Peacefully and cheerily, I begin my day in Detroit.
It has been the first time in my life I live in a suit with other three girls. We have a common living room and a spacious open kitchen. We have a fridge that stores fresh vegetables and fruits we bought from Eastern Market and Whole Food. In the morning, I can hear the sound of pans kissing the cabinets, then the smell of the eggs, cooked oatmeal. To save time (or just a lazy girlJ), I always make blueberry sandwiches and eat them on my way to work.
People are jealous about the walking distance I have: 2 minutes walking. The place I work in is called Green Garage. It was a showroom for Model T back to 1920s. The engineer couple, Tom and his wife, bought the room and turned it into sustainable startup incubator for local Detroit.
Henry, I and two other University of Michigan interns always work in the same long table which we jokily call “Intern Table”. All the things we work for Detroit Food Academy are project-based; therefore, Henry and I always sit down and use 10 minutes to set our goals for today and this week in the morning before we get into our work. So far, we have accomplished inventory system, lot tracking system, social marketing schedule planning, summer curriculum for next summer and so on. The working environment in Green Garage is very casual and relaxing. When Henry and I all dressed in business formal for the first day of work, we were shocked by people in shorts and T-shirts. Green Garage also offers fresh brewing coffee, tea and milk in the kitchen and the best cookies and brownies sometime provided by residences in Green Garage. It also has a cozy spot on the second floor for people to take a nap anytime during the day. I can’t recall any place I intern with such humanized design for workers.
Usually, Henry and I sit along the table so we can communicate more efficiently and easily. We work on our computers for most of time and share our documents online. We also take breaks during the work and have time to explore the neighborhood. We like eating in Avalon International Bread for its Chicken Sandwich, or pocket sandwich store next to it. Sometimes, we would choose the leftover warps or salads from Fresh Corner and sit together in intern table with other interns, chatting about experience in Detroit and sharing intern lives of this week.
5 pm everyday, Henry and I will clean our tables and get ready to exercise. I will go to Yoga Lab for an hour Vinyasa or Slow Flow. Michigan is the State of yoga. In order to be more Michiganer, I sign up for yoga classes and get incentive to go after work. I enjoy finding my own peace during the gentle move. After yoga, I would go home and prepare a big meal to reward myself. One surprise I get during Duke Engage is that the sausage past (you can’t believe how delicious it is). After a busy day, I just want to sit in the coach, watching TV shows or watching Excel tutorial videos on Lynda. When it comes to work, I just realize how little I know and how fast I can gain knowledge through working practice.
It is my first internship in the United States and I am amazed that I feel comfortable and rewarding everyday instead of uneasy caused by the culture shock and language boundaries. I learn how to cooperate with my partners, how to live independently and how to balance work and personal life. I explore neighborhood area, make friends with co-workers and residences in Green Garage learn to merge myself into Detroit.
It has only been 6 weeks, but it seems I have been here for years. There is so much I know about neighbors and this city and so much I can talk about my life here.
Suddenly, I realize Detroit is kind of like my home now.