How in the world do I sum up the past week for you in this blog? I don't think it is possible so I'll try to hit the high points as best I can. I know a lot of people have been wondering if I was still alive but honestly I've been so busy with orientation, moving in, and transitioning that I haven't had a chance to update anything. On top of that, the computer in our community isn't set up yet so I have to find creative ways to get on computers. Connie has one I use sometimes, the Sisters Mother House has one. Usually I can only get on for small periods of time. I write to you now from a hospital. Yes, a hospital. I live about two buildings over and they have a 24 hr computer lab. So I can spend as much time in here as I want.
Ok, let me find a starting point. Well, I arrived on Sunday and it was pretty fast paced day. My aunt, uncle and cousins had lunch at the Mother house and we got a really warm welcome. It was really nice. Turns out one of the Sisters knows my uncle and she leaped from her chair to greet him. She used to teach with him. So that was a nice surprise for her. After lunch I went back to my home and unpacked a bit. Eileen went over some brief expectations and get to know you questions. Then the four of us (me, Connie, Stephen, and Eileen) made Stromboli for our community. It turned out all right and it was a fun time eating dinner with so many people. I fell fast asleep that night from exhaustion.
Throughout this week has been my RMC orientation. It has been busy, fun, and action packed. I've met almost all the Sisters, learned the history of the Sisters, learned about the health care system, learned about my fellow volunteers (life stories) Yes, mine was drama filled. We've shared meals, I've drank wine at a Bishop's 90th birthday party, we've watched movies. It has been a lot of fun. Never a dull moment, really.
Today me, Connie and Stephen went into the city. We saw the Liberty bell, Independence hall, the Franklin park, the DE river and various downtown shops. We took a train in, explored and than took a train out. We met a woman at the train station who was lost and needed a ride so we drove her to her bus station (after getting lost ourselves a few times). It was a great day.
I live with four Sisters and one Resident Associate (lives, prays with Sisters but doesn't take vows). On the first floor of my convent (which is basically a big house..no Sister Act bars on the windows) is me, Stephen and Connie's room. I share a bathroom with Connie. Then there is a huge living room and dining room, back porch, community room, kitchen, several other bathrooms, the Sister's office and a chapel which is right next to my room. On the second floor is our computer room and the Sisters' bedrooms. It is a really nice place. Our RMC car is a Ford Focus much like my own but it is newer and it likes me. We share the car but I'm in it 5 days a week since I have the longest commute to work. Eileen has already taken us out for water ice and mini golfing which has been a lot of fun!.
Let's talk about work again. My ministry site, my site of service, whatever you want to call it. On Tuesday I met with my site supervisor, Beth. I learned that I'm going to be running the Head Start program, assisting with the Homework Helper program, assisting with the Big Bros Big Sis program, making sure the kids get vouchers for uniforms (all pub schools in Philly wear uniforms). Then I am going to work with the Homeless Children's Initiative and I already have a meeting scheduled next week. I'm also meeting with the counselor from the local school. I also have a room that I have to re-arrange for mothers and their children for meetings with me and stuff. It is intense, a lot of responsibility and I am eager to get started! My first day is Monday, my birthday (which is going to be a great day from what I hear). Everyone wants to wish me a happy birthday and there will be ice cream. I'm happy. haha Everyone keeps mentioning my birthday which really means a lot to me. But on Mondays and Fridays I drive to work without Stephen. Thank God his orientation to work is also on Monday so I don't have to drive on my birthday. Ugh I would hate to do that. (Not live to see 22).
I feel really at home here. I'm so happy and I know the year is just starting but I don't want it to end. I love the balance in my life (yeah it is the honeymoon stage but I can relish it, right?) I mean, I have God, Sisters and my fellow volunteers. We're all connecting really well (granted it is the baby stages of forming a community). I just find myself realizing how lucky I am to be in this position. I don't have to worry about rent, insurance, my loans and other crap. I can maintain a relationship with God daily. I'm making new friends left and right. I'm having new experiences. I'm going to be getting my hands dirty in a career path that is kind of unexpected for me. (I'm already thinking about getting my masters of social work at UPenn maybe.) This is just a great set-up with people who accept you for who you are and not what you could be or who you're not. I love it. I do miss my friends (especially because they keep calling me and leaving me messages) however I am adjusting just fine here. Life is good!
So tomorrow is our Missioning ceremony/mass. It is basically our initiation. I'm looking forward to it (I still have to make my mission statement). haha Then Monday is the first day! (and my birthday of course).
I think that hits the high points. I'll be more specific later. I'm just having a great time transitioning and it feels like home here. I'll update on my birthday (BIRTHDAY BLOG) goes as well as how work is going.
Until next time...