Today was everyone’s first day of work! I’m sure the house will all share stories over dinner, but I thought I would share my personal experience this morning with you all…
It began at 6:30 when Marji and I left the house to go to PATH. It began raining around 3 am this morning, and when we left it was still really coming down. She had her rain coat, and me an umbrella I found stashed in a closet. We got on the 210 metro, just like planned, and missed our stop, not planned (note: less talking, more paying attention) As soon as we realized what we did we got off the metro and crossed the street to get on the 210 going back, hoping to get off at our stop then. We were almost to the stop when the bus pulled away. We stood waiting for the next bus for over 20 minutes. Of course it was still raining and our shoes were wet from stepping in puddles that filled the sidewalks. Our bus finally came, and when we got off, we had to walk to the next bus stop to catch a different metro to take us to PATH. The rain was filling the streets like a lake and car tires were covered in the water. We observed this from the sidewalk until Marji stopped and said, “Rowena. Look at that.” 10 feet ahead of us was the sidewalk completely covered for about 5 or 6 feet in a deep, deep puddle (partially over spill from the road). There was no way to go through it; our only option was to go walk through someone’s yard. So we scrambled up the bank and lucky us; their sprinkler system was on. We dashed across that yard being sprayed by the sprinklers as if the rain hadn’t already drenched us enough. But hey, we didn’t have to wade through the sidewalk lake.
We saw our next bus stop and then we saw the bus and full on sprinted across the street to try and catch it. There were students all around us getting on the metros and school buses and then there was me and Marji running; me with my umbrella flapping in the air, and Marji with her backpack under her raincoat like a turtle shell and we were soaked.
And the bus pulled away right as we were just a few feet away. I wanted to laugh hysterically and cry at the same time. I’m so glad Marji was with me. I would never have made it on my own.
We waited for the next one, and finally made it to work at 8:15. Only 45 minutes late. No one was upset with us except for us with ourselves. I should mention that coming home we made it to both stops right as the buses were coming. It took us 20 minutes to get home instead of the hour and 45 minutes it took us to get to work. Also it’s not supposed to rain for the rest of the week. Just today. Yay.
So today was the first day of work. I met my outreach team and I love them already! After changing into dry PATH shirts, although our jeans and shoes were wet most of the day, Marji left with her team to go do some outreach work, and I stayed at the office with my team. I was shown how to use the database for entering the information about each client we talk to during outreach. Then we took the van out and drove around some of the streets we’ll be covering. What’s really awesome is that my team will be working on a lot of the streets I’m on everyday in my neighborhood.A lot of the people I’ve already encountered will become some of my clients. It feels really good to know I’ll be giving back in my own home community. After lunch back at the office, we went to a monthly meeting which included reps from other homeless assistance agencies. I’m not sure what the plan looks like for tomorrow, but it definitely includes 1) not missing any buses 2) getting to work on time.
I’m so excited to work at PATH. They do some incredible work, and I can’t wait to keep sharing my experiences with you! Today may have started off like a nightmare, but my heart is full and I feel blessed 🙂
I’ll leave with you a quote from Sunday’s Spanish sermon. I attended the Fuente de Vida service at First Presbyterian, and the pastor brought this up for us to remember: “El secreto para recibir es dar” (The secret to receiving is to give)