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Week Seven: Reflect on CHCI Experience

In a kayak, I learned how to live life. Maybe I should take a few steps back first; a few days ago, I decided to go kayaking for the first time in my life. The Potomac River was a soft greenish blue running between the trees of wilderness and the urban centennials with a majestic gothic bridge connecting the two worlds; perfect weather. I was amongst the trees when it began to rain; I pushed off the shore with my kayak and headed for civilization when the drizzle of rain transforms into a torrential downpour. Within moments, I was fighting for my life to keep my kayak afloat as the waves in the river gathered strength, the water kept pouring in, and the rain restricted my vision; I can't swim. In what I thought would be my last moments of life, my life flashed before my eyes, the images of my family and friends were the last thoughts I would have; I looked up to the sky, looked down into the murky water and thought "Well Jose Ricardo, we are not going down that easily." I gripped my oar with all my strength and miraculously made it to a water barrier near the shore. I jumped out of the kayak into the water barrier, pulled my kayak full of water over the water barrier and found myself in a closed construction site. I walked through the flooded site to an eight-foot fence and threw my kayak over then jumped over, leaving minor cuts running the length of my legs. I walked about the length of a football field with my kayak back to the kayak shed; I'm not a strong guy yet with each movement I channeled all my strength in order to survive. My friends, distraught from my extended absence, hugged me; I could feel the love. Life is comprised of people and love; I would do whatever possible to have both and I'm lucky that I have both. While learning congressional rules and procedure is educational, the real experience is made with people; the hustle and bustle with the members and running around the city with the interns, trying to make our own marks; my office has grown on me and I will miss them dearly.