I have found it very hard to even imagine what my life will be like after AmeriCorps. Part of me feels like I would be perfectly happy being a team leader forever. I have become very comfortable with this lifestyle for the past year and a half. Having all food, housing, gas money taken care of while traveling the country, helping communities, all while paying back student loans and saving money for my future. I mean…. What’s not to love?
I guess there just comes a point when your experiences lead you to new adventures and you have to jump out of your comfort zone and greet the big, wide world that’s waiting for you.
Last week I put my non-refundable deposit down for my Global Village trip to Ghana this August, and I enrolled in school for the fall to become a Holistic Health Practitioner. Since I will be attending school in San Diego I was able to go home this past weekend to take care of a few things and spend some much needed time with my family and friends. It was so nice to be home, take my dog Coby for walks, eat at my favorite vegan restaurants, and enjoy the beautiful weather. It felt good to secure my plans for after AmeriCorps and to see that home is exactly like I left it a year and a half ago.
As great as it was to be home, I really missed my team. Someone would say something that reminded me of one of them, or make me think of an inside joke we have and I would want to share it, but I realized it’s probably something only Water 4 finds funny.
It was hard for me to be away. I checked in with them everyday and Jo, my assistant team leader, did an amazing job of taking care of things while I was gone. I was sad to leave, but knowing that I’ll be living there next year made it a lot easier.
I was finally able to tell the team their third round shuffle teams and projects this morning. The Denver NCCC campus “shuffles” all teams during the third of our four rounds so that we have the opportunity to work with new people, and we get to rank our project choices individually rather than as a team. They have been patiently (that’s putting it nicely) waiting for a few days now to find out their new temporary teammates and third projects. Shawn was barely eating or sleeping. Okay, I’m lying… he was barely sleeping. He was so nervous! It will be strange for us all to split up but I think it will be good for us and help us all appreciate what we have now and when we come back together for our fourth and final project. My shuffle team will be working with The Denver Children’s Home, mentoring and tutoring children from disadvantaged circumstances in the Denver area. I could not be more excited!
I hope the team can finish out strong here and reach as many VITA clients as possible. It’s hard to believe we are more than half way done with this project. It’s going to be hard to leave Tucson. I think we have all become very comfortable here.
This Sunday is our Day of Service event and I think it’s going to be amazing. We have organized a project to clean up a park and assemble care packages for local homeless youth. The team has worked really hard, planning, making phone calls, passing out flyers, and even getting lunch donated for our volunteers. Today a group of us passed out flyers and went to hotels in the area to see if they wanted to donate toiletries for our care packages. Then we went to Youth on Their Own and Open Inn, the organizations that we are getting donations for, and got to see the client store where the care packages will go after the event. It was so nice to see our plan come to life!
As exciting as it is to know what I’m going to do after AmeriCorps, I am very excited to see what the rest of my corps year brings. I hope these next 5 months go by slow because I am enjoying every moment.