Saturday, February 20, 2010

Working in the Community

The other night, a distressed refugee came into the shelter, looking for safety for her and her seven kids. An eviction notice was looming in the future and she had no options. A dutiful relief society president was by her side, recording phone numbers and community resources that would assist in their search for hope. I liked pulling out the 211 Social Services directory and watching the panic drain out of their faces. They eventually felt hopeful enough to leave and try their luck with the vast amount of community resources. Do you know that you can call 211 from any phone and be connected to any social service agency in Utah? They are nice and helpful and can answer all your questions. You should just do it. It makes be feel warm inside to know there are such things in this state. Because, more than giving out shampoo, more than coordinating family dinners, more than seeing families move out of the shelter, I like telling people about community resources. I love it! I see community development and collaboration in my future, at least that is what the eight ball told. And it doesn't lie.

People ask me if I ever go home crying, if what I see at the shelter effects me emotionally. When I went to interview, I will be honest, I was scared to be there. But mostly, you get used to it. But I am a firm believer that humans can get used to almost anything. Squatter toilets, no electricity, Nothing distresses me much any more, maybe I have a cold heart. But I think I have learned to decipher what is real. It's sad to see kids living in the shelter, but they love it, they have tons of fun, it is more sad when parents go to the hospital for drug overdose and then their kids get taken away. That is worse.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Bit of a Junkie

Tonight, was the final episode of BBC's newest version of Emma. My mother and I have always been a fan of Masterpiece Theater, ever since I was little. It is where I discovered beautiful stories about suppressed young women plagued by a misfortune of birth, wealth, family or situation only to be relieved by a man. But not really. I mean, some of these women are strong and can break themselves free, it just seems to make the story better when a dashing young man (Matthew McFadyen!) is involved like in the beautiful and heartwarming Litte Dorit. So many films that I have loved. Such as, Wives & Daughters, North & South, The Forsyte Saga, , the new and old versions of Persusion, Sense & Sensibilty, Mansfield Park, and the more recent additions like Cramford and Northanger Abby. These Sundays at 8 o'clock are real treasures for me. And this newest version of Emma is heads and shoulders above the Gwenyth Paltrow version, in fact I never liked Emma until I saw this one. Oh Mr. Knightly...
But tonight, after the final episode, there was this little gem of show. It is called Lost in Austen. It is about a modern British girl who switches places with Elizabeth Bennet. It sound hocky but it actually really funny. If you are a Pride & Prejudice junkie then you will probably love it

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Heart Full of Tea

If you were thinking about being my valentine's day lover could you get me this from adiago teas? I mean, I wouldn't drink it because I have this very hostile relationship with caffiene but I would look at it and perhaps serve others the beautiful tea. In fact, you could get me anything herbal from this website and I would be yours.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

All Things Go

Working 40 hours a week is a beast. I mean, I like my job. It is an adventure all the time, but it feels like work. And I know I am underemployed, doing a job that does not require my skill level (whatever that may be). I am antsy to take on more, rather than just schedule volunteer activities or smile at donors or tell kids to stop running. I can do more, I am sure of it. Knowing that my job will only last until the beginning of April, I dream of what I will do when I have spare time and can go visit my siblings or finish my quilt. It is such a paradox, I hate being unemployed but employment feels a bit like prison. What is that?

But to sooth over my feeling of being grounded, I am going to Chicago! At the beginning of March, I will be presenting in a conference, a real, legit conference. It is the Comparative and International Education Society Conference. Some of my colleagues from my Nepal adventures are presenting a paper titled "21st Century Technology in Nepal: How Youth Technology Leaders Communicate and Collaborate in Rural Himalayan Villages." Exciting, no? We kind of have no idea what we are doing... but the point is I am going to Chicago for a week! I am going to find some tea stops, maybe watch a tapping of Opera, and walk around. If you've been, tell me what to do. It's my first time!