Monday, September 6, 2010

after 2 weeks

St. Cloud is one of those places that I have a hard time describing. It's a college town with a downtown on the smaller side. It's a city that feels suburban. I told my dad that it's how I imagine Youngstown in the 1950s and 60s. People here are nice.

I'm working for Lutheran Social Service in a program that resettles refugees. Most of the refugees that I work with are from Somalia. A few are from Iraq. In my one week on the job, I've registered a kid for school, spent hours at social security administration registering people, went to an eye doctor appt. with someone, and filled out countless forms. It's one of those jobs that is different every day. I love that. After spending almost 2 years working at a desk for 8 hours a day, this is a welcomed change of pace.

I'm also learning the bus system. I don't have a car here so my main mode of transportation is either the bus or by foot. I'm frustrated that my place of work is at the end of the bus route so I have an extra long (almost an hour) commute in the morning. If I had a car, it'd take me less than 10 minutes. The other 4 volunteers in my program don't have cars either.

Sometimes I have moments when I think, "holy crap. I'm living in Minnesota" and then I go back to my regular life of trying to help refugees or cooking dinner with the other volunteers.