Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Same Mind, Same Love

My experience thus far has been interesting to say the least. For the whole summer, we have groups come down for two week trips, and we had just seen the last group off on Saturday morning when we found out that one of teams here for the next 2 weeks came down 2 days early. 30 extra people to care for 2 days early, needless to say there was some small freak-outs, but everyone pitched it and we made it through the weekend. I am so impressed by the people, especially the interns, that I am working with. The staff here gets Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon completely off every other weekend, and that is their only official time off during the summer. I am so impressed by the interns here who just jumped into action and said very few negative comments about missing out on their weekend off. I was glad for the timing of my arrival because I was still feeling pretty rested and fresh (not anymore!) for the weekend.

Since they are back in town, I have been able to meet with Josh a few times, which has been super helpful. Josh and Vicki are the missionary couple who I am helping this summer, and he is back (finally) from his week of baby leave. It’s nice to have someone to give me more direction and to let me know what I’m doing well and what things I need to work harder at. Josh and Vicki are super good at their jobs, and they’ve really created and developed the position they have, so there are a lot of things that they just do that others don’t exactly realize. This is okay, except for when both of them are out of town and I’m trying to learn the jobs that no one but they can teach me J Everyone here has been super helpful and encouraging though, so that’s good. I thought that for interest’s sake, I would post a typical schedule for myself if anyone was interested in reading it:

6:00 – wake up
6:35 – quiet time
7:20 – announcements, worship, staff testimony
8:00 – breakfast
8:45 – see teams off to their work sites for the day
9:00-4:00 – odd jobs including emailing and office work, binding books, preparing hostess gifts,  taking photos of volunteers at work, helping Josh and Vicki at home, etc.
4:00-6:00 – free time, spent with the volunteers or the interns
6:00 – dinner
7:00 – evening activity – culture night, team time, game night, dinner in the community, etc.
10:00ish – bed

I do most of the announcements for the groups, as well as some of the base orientation when they first arrive here. The job that I am helping with is really a catch-all kind of thing. I basically help with whatever needs to happen to make sure that the teams run smoothly and that people get the most out of their experience here. I answer a TON of questions, important ones and other not so seemingly important ones. It’s interesting to have arrived here so recently and to know that people are counting on me to know things about the base operations or the culture here, even the plant life on base J Another important part of my job is to be in relationship with people. I ask a lot of people how their days went, how they are feeling, or interesting things they saw that day. It’s been strange and exhausting for me sometimes to be outgoing all of the time, making me painfully aware of the fact that I am naturally an introvert. I think that I am being stretched and pushed in many ways already, and will continue to be all summer, making me (hopefully) a better person. I know already that this is incredible work experience and that I will be proud to put this experience on my resume, as I know that it is well worth mentioning.

I have had some beautiful moments with Dominicans here already, reminding me of the beautiful time I spent here in 2010. Roughly half of the staff here is Dominican, and I love being able to speak with them (in very broken) Spanish. I am still so amazed by the way that two hearts can connect even when we do not know all of the words to say to one another.

On Friday, I was able to spend the afternoon in El Callejon at the social work center where I worked when I was here for my semester. At the beginning of May, they were able to open up a new building for the women to meet in, and it brought tears to my eyes when I saw the new building in person for the first time. It is probably the nicest building in the whole neighborhood of El Callejon, and it makes me happy to know the beautiful things the women see, hear, make and talk about while within those walls. I saw some girls and one woman who I had worked with while I was here, and it brought me such joy that they remembered me, also that I could come up with the right names for them! I spent the day with Daisy and Kim there, helping them to make a craft and a lesson for the 11-12 year old girls. It was such a fun space of being with both new and old friends, passing a whole day together the way Dominicans are so good at doing.

I have been appreciating small things about the culture here, things that I have missed without even consciously knowing that I missed them. My heart is happy when I think of these things and remember my time here before. I love that I receive warm hugs often, which is so beautiful and encouraging (sorry Becky). I love the smell of the laundry I did today that I hung out on the line to dry in the sun and the breeze. It rained all of last weekend, which was a bummer except for the fact that I got to listen to it falling on the tin roof all of Friday afternoon. I love the food, rice and beans, chinola juice, coke in a glass bottle. The way that when I look out to the mountains in the morning, the beautiful colors are slightly muted in the morning mist.
My heart is happy and light J

1 comment:

  1. My heart is happy and light...

    That is the best part of it all!! We love you and enjoy keeping up to date with your time away. We miss you alraedy, Dad