They have been at their summer internships long enough to carve out space for themselves in the office. They know where to find good shawarma in the neighbourhood and how to direct a taxi home at the end of a long day.
They also know how to flip the power back on when the electricity goes out, where to find internet when the office line goes down, and just how hot an office without power can get.
Perhaps these aren’t standard things for interns to learn, but for Janet Eckles and Alicia Hughes, who are working in our Iraq office this summer, they are essentials.
Janet (above) is focused on visual communications. She watches hours of video footage, listens to sound recordings, and then weaves together stories that show the impact of donor funds while maintaining the honour and dignity of those we help. Janet’s favourite part of working with Preemptive Love Coalition is having the chance to use her skills to help an organization she’s long respected. She also really loved that one time we played One Direction in the office.
Alicia is using her powerful organizational skills to help with behind-the-scenes financial processes and data management. She is also writing blog posts when she can tear herself away from Excel spreadsheets. For Alicia, personal interaction with people so different from herself is what she likes best about her work here. In America, she feels there are so many barriers between ‘us’ and ‘them’, but those barriers seem to disappear here in Iraq.
Other years we have had as many as 10 summer interns crammed into the office, so there is a much quieter tone this summer. We poke fun at each other during morning stand-up meetings, jockey for hot water for tea when the electricity is working well, and take turns sweeping floors. Outside the office, we get together one night a week for a staff dinner, and find a little time to explore the city and talk.
Janet and Alicia help in our mission to heal hearts across enemy lines. We’re grateful for them!