Monday, June 24, 2019

Italy, Parades, and NSBE

Since getting out of college, one of my favorite ways to 'treat myself' is to travel. As a kid, I didn't get to travel much, in exception of the coast. It still kind of wows me every time I step off the plane and am in a different place - and I love bringing pieces of my journey back to my family (aka - I'm a souvenir fiend). I love international travel, but I also love that there are so many cities in the States that I've yet to visit. Every year I take a mini vacation on my birthday - Toronto, San Francisco, New York, and Maui have been my last four birthdays. I'm still figuring out where I'll go this November... 

Last month, I was so lucky to be invited on a ladies trip to Italy - where I visited Venice and Florence. Most of my trips are solo, so it was a nice change to have a group of ladies to meander with. I did eventually detour to Vienna, Austria on my own to see one of my oldest friends, who now lives there with her new hubby. Again, I'm always so tickled to be in new places - seeing, eating, and enjoying new things / experiences. Gondolas, pasta, wine, and way too much shopping. We also visited Burano and Murano, islands outside of Venice and they were my favorite part of the trip, because they were so picturesque. 
Magical Burano - the painted buildings and whimsical lace making in this town were like a fairy tale. 
Typical "street view" in Venice - our streets ain't got nothing on this.
Upon getting back from Italy, I had one of the busiest months in a while. I joined the Good in the Hood (GITH) Planning committee a few months ago, so this June was my first GITH event. As the Parade Co-Chair, I was responsible for parade planning. I've been in a few parades as I was formerly a Rose Festival Princess, but planning a parade is a whole different animal. Everything that I planned in various maps, layouts, and spreadsheets to organize over 60 organizations (and what ended up being 1200 participants in the parade) was different in action - something as an construction engineer I should have known - I mean, how many times have designs had to change when it was completely different on site? Anyway, GITH was the biggest volunteer gigs I've ever been a part of - all of the hours were well worth it, and it was wonderful to give back to the neighborhood I grew up in. I'm already looking forward to next year going off without a hitch.

Click here to check out some photos from our parade that KOIN 6 captured.

I have also had the pleasure of bringing back the Portland Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) with a small group of Intel engineers. We had our first kickoff event at a black owned business last weekend, and had a huge turnout. As someone who is usually the only woman, and only person of color in my line of work, it was refreshing to be around so much 'black excellence.' I've learned that it is SO important and necessary to create spaces for yourself where you can be inspired, motivated, and have a sense of community. Portland's NSBE has big plans and I'm excited live by our motto, "to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community."