Goodbyes to Nola and Hello New York

I’m so thankful for my amazing YAV year in New Orleans. I learned so much about the city, the people, and even myself. I can’t say thank you enough to all the people I met and friends I made while I was there. I will greatly miss all my housemates, coworkers, friends and students that have truly made a huge impact in my life this last year. I am so thankful for all your support and hospitality you have shown me. I can’t be grateful enough for all of you! It was very hard for me to leave a city that easily became home for me, and New Orleans has stolen my heart! But I know this is not “goodbye forever”; more just a “see you later.”

As I said in my previous post, I was also able to spend almost a whole month back home in Minnesota before I traveled off again. It was amazing to see and catch up with all my loved ones, friends, and family. You all welcomed me back so warmly. I can’t thank you enough either. You all spared no expense to show me how much I was missed, and for that I love you all.

So, now as of two weeks ago, I have lived in New York City to start my second YAV year. It’s been a little bit of a rough start for me, but I keep fighting my way through it. I even had to learn the hard way on my first day in the city; I got majorly scammed by a fake Uber driver who charged me almost four times the rate of what my fare from the airport to my new apartment would have been. So I had to learn real quick to toughen up a little bit, and not be so naive. I’ve also been struggling with getting used to the subway system. It’s my first time really constantly using public transit. I have been noticing it’s been getting easier though. Finally, my last struggle is with my job. I am working at the Presbyterian Ministry of the United Nations. I am so excited to be working there, but the office is going through all the transitions right now. We are figuring out how to move on from multiple staff members and interns, to just my boss and me. We are also moving offices at the moment, too. Finally, this month is one of the busiest months of the year for the United Nations, because the General Assembly starts up this week, and I’m still trying to get trained in to my position. So please send lots of prayers for me as I work my way through these transitions and new experiences.

I don’t want to sound whiny and make you think that New York is bad, because that is not the case at all. I have seen the beauty of the architecture of the buildings, appreciated the nature of the parks around my apartment, and felt overjoyed by the extensive diversity around me. I even feel comfort from the random smiles or doors held open for me from the strangers that I never met before, which proves this city isn’t as rough and tough as it seems. This city may be vast in size and people, but it has so much to offer and learn from that I feel so blessed to be able to experience all it has to offer!

So I leave you with this bible verse that has helped to encourage me these last few weeks:

1 Corinthians 15:58

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”



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