I’m only two days into my time with LiNK, and yet it’s felt like I’ve been at it for quite a while. It might have something to do with the fact that I put in ten hours at the office for training yesterday, and I’m going to put in twelve hours today. It’s exactly what I’d love to be doing, though, and so I’ve been absolutely loving it so far. The more I learn about LiNK, the more I like it… and I already liked it enough to sign up for this, so I think that’s saying something.
One of the earliest training sessions with LiNK went over the organization’s mission, vision, and values, and I think that’s I really felt confirmation over my impression that this was the kind of team I would want to partner with. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly the way in which I mesh with LiNK the most because there are so many, but if I had to take a stab with it, I’d say that the thing I dig most about LiNK is how they honor the humanity, uniqueness, and respect behind every single person they work with, whether that’s me, the other interns, their supporters, or the refugees that they help resettle.
In that regards, LiNK is all about people, and I think that’s one of the most urgent needs in the struggle to better North Korea. Redefining is the word that leads off their mission statement, and that’s something that’s really necessary. Most of the world seems to have an image of North Korea that consists of Kim Jong Il standing next to a nuke. LiNK reminds us all that there are people that we work with. Real people, just as merited to respect and proper treatment as everybody else, and that value has echoed throughout their work.
So yeah, I’m loving it so far. Over the past couple days of training, we’ve been briefed on the ins and outs of LiNK and North Korea is different sessions. We’ve gone over everything from the branding and identity of LiNK, to changes currently going about in North Korea, to an in-depth history of the crisis, to our upcoming campaign and plans for the Fall tour. Needless to say, it’s gonna be a good one. I feel privileged to be working with so many people who are both passionate and knowledgeable on the issue, and I’ve been able to learn things that I wasn’t able to find in all my reading prior to this internship.
I want to, and I will, talk more about the things I’m loving about LiNK thus far. Bottom line, I totally have the awareness that this is where I belong and where I’m supposed to be right now. It’s great and I’m gonna enjoy every minute of this. It truly feels like I’m working on what maybe the world’s most urgent matters with the most energetic group doing something about it.
I’ve spent most of my time at the office, which is a snazzy, snazzy place. I doubt the term “office job” would have such a negative connotation if more people put an effort into making their offices look like LiNK’s- a cross between a typical office, an urban loft, and a warehouse.
I’m also still just getting familiar with Torrance. So far I’ve gotten to know where to get some good Asian food, and where the park is that has a farmer’s market regularly- Peruvian chicken yesterday… yes. This area has more fun than I expected out of it, but there’s more exploring that has yet to happen.
I also get in plenty of time at the intern house. I’m back into what seems to be my natural habitat… a small house packed full of people. I share a room with three others, and I haven’t even bothered to count the total number of people in this house. My guess is twenty. By some miracle, it stays as clean as you could ever expect a house of twenty to keep up. It is semi-chaotic. It’s great. I have yet to really unpack and rearrange my things, because I’ve been kept busy, but that’s in a really good way. I want to write an update letter to my supporters, which will be coming soon.
I’ve been introduced to Korean and Korean-American culture, which is great. The K-Pop doesn’t stop around here. I live in the vicinity of a Korean market, and every aisle has a billion things I need to try at some point. My very first night, one of my new friends decided to introduce me to fried pork belly and Korean BBQ. It was wonderful and definitely filling. He overambitiously fried way too much meat, so by the end of it, we were running low on lettuce wraps and kimchi, and pretty much just had a plate of fried pork belly and shabu shabu beef. Meat salad.
I like my team a whole lot. I’m getting to know them better despite having a schedule that makes it tough to sit still in one place for too long. As should be apparent by all of us coming here, we have a lot of things and values in common, and everyone is just easy to get along with. Everything just feels so natural and organic. I love it.
You might notice I have nothing bad to say. That’s right, I don’t. That’s pretty accurate thus far.
And now, you’re probably wondering where I’ll be assigned.
I’ll find out Thursday.
I know, I’ve had to put up with that too.
I’m looking forward to finding out. Each route has its perks and its reasons to excite me. I’m internally hoping for the Southeast, but we’ll see. I also am interested to see who my two travel buddies will be.
Short and simple, this is off to a good start and I have every reason to be excited about the rest of this which is to come.