Once again, I've been silent for too long, but I'm hoping the stimulus of school will get me back into the swing of things. I've been in Boston (technically Somerville for those of you who've lived here) a little over two weeks now, and I am totally and completely loving it. Instead of boring you with details, I've put together a little top ten highlights from my time here so far. Enjoy!
10. I am biking everywhere. Boston is a bike-friendlier city than Baltimore seemed to be - there are a plethora of bike racks, main roads with bike lanes, bike- and run-only trails, and a city office dedicated to bikers. I even biked to Brandeis (12 mi) earlier this week!
9. Farmers markets, farmers markets, farmers markets. After finishing In Defense of Food and Omnivore's Dilemma, two great books by Michael Pollan about our food systems and choices in the US, I'm trying to buy as much of my food as possible in season and from local producers, so that means frequenting farmers markets! There are dozens of them in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville, and I may check out one in Waltham (near Brandeis) this weekend - they have pasture-fed/finished beef! And eggs. And all kinds of yummy produce. :)
8. Easy public transportation. I ride the subway in and around Boston, a commuter rail to school, and have yet to try out the buses. I'm waiting for winter when I can no longer ride my bike.
7. Going to a **free** outdoor Beach Boys concert and having a picnic there with a friend. Yes, a free concert! :)
6. Free time. Because I'm only taking two classes and haven't found a job yet, I have all kinds of free time for unwinding, cooking, exploring, reading, and grabbing coffee with the new friends. Because I'll have a crazy semester starting four weeks from now, I'm not feeling remotely guilty. :)
5. Friends. Thanks to World Relief and Kerstin, I know people in Boston already! So I've had plenty to do and have not had to sit at home by myself. It's been fun.
4. Going sailing in Rockport. See #5. Kerstin's family rocks! :)
3. Being back in school! I've had almost two weeks of classes now - I'm taking ecology and economics this summer, both geared towards development practitioners. It's fun being back in an academic environment (I'm sick, I know) and I'm learning all kinds of new things.
2. Meeting a ton of new people, from all over the world! There are about 20-25 people from my MA program taking these two classes with me this summer. In the fall there will be over 100 more, so it's nice getting to know a smaller group first. Of the 20-25, about four of us are originally from the US; the rest are from China, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Burma, Indonesia, Japan, Zanzibar, Britain...the list goes on.
1. Did I mention I was back in school? And living in Boston? And meeting a ton of really cool people? :)