Saturday, December 24, 2011

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day!

Because the JVC life is such a busy one, I have decided to tell you about my home life in the first part of this post, then reviewing work, and recapping in the last part.  Good luck following!

Part 1: When I last wrote, Tessa already left and Kathleen did too.  The weekend uneventfully passed. 
On Monday morning, Anne left.  Our casa was down to four and we felt more like friends, not family.  Alice had prepared a great spirituality night where we focused on the winter solstice.  It was great to have candlelight and quiet time!
Tuesday night was our community night.  With only 4 in the community, we chose to do something that you wouldn't be able to do with 7 people: eat out!  We went to a pub, ordered some English fare, and then drove around the Sacramento area looking at Christmas lights.  One block had lights hanging in the trees that zig-zagged over the street, and EVERY house had Christmas lights on! It was beautiful!
Wednesday, Alice and Laura left. (*sad sigh.)  Krystal and I were the only ones left. . . Maryhouse (the women's program at Loaves and Fishes) was having a fundraiser at an Irish pub nearby.  My support person Madonna took the remaining MV (Bridget) and I to it, where we ate and drank for free!  (A volunteer we work with owns the pub.) 
Thursday flew by, and I went to bed early. . . not much happens when there's only two of you. . .
Work got out early Friday, so Krystal and I crafted the night away! While doing crafts and playing Christmas movies in the background, Krystal and I bracketed the best animated male.  Our three categories: princes, creatures, and other humans.  After two hours of debate, Dimitri from Anastasia beat out Prince Eric to win.  (The creature who was highest in his division was Woody from Toy Story. Without a moment of hesitation, we both agreed Woody was far better than Buzz.  Our friendship is eternal.)
Plans for Saturday are still up in the air.  All I know is that they will consist of crafting, gift wrapping, grocery shopping, church service and perhaps some more Christmas lights.
Sunday (CHRISTMAS!!!!) is well planned out! We will wake up about 6am, eat and Krystal will open her gifts, skype with family, and then off to work by 8am.  We will finish at work about 2pm, and most likely napping will follow.  Then we are going over to Chris and Dan Delany's (the founder of Loaves & Fishes) for Christmas dinner with their family.  We have work the next morning, so we won't be out long.

Part 2: I can't stress how hectic work is!  The Americorps volunteers had left, our Jesuit high school lunch helper left, several of the regular volunteers and a few staff members left for the week, Anne is gone, and Molly left Friday morning.  Not only are we short staffed with the holidays, but we have had groups coming in almost everyday to distribute a bonus bag with breakfast.  The park is reaching about 800 people a day, which is only about 50 people lower than this time previous months.  Donations have also been streaming in at the warehouse. Christmas hams, toiletries, stockings, underwear, toys, gloves, and blankets are abundant! It is so thrilling you can almost forget how busy you are. . . almost!
A few work highlights-
1. It is freezing temperature at night, so men's shelter opened their doors to create a warming center. It was opened for the past three days, but something is better than nothing. 
2. I got Chad to have a conversation with me!  I usually watch the sugar table in the morning, and Chad hangs out there.  He is very quiet, and I've only had limited interaction with him.  On Tuesday, we had a full conversation about the weather, where we are from originally, family, and other various subjects.  My next project is to see him (or even make him) smile!
3. Gabe is leaving for a job on Christmas!  A guy came to us a few months ago, newly homeless.  With a few months of hard work and perseverance on his part, he got a better job with the competitor of his former employer!  Take that poor economy!

Part 3: In conclusion, this week has been fun, lonely, busy, and amazing!  I can't wait to be home and see my family!!  Speaking of seeing my family. . . . BETH AND TOM ARE MOVING OUT HERE!!!  Tom got a position training with Olympic hopefuls an hour away and he will be out here in a few short weeks! Beth will join him in June/July, and then I'll get to see them whenever I want!  (No planes necessary!)

That is a happy Christmas!

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