Week three – All in a day’s work!
This week has been a quieter one in some ways; more time has been spent in and around the office. That said, the week has flown by and I have been getting involved in helping to prepare for the arrival of the new Consul General (CG) to Chicago.
On Monday, I added some finishing touches to the Raspberry Pi blog I have been working on – actually, finishing touches they were not – I had to change the content of the blog quite substantially after some back and forth with the Washington Embassy. The British Government has some pretty specific rules on what can be published under its name! Anyhow, it was a great learning experience for me to write within particular restrictions and to be challenged about how the statements I make could be interpreted. The blog went live last Tuesday so do have a look!
Tuesday and Wednesday was spent up at ‘The Residence’, preparing it for the arrival of the new CG, who arrived late Thursday evening. I was supporting the Consulate’s Corporate Services Manager to get the Residence comfortable and clean. It was certainly one of the less glamorous tasks I have been set, but it is great to see all sides of Consular work and the Residence is in a stunning location so I was lucky to spend some time there!
On Thursday I was tasked with researching potential non-profit sports (soccer!) programs in Chicago, which may have potential to collaborate with the British Premier Skills Program. The Program is a non-profit initiative – which uses football to foster community spirit in underprivileged neighbourhoods – and is hoping to expand its reach to the US.
On Friday I was asked to write a summary of the outcome of the Jesse Jackson Junior sentencing, given that he is a former Congressman based in Chicago’s South Side, it is big news here in Chicago. A sunny Friday afternoon meant lunch by the river with some of my colleagues. We ordered take-out from a Mexican place called ‘XOCO’ which is famed for being a favourite eatery of President Obama’s when he lived in Chicago! Friday afternoon gave me the chance to catch up with the acting CG to discuss the work I had submitted during the week. It was helpful to get some constructive criticism and the CG kindly reminded me of my tendency to use long sentences – something that when writing summaries or briefs, can be unhelpful for digesting the information! I am working on it!
I had an absolutely fantastic weekend! A friend of mine, whom I met during my academic year abroad, came up to visit me here in Chicago from Monterrey, Mexico! It was a jam packed weekend which included a trip up Willis Tower (the tallest building in the Northern Hemisphere – it towers above the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower!), the annual Chicago Air and Water Show and an architectural river tour in a two person kayak! Lots of Spanish spoken, lots of fun had! We finished off the weekend with dinner in Chinatown and a sweeping tour of central Chicago by night!