Saturday, September 3, 2011

YAV Orientation, Part 2

Well orientation came and went and I never blogged about it! I really meant to, but other things got in the way. We spent the week in different seminars about various topics such as, Critical Cultural Competency, Sexual Misconduct, Safety/Gender Issues/Relationships, Living in God's mission & how to share your story, Self Care and what makes you tick. I think by far my favorite sessions were Self Care and what makes you tick.

The Self Care session really helped to reinforce that although we are taking a year to live simply and volunteer our time to help others, we still need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Working out, eating right, doing things that we enjoy, are all important to remember so that we don't get down and therefore not as useful to our placements.

The "what makes you tick" session was a lot of fun (for me) because we took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). For those of you who do not know what the MBTI is, it is a questionnaire designed to take Carl Jung's theories on differing psychological concepts and apply them in broad categories to the questionnaire's participants. I could go on and on about the test because I really enjoyed it, but I won't. :)

We had an earthquake in New York! My first earthquake experience and I didn't even know that it happened until Rebecca (my sister) texted me and asked if I survived the earthquake. It wasn't really that big of a deal up at Stony Point. Honestly I think only a couple of people noticed it. Most of our attention was focused on Hurricane Irene. About 20 of us volunteered to help prepare Stony Point for flooding on Saturday morning. We bagged so many bags of sand! At one point a couple of us had to go get more sand and I got to drive the golf cart! :) Haha I felt so official! Irene didn't hit us too badly. There was some flooding in the main building because the site isn't properly set up to handle that much water. The water basically drains down the hill into the side of the building, so of course it is going to flood. Luckily nothing was damaged (that I know of).

We were supposed to split up into different groups and attend local churches on Sunday morning to be commissioned, but all of the churches canceled their Sunday worship because of the hurricane. :( It was disappointing, but then we had a commissioning service at the ending worship service, which was really nice! I think my favorite thing for the entire week was getting to know the other YAVs that are going elsewhere in the country and the world. In a couple months I know it will be really nice to have that network of support! I got to know the people that are going to Kenya pretty well last week and I felt so bad because their flight was delayed until today because of Hurricane Irene! I know I was really lucky that my flight wasn't delayed or canceled!

I arrived in Chicago on Monday and we went to Lou Malnati's to get pizza. IT WAS SO GOOD! I love Chicago style pizza but this stuff was awesome!! :) According to my site director, Lou's also does a really good job of becoming part of the neighborhood and it is supposed to be a place where you can come and enjoy yourself--not get rushed out the door. A link to their website is here if you want to read more about their history.

I'll write another post about my week here in Chicago but I have to go get ready. Our site director (Krista) is blindfolding us and dropping us each off in a separate area of Chicago and we have to find our way back to the house. Luckily Chicago was designed on a grid pattern so it should be fairly easy....I am hoping! Wish me luck!

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