Happy Juneteenth from San Francisco! Before I dive into the official recap of my internship, it’s crucial to acknowledge the significance of June 19th, 1865, which is the official and historical liberation of all American slaves. Granted, slavery exists in many forms in our society today (just look at our prison complex and the various forms of trafficking, child labor, and forced labor all around the world)–these individuals struggling (most of which are people of color) are simply not documented as slaves, but as convicts or workers. Still, this marks a revelation in the way we view and treat people of color: human beings that must be heard, respected, and loved. We still have SUCH a far way to go in systemic racism–it’s devastating that waves of protest keep flowing over and over again when the original problem should not exist in the first place.
I have been creating a list of Black-owned businesses (food, beauty, health, all kinds)–mostly San Francisco-based–to support them as much as I can for as long as I stay here. However, I want to go far and beyond this by getting off my booty and walking around various areas of the Bay to find more local business and shops to explore (this article explains the problematic intricacies of merely a simple Google search), as well as utilizing apps to learn more about these places (minus the first week…I need to adjust to living more inexpensively in a VERY expensive city)! Please take some time out of your day to do the same, if not more.
Okay, now here it is: I MOVED!!!!
Well, not permanently. I’ll be living in San Francisco until close to the end of December! My time will be spent focalized on my Food Science internship at the magnificent Clara Foods HQ and labs. To keep everything professional, I will not be sharing any photos of the interior of the workplace as many aspects of working in the food industry must be kept confidential. Still, I WISH you could just view how beautiful the office spaces are as well as the labs! On top of that, we can see such a gorgeous sight of the ocean and the (limited) action of the rest of San Francisco, AND we have free access to a gym once it opens up again. My work in the internship encompasses aiding the scientists in their food science projects, which vary across all kinds of subjects. There is a LOT to learn from personal experience with them and researching papers on my own. However, the team members are all incredibly sweet, hardworking, friendly, ambitious, and intelligent in their own ways.
Additionally, I currently reside in a STUNNING bedroom (with a private bathroom! What a luxury!) contained in a small shared home with several roommates. The place of residence is quite close to my internship, which is super neat. But does it need a bigger shower and a larger kitchen? ABSOLUTELY. Having said that, I cannot be grateful enough for my residence and the privacy I have. It’s fantastic!
Obviously, while I have so many gems at my disposal, this isn’t to say that I will be living lavishly. San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to live in California–perhaps America–hence, my lifestyle will be heavily simplified. 90% of the time I will eat home-cooked meals (10% of the food will be from vegan-friendly restaurants, ideally many of them Black-owned and local). No extraneous shopping for clothes, makeup, home decor, or any unnecessary luxuries, but perhaps a haircut or two. Oh yes, and I need a waxing procedure for my eyebrows STAT. Much of my lifestyle habits (living frugally and working or studying most of the time) will not change, but paying for my own rent for the time first may pose as a challenge to some conveniences I used to possess. Moreover, it is highly likely that if I do not create a new network of friends, life outside of my internship will become very, very lonely.
Lastly, my health and fitness routine: well, kind of like how anyone would workout during a quarantine–at home! (To be fair, some people have started going to open gyms again…as long as they’re safe and practicing social distancing and proper hygiene, then, I’ll give them that) However, I don’t have weights anymore, so I’ve been attempting more bodyweight workouts entailing a mix of calisthenics and HIIT. Not nearly as effective, but they’ll do. Like I said before, I plan on consuming all vegan, mostly home-cooked meals, which, hey, definitely presents its health benefits! The protocol: lots of vegetables (both starchy and non-starchy), fruits that don’t perish easily (apples, peaches, etc.), high-quality vegan protein, some snacks, flaxseed meal, some supplements, and NUT BUTTER FOR DAYS.
That’s all for now! Once again, have an amazing Juneteenth! I’ll keep everyone posted about my new life in SF in the near future!