game. I’m not the biggest baseball fan so it was more like an evening of fighting off cicadas and chatting with my new friends. We left after the 7th inning, but not before a picture with the mascot!

Then on the second night of orientation, we were invited to the Johnsons’ house (which was quite a beautiful estate) for a BBQ. The Johnsons are two of the nicest, most generous and amazing people I’ve ever met, and not to mention an adorably sweet old couple. Dr. Johnson is the founder of DCI, which is a huge huge accomplishment, as well as everything that came after, like this internship and Camp Okawehna. His wife Nancy is the sweetest ever. When she came in to orientation that day, she already knew all of our names, where we come from and go to school, and our interests. I can only hope to be as successful yet humble and nice as the Johnsons one day.

On Friday we left for Camp Okawehna, about 45 minutes away from Nashville, where we were to serve as counselors for a week. We helped unload and set up a ton of supplies, and that night we were once again treated to dinner, followed by a Wal-Mart run and bowling. Then we returned to camp and spent the night in one of the nice air conditioned lodges, the best accommodations we were to get for the next week. I drifted off to sleep as I anxiously awaited the next day when the campers would arrive.

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