It’s been an intense and meanigful last six days in California since beginning the Vincentian Service Corps West program with orientation in LA. There are 21 volunteers in total serving in LA, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Most volunteers are recent college graduates, however there is one 62-year-old retired counselor, a couple women in their mid to late twenties and someone in between their college years. We spent the last week gathering and preparing for our full-time jobs as teachers, case workers, nurses and community organizers, which we will all begin this Monday. My five roomates I drove the eight hours north to San Francisco today. For three of us, it was the first time seeing where we would be living. It is spectular, to say the least. What used to be a half-way house has been coverted into three large floors of communal living space for Vincentian volunteers. Three kitchens and seven bedrooms, I was shocked by this piece of real esate smack dab in middle of city. I’m still somewhat in disbelief that I will be calling this my home for the next year.
My roomates and I had a celebratory dinner, of Trader Joes frozen pizzas and wine. We sat around the dinner table for a few hours hashing out our expectations of communal living, like diet needs, being straight up with one another when we had a problem, chores, bills, but mostly our hopes for building supportive relationships. Almost all of us has had some kind of community living, so we are for the most part, all on the same page.
So now, I am finally unpacked and exhausted. This is my first time ever in San Francisco, and although I have an extensive list of things to do tomorrow in preparation for work in Oakland on Monday (grocery shopping, buying bus passes, finding a bike etc.), I see myself spending a few hours just taking in Golden Gate Park, which is only a couple blocks away.