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This weekend marks four weeks on this trip or in other words, the halfway mark. My post today is slightly less thought through but I did want to touch on the topic of falling into a routine.

Weekdays generally begin with me struggling to get out of bed, groggily grabbing a boiled egg and toast for breakfast, and then heading over to work. After buzzing into work, I almost instantly am interacting face to face with our clients who are largely comprised of either refugees or asylum seekers. As soon as noon hits, my desk closes for the day and it’s my lunch break where I usually will try to find a new, nearby restaurant either with my coworkers or with my friends from Duke who all work at organizations within a few blocks of me. After debriefing about how everyone’s morning was and enjoying a filling meal, I head back to work.

Afternoons can vary drastically depending on what is going on in the office. For example, last week I covered for our receptionist, Asha, who I have a newfound respect for; helped lead a discussion on how dating is different in different cultures with our English School students through a round of speed dating; and worked with our communications director on a plan to launch an Instagram page. As the workday winds down, I finish any administrative tasks left over and then begin the 25-30 minute walk home. I get home, change and head to the gym with whoever is also back. By the time we head back home for the second time, it’s usually getting pretty dark out so we quickly shower and then grab dinner with the group unless we’re having a reflection or a guest speaker. After dinner, our group usually will break off into smaller subsets based on different interests and levels of tiredness from the day and we’ll usually either go out or play cards by the fire. Both have proven to be really great ways to get to know each other. Especially cards, you really do get a firsthand view of how competitive some people are.

So, by no means are my days not busy. It’s quite the opposite actually. But this post was more to highlight the feeling of falling into a routine no matter how meaningful or how exciting the work you do is or how amazing the people you are surrounded with are. It’s also become apparent to me that desensitization often accompanies this feeling of a routine. As I’ve become more aware of this feeling, I’ve found myself appreciating the most subtle changes in my routine so much more than before. I usually end these posts with some self-realization but for some reason, all I can think about is this – is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? And if so, how can I make sure that I don’t fall into routines but rather constantly strive to live my life to the fullest at all times surrounded by the people I love.