July 1st has slowly wormed its way toward me and the time has finally arrived – the beginning of “work.” I use quotations because it is a six month fellowship, I don’t get paid, and I still have this odd impression I am suppose to not like working. However, instead of begrudgingly heading off into the real world two months after graduating from Westmont College, I have the opportunity to aid in the abolishment of modern day slavery. And how did those first 24 hours (give or take) in the “real world” fair for me?
Fantastic, for lack of more eloquent words.
I moved in my things Wednesday, June 30th, with ease: I woke up at my parents’ house in northern California, went for a run, loaded my life into the back of my Dad’s car and drove for 2.5 hours to my new home. I was greeted by two housemates who have travelled the world to be at this fellowship, One is from Australia, the other Belgium. So, here I am, life in tow, with these two individuals who have left everything that is familiar and transposed their lives for the next 3-6 months into one suitcase. Needless to say, I felt as if I was a bit overpacked.
I am currently sleeping in what appears to be the hang out lounge room – it’s downstairs, has a fireplace and two coaches. Oh, and it’s huge. Fantastic house: check. None of us have cars so we were driven to the supermarket our first day to purchase dinner items before the first Costco run on Saturday. Since I was neither a) jet-lagged, b) foreign to American supermarkets or c) all of the above, I decided to start grabbing food that I thought would be appropriate to eat for the next three days. Naturally, this resulted in my childhood stable: grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup (thanks Mom).
Our first official day on the “job” g consisted of hiking among beautiful redwood trees at Muir Woods, lunch, and getting to know one another on a beach. It has been surprisingly warm here, so sitting on the beach was enjoyable, albeit a bit breezy. It seems so strange to explain to my new, non-American housemates that yes, Fourth of July is a big deal, earthquakes are not that frequent in northern California (except maybe here) and yes, there is a difference between southern and northern California. Oh, and this place is not exactly a normal location for California/the US, but if you have to spend quality time in this country, might as well do it here. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed sharing my antidotes with them and they have (so far) been willing to listen
The last few days have consisted of getting to know the staff, the office, the house….everything, more or less. It has been a tad overwhelming, but incredibly beneficial, especially for providing a better, holistic perspective on the Not For Sale Campaign. Today (Wednesday) was the first day of us trying out the different tasks assigned to us as Fellows. In addition to administrative tasks, we have all learned about the upcoming Freedom Sunday on March 13 and are all engaged in assisting and planning for it. Today I also I have become the point person when it comes to Not For Sale’s International Projects. I’m sure there is more that I will be able to elaborate upon these and many more adventures in the subsequent months.
Thanks again for all of your support, financially and prayerfully, as I embark on this amazing opportunity. It is much appreciated!