After weeks of training and countless hours sitting in the conference room, it was finally time for us to apply our skills and knowledge to a real world situation. Team green (the not-so-creative name for all Team Leaders) were signed up for a day of service at the Action Center, located in Lakewood CO. The only information we had before arriving was that we'd be helping food and clothing donations which would then be used to support the homeless community and those struggling to make ends meet from the community. I've done work like this on a few previous occasions, but I was not expecting what waited for me at the Action Center. Although they were forced to shut down their shelter services a few years ago due to lack of funding, the Action Center is doing amazing things with the resources they do have.
With training completely under way my 26 companions and I were quickly reminded what it is to sit and listen to presentations one after another, for hours on end. Our first few days of training were just this, without much break in the cycle. We did hold a few sessions outside in the courtyard, unless you count peeing in a cup and getting a flu shot as fun. Beginning last Wednesday though, we were able to get out and stretch our legs, first through driver training for the 15 passenger vans we'll soon be responsible for, and then a half day service project at Cherry Creek State Park. Those were just the warm up though, the big event was saved for the weekend (so yeah minus one day of rest for us), but the high ropes course at Genesee Park was worth it.
I've officially been in Denver for 10 days and per usual it already feels as though it has been MUCH longer. From the moment I exited the arrivals hall at DIA - Denver International Airport I have been in constant, go mode. Tonight it's all finally hitting me, which means a Saturday night of laundry, blogging and binge drama watching, all of which I am totally okay with. It's 8:30 and I feel like I could go to bed, but to be fair I was up at 7 for a day at the high ropes course and team building, but more on that later.
I leave for Colorado in 2 1/2 days and I'm exactly 0% prepared, both mentally and physically. This happens pretty much every time I transition into a new position, country, community, or anything really. I kind of just sign up for the adventure and then flip-flop back and forth between "I can't wait it's going to be amazing" and "What the hell was I thinking?" for a few months, and then BAM it's time to go. So, once again, here I am, one packing list in a random notebook, flight booked and 2 days to get it all together.
The thing is, I've done this routine so many times now that I have no doubts that everything will fall into place. Actually this move should be much easier than my past few, I mean I'm staying in the same country, I'll have the same working phone the whole time, a measly 2 hour time difference, and should I forget ANYTHING, Amazon has me covered. I'm kind of banking on the idea of throwing a few things in my travel backpack and getting on my flight, I don't want to sound too unconcerned, but I'm pretty sure this will work.
Seven years ago I was halfway through my (one and only) year working at Northwestern Mutual, a great company, but not a place I wanted to be stuck for life. Instead I started looking into escape plans. Always in the back of my mind was serving with Americorps and thus it was the first place I turned. I set my sights high and skipped right over the team member application for NCCC and went for team leader. Obviously I was one step ahead of myself, while I was grated an interview, that's where the story ended, until now. I took a seven year detour to teach, live, explore and absolutely fall in love with the other side of the world, but now I'm back. While I'm getting ready for this adventure I decided to share it all with you, so how was it that I came back to the somewhat forgotten dream...
A Year of Service
My life, being anything but predictable, has taken another turn. Rather than moving to Jeju, South Korea - my original plan for Fall '18, I'm going to test drive Denver, CO and its surroundings, an area people just keep telling me "I'd love".