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  • Writer's pictureLauren

A blog about not blogging

So, clearly, I took a break from blogging. I know, I know, you all probably missed me a lot. Understandable. But, I had very good reasons to not be blogging; I was very busy and thriving. Let me count the ways.

Traveling the world (Ok a small portion of Europe)

I spent my winter break taking a documentary film making course in London. It was possibly the most amazing (and expensive) month of my life. I went to all the touristy spots like Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and Stonehenge, but my favorite parts of the trip were the opportunities I had to immerse myself in the less-touristy parts of London and live like a Londoner. Granted, everywhere in London is a little bit touristy, but my flat was located in central London and from there only a few minutes walk to the tube, which really gave me access to all of London. If I really wanted to mission I could take the train and get much further (pro tip: when you are in London take the Underground EVERYWHERE it is easy and relatively inexpensive). I loved getting on the tube and seeing where I could go and all the different communities and subcultures that London had to offer. My favorite place, and the place that I ended up making my film on, was Brixton. Brixton is a town that is made up of mostly Afro-carribean immigrants that started to become a cultural hub with good food, great art and amazing music. Of course, once all those things started to happen Brixton became a "happening place" where young people and hipsters (you know they type) wanted to live. Now, as a result, the prices in Brixton are going up, pricing out many of the people who originally lived there. International gentrification (the topic of my mini doc).

Despite all that, Brixton is still one of the coolest places I've been and was my favorite spot in London for delicious food and great nightlife.

As a part of my traipaisings, I took a weekend trip to Porto, Portugal. It was the most beautiful place I have ever been. I took the bus to the London Stansted Airport early in the morning and then I took a 60 pound flight on Ryanair and got to Porto early Saturday. After arriving, I took the metro to the hostel that I would spend the night at. I stayed at the Yes! Porto Hostel, which was really nice. There was dinner, activities, tours and even a bar. Since I was only staying in Porto for a day and a half I packed in my day. I went to the art museum, Cristobal Park, shopping, the park, and the river. Everything was gorgeous and idyllic. It is a magical place full of peacocks and perfect sunsets, and unique houses with every pattern and color. They also have the most amazing pastries ever. Like honestly, the best ever, everything is great, donuts, tarts, even the ones that have fish in them are delicious. The morning before I left, I took a walking tour and the history of Portugal is actually really interesting and complex. But through the tour I went to all these amazing sites like churches made of gold, and medieval castles that weren't built during medieval times. My favorite part had to be walking along the river. There was amazing food and music along a beautiful backdrop. If it seems like I'm saying Porto was beautiful a lot, it's because it was. Magical may even be better description. I definitely was not trying to go back to London and never wanted to come back home.


Throughout my semester I did two internships. One was with the United Nations Foundation and the other was with the National Black Child Development Institute. I loved both opportunities and learned a lot from both. The United Nations Foundation is a large non-profit organization that works to further the goals and ideals of the UN in the United States. They have many different campaigns that focus on achieving the different sustainable development goals that the UN has created. There I was the digital and editorial intern, which was essentially a fancy term for managing social media accounts and occasionally writing a few blogs.

My experience with Black Child Development Institute was a little more free formed and more sporadic. I helped to organize a literacy program for young students in Washington D.C. to raise literacy levels. When everything was finally organized I got to do my favorite part of the job, which was actually interacting with and teaching the kids.


Conquering UMD

Along with the internship 3 times a week I also had classes and was in the process of completing a capstone project to receive my honors citation. The capstone project was a documentary film on environmental racism, and though the school year may be done, the film, really is not. But it will be amazing and awe-inspiring when it is finished. My biggest accomplishment for the semester, probably for my entire time in college is that I FINALLY secured straight A's for the first time since middle school. Humble brag.



I became a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. I am so grateful to be embarking on this journey and I am grateful for all the women who came before me.

Well, this is long. But this is what I've been up to, I will likely add some more updates and videos and pictures, especially from my traveling. I am hoping that I'll be able to update more frequently with updates on my internships, advice, stories, photos and more!


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