Greetings kiddies! Welcome to week one of my NFS Fellows Blog where I share with you the deepest secrets of the unknown! There’s no predicting what might happen here. I kid. There are no secrets to tell but stories to share and journeys to trek. Would you like to join me? Lovely! Let us begin.
Good children, I hail from NYC from a little borough called Queens. After having been nearly packed for two weeks, spending a cloudy July 3rd on Jones Beach, Long Island with some of my siblings and friends, exchanging goodbyes with my other favorite people would couldn’t join the wonderfulness that was July 3rd, and finally booking my flight departing from my neighborhood airport, JFK, I arrived at the San Francisco International Airport on July 9th. I arrived late but I arrived. In your face cloudy weather and airstrip traffic! And thank the universe I booked a direct flight. 6 ½ hours on a direct flight is better than 6 ½ hours plus 2 hours of layovers.
I was met at the airport by my Supervisor/Director/Den Mother/Superwoman, Keturah Scott and recent Fellow graduate, Shane, whose blogs have been keeping you company for the past 5 months. After we played a sort of Tetris to fit my two maletas (that is Spanish for suitcases), two carry-ons (it sounds like a lot but believe me, it’s not; these maletas aren’t very roomy), Shane’s one maleta, and the three of us into Katurah’s car we took the half hour ride from the airport to the NFS Fellows House located in Half Moon Bay. I took in the scenery – mountains, farms, spacious homes spaced out, and sun. This is going to be my home for the next 5 months or so. And then we entered Half Moon Bay which, I learned, is almost always hidden in a cloud. I like my sunshine but clouds will do – for now…
We pulled up to the Fellow House (which I think needs a catchier name, tune in to see what craziness we come up with) in a very quiet neighborhood which is something I am not accustomed to. I was greeted at the house by two fellows, Natalie from England and Chisty from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They had arrived two days before and had already begun to settle in. I, exhausted from my trip, decided to do the same. After “unpacking” (I just opened my maletas) and letting my family and friends know I had arrived safe and sound, I did what I had wanted to do all day – SLEEP! And it was wonderful. The next day we were joined by another fellow, Mandolyn from all over but most recently Korea. And on Monday we met yet another fellow, a local, Diana from Mountain View. All from different parts of the world, different cultures but all gathered here in Half Moon Bay for one purpose – to abolish slavery. Small world.
Our week was spent getting to know each other and each of the staff members and learning what it is each of them does for NFS. It was a lot of information to take in and not a lot of time to process. So, needless to say, most of us were pretty exhausted by the end of each day and the week. But we are troopers. On Friday, we trained at the Freedom Store and we found out with who we were going to be working with. Yours truly will be assisting the Free2Work crew with research and dabble a little with administration. Yay me!
Next week, we will be at the Abolitionists Academy in San Francisco. Can I just say I am so, so , so looking forward to it not only because I love learning (and will be learning more on human trafficking than I allowed myself to before) and school but because I am seriously suffering from city withdrawal! I miss my tall buildings, bustling fast-paced movement, large stores, and public transportation! Mark my words – San Francisco will remember my name!
And if you decide to trek down this unknown road with me there is no guarantee of where we’ll end up. But I can guarantee we will learn, we will laugh, we might cry, but we will definitely grow. Look, I’ll provide proof of it right now.
Anecdote of the Week:
Natalie had been desperately trying to find a duvet. It gets pretty cold here and the blanket she had wasn’t doing it. And anyway, she has no need for sheets or blankets. All she needs is her duvet and she is set. It’s her security blanket. But we were having no luck finding one. I had told her there was a blanket on the couch in my room that she could use if she wanted to. And seeing as no duvets existed on this little corner of the world she asked me if the blanket was still available for grabs. I told her it was and went to get it for her. As I gathered the material in my arms I realized this was not your ordinary blanket. “Natalie!” I scream running up the stairs. I run passed Mandolyn at the front door. “What is it?” she asked. “Natalie needs to see this!” Natalie quickly meets me at the top of the stairs. “What?” I show her the “blanket”. The look on her face when she realized that the blanket was actually a duvet was priceless. The next half hour consisted of jumps of joy, equally cheerful screams, belly-aching laughter, and the improvisation of a song by Natalie dedicated to her long lost but now found duvet with accompaniment by Christy on the recorder. Mandolyn and I recorded and photographed what we could when we weren’t busy doubling over in laughter. We learned our lesson: duvets do exist in Half Moon Bay.