The End of an Era (or internship…!)

Marketing Intern, Bernie, shows off her artsy hands after block printing for World Fair Trade Day.

Our celebration of World Fair Trade day marked my last day as an intern at Ten Thousand Villages. Despite these last few weeks, it still feels weird not going in every week to this store I’ve come to love so much and not getting to see the absolutely amazing people I’ve met in my time there.

That’s definitely what I will miss (and have been missing these past several weeks) the most: the people. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every person I came into contact with at the store were some of the kindest people. I can barely put into words how amazing the people I got to work with and be around on a daily basis were/ are. If I was still in Austin, I’d make sure to give all of them a hug—maybe next time? I found the passion these people had for Fair Trade inspiring.  How hard they worked to spread its mission and to the effort they put into something much bigger than themselves to make the world a better place was humbling.

If that last paragraph was too sentimental, let me offer something a bit more concrete about what I enjoyed here at my time at Ten Thousand Villages:

By far one of the most memorable experiences was for one of our volunteer “social hours” where we had a few guys from the Multicultural Refugee Coalition talk to us. The guys’ stories were amazing, and one of them Daniel, played the thumb piano he inherited from his father and sang. Even though I didn’t understand a word he was saying,  I was in awe of him the entire time and it was one of the most incredible things I had seen or heard. Maybe it was the purity of it all: it was simply his voice and his plucking the metal, but it was so beautiful. Just proof that music transcends language barriers. This evening will definitely stick with me… I honestly don’t think I would have had this opportunity to witness this anywhere else.

I also photographed 2 of our major in-store events and naturally, I loved doing this simply because it involved me taking pictures! For our International Women’s Day Celebration, just being surrounded by so many incredible women in one place was so amazing, it was almost overwhelming.  For World Fair Trade Day, just getting to hang out and talk to everyone (especially Nisha from Henna Arts) was great.

Looking back upon this insane semester, this internship was one of the best parts. It was a perfect platform for me to get experience I needed in a nurturing environment. It was also a place where my ideas were valued. I met some of the most genuine people. Interning with Ten Thousand Villages was truly a blessing, and even as I move on to other things, this place… this experience, will always be special.

Until next time,
Bernie

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