It seems like it was not that long ago that I walked into ECDI for the first time, excited and nervous and not quiet comprehending the impact that this summer would have on me. Fast forward ten weeks and I’m writing this final blog post from the lobby of a hotel in Paris. It’s been a crazy, amazing and challenging ride, but I’m happy to say that it’s all been worth it. This past week has been such a blur of proposal drafts, powerpoints and packing that I don’t think it’s hit me that my time as a Columbus Fellow is over. Even though I’ll be continuing on at ECDI, I’ll miss the chance to catch up with people after learning sessions and the sense of community. Following our final presentations, I rushed back to my apartment to finish packing. I had been so focused on getting the Women’s Fund TA draft finished this week that I barely had time to polish up my presentation, let alone do all the planning and organizing needed to pack we’ll for a 10 day trip abroad.
Even though I’ve spoken French for most of my life, I’ve never been to France. I knew that this trip, as ill-timed as it may have turn out, could probably be the only chance I get to finally see Paris. Throwing everything I could think of into my suitcase, I caught the 8 hour flight to the city of lights with my sister and grandpa. Things I forgot: power adapter, rain gear, hair ties and sunscreen. Of course, within hours of our arrival it started drizzling, making the cobblestones glisten and our hotel lobby seem all the more cozy. As I sit here sipping my coffee, I can’t believe how perfectly this summer has come to a close. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have made this all possible. Many thanks from Paris!