Hello from London!
During my off term I have been working in London, England. Although there is not a language barrier, everyone is constantly saying phrases like 'cheers' and 'brilliant' that make me love the people here! I am living in Kings Cross, which is in the heart of the city, making everything only a short 'tube' ride away. Since I am used to the small-town environment, living in a big city was quite an adjustment at first, but I have grown to love it because there is always something to do or a new area to explore.
I am working for Blenheim CDP, which is London's largest drug organization and supports people of all ages and backgrounds with drug and alcohol addiction. The branch I am working in specializes with young people in the Kensington and Chelsea borough, ranging from 14 to 25 years old. In the nature of drug and alcohol addiction, many clients seek out our services with other prominent issues, often housing, legal, sexual safety, emotional and physical trauma. Blenheim has a holistic approach and values the importance of helping clients in all these areas as well as addressing their drug and alcohol addiction. While these clients are going through difficult periods in their lives, they are all so kind and grateful for our services. It is amazing to see how positive they are despite the hardships they have faced. On the daily schedule, I have a wide range of tasks ranging from working on the company's website to meeting with clients to help them improve their resumes, find jobs and become more physically active. There is never a dull moment in the office!
During my time here, I have learned so much from both clients and my co-workers. I shadow the most amazing key worker; he has taught me so much and made an unbelievable impact in the lives of many young people in the area. Although some days can be challenging, it is extremely rewarding when you see a client reach their goals.
Fortunately, living in London, makes traveling very easy. On the weekends, I have been traveling with teammate Kristen Giovanniello. We went to Dublin the first weekend and the second weekend we traveled to Cambridge. While in Cambridge, we went punting down the river. It was an amazing way to see all the colleges that make up the town. Teammates Liz Calby and Bailey Johnson also came to visit us in London for a weekend. It was so much fun to be back with some good friends! Also, the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program for both Government and History is based in London, so it has been great reconnecting with some Dartmouth friends.
Although my term in London has been an incredible experience thus far, I really miss Dartmouth and can't wait to get back to Hanover to train with everyone for Australia. Hard to believe the trip is coming up so soon!!
Lindsey Allard '14