Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reporting an Awesome Week

I have had another wonderful week in D.C.-- simple and sweet, just as summer should be.  On Monday, I went to the Screen on the Green at the National Mall with some friends and watched the classic movie, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (filmed in Utah).  It was awesome!  It was so nice to lay a blanket down on the grass and watch a movie on the big screen outside in the open space.  The movie was very enjoyable with great one liners, plot, and who could ever resist Butch?  Best of all, we could see the Capitol in the background. 

On Thursday, I attended a brown bag lunch held by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and learned useful information regarding the various capacities those on the panel have served-- at political campaigns, human rights non-profit, federal agency, think tank, etc.  They said a lot of the work they are doing could have been done withouta law degree, and that there is value in seeking as much experience as possible in areas of interests.  Many of their necessary and useful skills were acquired through internships, which makes me happy because I can check that off on the list of to-do's.  I've been debating whether or not to go the law school route or seek for a joint degree--MPH and JD, so attending this panel has given me great insight.  I was also told to take risks, but I struggle with which should I choose to take as there are so many great options.  Thus, the exploration continues...

I also attended a meeting at the American Institute of Research, which is an organization that is contracted to conduct research on various topics such as health, education, international development, etc. and improve them.  I was warmly welcomed as an AAPD intern and met such personable staff members.  I became very impressed by the projects that were described and hope to learn more about them.

Work at Disability Rights International continues as there is always so much work for the organization to do at home and abroad.  I'm gaining more and more respect for those of the non-profit sector because of the persistence and diligence required for success and action.  There's so much to do to preserve the basic rights of people, but so little resources.  I'm glad I can be a part of the work.  I am currently working with my boss on researching information and references on children with disabilities living in institutions abroad to be published in the UNICEF year end report.  How exciting!

I love having the GW pool at my disposal because swimming has been super fun and therapeutic after work.  I'm truly enjoying a healthier summer workout than any other along with wheeling to and from DuPont Circle everyday.  This is great physical preparation for my trek around Europe this coming fall.  The highlight of this week is learning how to get in and out of the pool all by myself!

Finally, I met up with some friends to watch the opening of "The Dark Knight Rises."  It was so AWESOME!! I loved the story and how it tied in so well with previous films, although it could easily be a stand-alone film.  Christopher Nolan did a great job in ending the series, and I'm SO sad it's the end!  I love Christian Bale as Batman (since high school) and I'm going to miss him!! This film is a definite must-see.


  1. 1. explain your pool getting in and out
    2. details on your europe trip cause i'll need some pointers as this is our plan too
    3. so glad that you're having such an awesome time!!! yeah!!!

  2. KATIE!
    1. So this is pretty lame but I never learned how to do it as part of my physical therapy, so when I finally got into the water again, I've just had people carry me in and out of the pool. But since being out here myself and desiring to be more independent in order to go anytime by myself, I decided to risk it. I parked my chair right next to the edge of the pool, got off onto the ground and plop myself in the pool--that's the easy part. Now getting up, I use one arm to pull myself up, while using the other to stabilize myself onto the edge of the pull. It's kind of hard because it's slippery and even worst when I try to pull myself onto my chair because I'm all wet, but it's feasible. Although, the disability community here (and possibly across the country) had or are boycotting hotels that don't have pool lifts. I've never used one before, but it should be TONS easier with it.

    2. I'm heading out to London from here on August 10th and will be there until January. My husband in at Cambridge University for the summer. My friend and I are going to split some time between London and Italy before she has to leave. I'll let you know how we do it in terms of accessibility. I heard it's difficult because it's old, but London is making strides towards accessibility. Check out for cheap flights between countries. There's an option for wheelchair accommodation. Make sure you have the right flight because flight change fees are steep. I had to pay $80 euros for choosing the wrong one :(

    You shouldn't need a visa unless you are staying for a really long time. So here is the info for if you know someone who is interested in interning in the UK. I'm interning at the Scottish Parliament through BYU's connections. The organization that is sponsoring us and most interns in Scotland is called BUNAC. Check out the site: for more information on the requirements. It's pretty simple, although you need to find an intern host as well. After, you'll get your visa and can live in the UK for up to six months. We have to find our own place out there and have been looking on but we were told the better option is to go there and live in a hotel until we can find a wheelchair accessible flat.

    3. Thanks so much! It's been such a fun experience living out here. You have done it too, right? You're the best!

    Let me know if you have specific questions. I'll do my best to answer :)


  3. That is way cool! Swimming is excellent exercise and always fun :) Also, I think it's pretty impressive that you're doing research that's going into UNICEF's year end report. I'll read it and be like "Yup, see that? My friend totally contributed to it." Also, isn't Dupont a great neighborhood? When I was thee last summer I went people watching there with some friends.