evie-howard.jpgEvie is a senior CCPA major working at Global Witness. This non-governmental organization is working to break the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption.

And now, the end is near/ And so I face the final curtain/ My friend, I’ll say it clear/ I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain/ I’ve lived a life that’s full/ I’ve traveled each and every highway/ And more, much more than this/ I did it my way

Evie1.jpgAs I come to the final two weeks of my time in London, I am reminded of this famous Frank Sinatra song. While at times I feel overwhelmed and more than ready to return to the life I’m used to in the States, I can’t help to imagine waking up in my own bed and longing to hear the garbage truck outside my Regent’s College dorm room, see the sun rise at 4:30 in the morning, see the sun set at 10 at night, hear the children playing in the park, or the loud kitchen staff boys fighting in the parking lot outside my room. All of these things make me long for home, but when I imagine a life without them, I feel empty.

My time in London has been surreal. When I arrived 4 weeks ago, I knew I liked London, but I was unaware of the hold it would put me in. I’ve become a Londoner, WHO KNEW!

I have traveled the tube so much I know the map by heart. I’m used to seeing double-decker buses come zooming down the street at a remarkable speed. I’ve traveled by train to Leed’s Castle, Hampton Court and even Scotland. I’ve had a pint at a local pub with men in kilts. I’ve seen Venus and Serena Williams play tennis at Wimbledon. I’ve enjoyed Jazz music in the park on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’ve walked so many places I can’t imagine what it feels like to ride in a car anymore.

I work with the most dedicated and lively people I’ve ever met. And I’ve worked for a cause that does more than help my own community. I’m helping communities on the other side of the world!

Evie2.jpg I’ve come to the realization that while I miss home terribly, this city has now grabbed hold of a part of my heart. And no matter where I live, I will never be quite whole again. London has given itself fully to me and I have given myself to it. I have scattered my heart across this world. Parts are home in New Orleans, parts are in Dallas, parts are with my sorority big sister in California, while parts are traveling the oceans with my sorority twin, parts are with a man I met here who puts himself in danger every day in Cambodia to help us fight for their rights to live a full life, and parts of my heart belong to the tube, the Thames, the skateboarders, the theatres, the buses, Regent’s College, the pubs and my co-workers at Global Witness.

These people have dedicated their time and effort every day to allow people they have never met the right to a full life. They fight for the end of conflicts and the end of poverty. They are the reason this world will one day be at peace.

My heart is also with my fellow interns – the most driven and amazing girls I have ever met. I have been privileged to experience London with my new friends, my family.

The chances I have gotten to experience London have been amazing, and were it not for Nina, I would never have made it here. I am so blessed to have this experience, and I plan to live my last two weeks to the fullest!