As DukeEngage comes to a close, I can’t believe how time just flew by. I realize that I can’t do this experience nearly enough justice by writing a blog post, but here’s to trying.

It would be wrong of me to not praise the people I’ve met. In my first blog post, I wrote about how Seattle seemed to be a city for “people people.” I believe I have become a “people person.” I started by connecting with my fellow DukeEngage Interns, and I have learned to branch out and reach out to others. For our last weekend (L), we went to Bainbridge Island and had the special opportunity to learn about the Japanese Americans who were torn from their homes, neighbors, and friends to be sent to internment camps for up to 3 years. Four incredibly strong people came to speak with us and share their unbelievable stories of being ripped from society in the 1940s. I could not get enough of this rich history, a period in American history people rarely bring up, if at all. My experiences with DukeEngage have taught me to listen, absorb, analyze, inquire, and learn. All of the people I have met, from Duke alumni to Northwest Harvest volunteers, have imparted unto me some new wisdom that I did not have before.

Although I am excited to get back to Duke and share my experience, it will be hard to compare Durham to the wonders of this city. From attending the SAM Remix event at Olympic Sculpture Park to hiking the falls of the Pack Forest, DukeEngage Seattle has been an unbelievable ride. Sometimes I feel like I blinked and missed it, but I know for sure these memories will last a lifetime. Thank you, Duke! 

Dani Lefland
Duke Student 

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