Wow, where to start? Perhaps I should start by writing down all the descriptive words I can think of, followed by all the emotive words and then finish it off with all the feeling words in my vocabulary -and all that would just be scraping the surface of what my time with Not For Sale over the past 6 months has been like.
Thinking back over the past few months I am finding it rather difficult to write the words which would describe my time accurately and wont seem cliché or over exaggerated, but I think the easiest way to sum it up in as few words as possible.
I have been very privileged in the last few years and throughout my life to have traveled extensively and gained a large worldview through my experiences, I would describe my life at the age of 22 as anything but ordinary, so coming into the fellowship (probably rather arrogantly) I assumed it would be a fun experience where I would learn alot about the issue of human trafficking, but oh was I so wrong my world was rocked in so many more ways than I could have imagined. While the fellowship programme is about working within Not For Sale and completing certain tasks for me personally this is not where I grew the most, although I did work hard and it probably took up most my time, I would say I grew the most outside of work within myself.
This journey started early for me in the fellowship when I broke up with my long term girlfriend and all of sudden Not For Sale was not just something I was doing and the staff people I worked with but they became my best friends, my family and in some sense even my church. There are so many good memories, from doing a last minute trip to Peru for freedom Sunday and running through the streets of San Bartolo with Kique in the middle of the night to make sure we could upload our video from the internet café before it closed, walking Keturahs dogs on the beach in the rain for ages until we were soaked, going to Las Vegas with Gabe to a big technology conference for a weeek, sharing mothers day with surrogate parents, non stop talking for 7 hours with Don on our way to LA for the weekend and staying up all night with Jono editing a recap video for the Montara circle.
You may be reading this and be thinking oh ok great I am glad you had a good time but what about the work, and I think if you have been following Not For Sale over the past couple years the work that they are doing speaks for itself, so if you are thinking of joining Not For Sale you have got to know that you are going to work hard and long and that goes without saying but what you don’t see are the people behind that work, the staff who laugh as hard as they work, who throw rock band parties, who fight occasionally, who are vegetarians and pack nice healthy lunch boxes and I look at and think that looks gross and the always inspiring state of the union address by Dave at the monthly Staff summits.
So if you are thinking of doing the fellowship programme be ready to work and work hard, be ready to be stretched until you don’t think you can do much more, be ready learn about human trafficking with new eyes and innovative solutions, be ready to learn how not to be so deadly earnest about the issue and celebrate the small victories, you may have prepared yourself for all that but what you may not be prepared for is to make amazing friends, share hearty laughs, eating the same burrito over and over and being forced out of your shell in ways you never thought you needed too.
There are to many awesome people to mention but the one I cant forget is Keturah, our awesome fellowship director, thanks for making the fellowship run smoothly and making our time as awesome as it was. To all the staff at Not For Sale I am going to miss each and every one of you, I don’t think there was one person I didn’t connect with in one way or another, I feel privileged to have worked with all of you and now that I am gone maybe you can all get some work done in a quite office, but seriously look forward to working with you again in the future.