It really wasn't that triumphant, I flew in last week right after a pretty serious thunderstorm (got to fly through part of it, that was fun) to a welcome party of one: my now roommate Emiko. Lots of people have asked me what it feels like to be back in DC and back working at my old job (I started on Monday) and the best way I can describe it is to say that it feels like I never left, which is both comforting and creepy.
I've returned to my little office with a view of another office building to continue on as a research assistant to a rural housing nonprofit. A rural housing nonprofit in Washington, DC??? you may say... well, yes. The organization acts as an intermediary between the government and local, rural organizations. We get mostly government money to support our activities which are a revolving loan fund, technical assistance and training, and research specifically to organizations working in rural areas around the country. There are several organizations that do this but my organization is the only housing intermediary that focuses solely on rural areas.
The biggest adjustment to returning to work has been sitting .... all day ... at a desk ... staring at a computer screen. So far I've been doing the usual editing stuff I used to do, we're waiting for the research agenda to get final approval from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is where the money comes from. The one thing I do know is that I'll be working on a big report done after each decennial census. I love the census so I'm pretty psyched about that.
I had four days before work started, during which I had originally planned to run errands and buy clothes and other stuff I'd need for work. But I had Peace Corps friends in town (can't stay away for long!) so I hung out with them instead. My friend Dianne is from Northern Virginia so she came home with her site mate, Liz, and we went to Great Falls:
Dianne's mom had warned her to be careful, and it turns out she had a point - "The river has claimed another victim, don't be its next, if you fall in you will die."
I'd always heard about Great Falls when I lived here before but since you can only get out there in a car, I never went. It's very pretty!
Sunday we moved into our apartment (if anyone wants the address or my phone number just let me know). My plan was to buy a bed the way I did the last time I moved out here: Craigslist! But upon arrival I learned that DC, much like New York, is experiencing a bedbug infestation so buying a used bed was very much discouraged. I ended up at Ikea on Saturday trying to figure out how to buy a decent bed for less than $500 when Emiko texted me and said that her current roommate was looking to sell her nice, Certa bed fast and for less than $500! What luck :) So I'm mostly all settled, just waiting for my boxes to arrive, and as I type there are three guys building a wall to separate my room off (we have a one bedroom so my room is technically the living room). Once all that stuff is done, I can settle myself for real.
My last news is that I got the approval to move forward on getting my knee fixed. If you remember, when I was last in DC I discovered that I have a torn meniscus but opted to return to Nicaragua in order to get part of my Perkins loan canceled (which has also been confirmed!). When I got back last month I sent in paperwork to get knee surgery as covered under a part of workers comp and I just got the approval. This morning I scheduled an appointment with the same orthopedist I saw before for a quick follow-up and then I should be able to schedule the surgery.