Week 4 - Exploring "The Hub"
Falling in love with city life is quite a way to spend a summer and Boston is a quintessential place to do just that. One of the oldest cities in New England, Boston is wonderfully vibrant and full of history, diverse cultures, beautiful parks, and a metropolitan ambience.
The Harvard School of Public Health is located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, a medical campus near the Fenway and Mission Hill neighborhoods of Boston. Centered on Harvard Medical School (HMS) and its affiliated teaching hospitals, Longwood provides an atmosphere of driven students and scholars. While waiting for PCR procedures to finish or taking lunch breaks, my lab mates and I enjoy the summer sun on the open lawn at the footsteps to HMS. The weekly performances by students from nearby Berkley College of Music add to the beauty of relaxing outside, resembling a serenade in a park.
If not chatting in Harvard Yard, I spend time by the Charles River, which runs along both the Harvard and MIT campuses and through Boston. Alongside it is a scenic path that I enjoy running on in the early morning or late evening. I have spent countless weekend afternoons and evenings laying on grass nearby, watching the rowboats and kayaks go by.
Early in our time at the Fortune lab, my lab mate, Christal, and I had the opportunity to go kayaking with other student interns along the Charles River. It was a wonderful way to enjoy the fresh air, exercise a bit, and take in surrounding nature.
On weekends, my lab mates and I take the chance to venture a little further; out of Boston. As a farewell to one of our fellow interns, we spent a full Saturday at George’s Island, one of several islands in Boston Harbor. From the wind-in-hair ferry ride over to wading in the Atlantic waters, the trip felt like a true summer get-away. Like Boston, George’s Island also held a lot of history to be explored. It houses Fort Warren, one the finest forts built in the nation. In memory of its history as a training ground for Union soldiers and as a Civil War prison, island guides provide costumes resembling attire from that era for visitors to wear. After scouring through dark tunnels and buildings, we had picnic in the park on the island, under the accompaniment of tunes by students from the Berkley College of Music.
Capturing the spirit of Boston could not be complete without tapping its athletic core: a Red Sox game. My Midwest and New England ties crossed as I sat in the crowd at a Minnesota Twins v. Boston Red Sox game. Red Sox pride was evident in boisterous fans and their energy was infectious, as my lab mate and I found ourselves cheering and doing the wave alongside them.
My lab mates and I have had the most fun simply walking through downtown Boston. Whether it’s shopping at Copley Plaza or grabbing a cup of coffee along Newbury Street, Boston is exciting. As I watch the busy stream of people and cars, listen to multiple languages being spoken, and look up at the skyscrapers, I can’t help but smile.
Nzuekoh Nchinda is a Chemistry concentrator working towards a secondary field in Global Health at Harvard (class of 2014). This summer, she is interning at Dr. Sarah Fortune's tuberculosis laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health. Through the Harvard Global Health Institute, Nzuekoh Nchinda will study diseases that afflict many third world countries with the goal of using the information to work in hospitals in her native Cameroon upon graduation.