While I have already faced many obstacles during my internship with the Labour Party (living alone in a foreign country, knowledge barriers, etc.), none have been more challenging than the most recent obstacle. This obstacle was faced not just by me, but by every intern in the program, the program coordinators, and the entire Labour Party. My internship started as a project funded by generous donors of the Labour Party, but, seemingly overnight, due to unforeseen circumstances the program’s funding was cut. Unfortunately for everyone, this situation became twisted and blown up by the New Zealand media and resulted in a minor scandal for the Labour Party. After the initial shock and panic, myself and the other interns and program coordinators were able to work together to find other ways–relying heavily on the generosity of Labour supporters and members of parliament–of keeping the program afloat.
As a 19-year-old experiencing a foreign country alone for the first time, this was an incredibly scary and volatile time for me. I was afraid that my internship was going to be cancelled and that I would be sent home early; I was afraid that my living accommodations would be revoked and I would be forced to leave because of cost; And, I was terrified that if I did get to stay, my continued presence in the country and affiliation with the Labour Party would only hurt their chances of victory after the scandal. I am so grateful that despite the administrative and emotional turbulence facing everyone, we were able to salvage the program and continue making amazing progress for the Labour party and recruiting more and more support. I am even more grateful that my continued involvement in the Labour Party has not negatively affected their polls, in fact, they are polling the highest that they have polled since 2005 and are getting closer and closer to a potential victory!