Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Tonight, I'm thinking about the Somali refugees with whom I worked in Minnesota. I started a new job yesterday working with Burmese, Karen, & Bhutanese refugees. I can't help but think about the crazy first weeks in Minnesota - hitting the ground running, learning the city with the refugees, getting lost on the bus, learning about the medical field and refugee camps and the Somali culture, etc. I came across this publication from the MN Literacy Council. Go to page 80 and read the story submitted by Anab. She was one of the first refugees I worked with and became a good friend. She's someone that I miss.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
|written in June 2008 - not long after I graduated from WC|
I spent a good part of college worrying that I was going to miss my calling. The term "calling" was new to me. My Presbyterian friends talked about calling and predestination and wondered why I didn't know my calling. Sure, I went into college thinking that I was going to teach high school English. I toyed with the idea of going into Teach for America. By the time I began my sophomore year, I had a sicking feeling that I didn't want to teach. Nonetheless, I completed the mandatory 2 week field experience over Winter Break. I hated it. I finally found the courage to drop secondary education and eventually broke the news to my family.
I spent the rest of college trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I tried journalism and wrote for the school paper. That was ok, but not how I wanted to spend my life. When people asked me what I wanted to do, I could only say, "I want to work with people." I carried that with me as I found a job working in a development office. (Not a fan of the work, but I loved where I was working). Somewhere, I found the courage that I wanted and took off for a year long volunteer program in Minnesota. I spent the year living in community and working with a refugee resettlement program. I found a job that I loved.
I took off for Minnesota on August 21, 2010, and I haven't looked back. A year ago, I began a year of learning and working on a farm and at a Catholic Worker House. I traveled into the complete unknown world of farm work for four months and relished the time I spent working outdoors. As the program ended, I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to head. In July, I packed up and moved to Cleveland without a clear plan. In a week, I'll start a position with a refugee resettlement agency. I'll be going back to a field that I love. I wish I could tell my recently graduated self to trust her instincts, be ok with doing something different, and not to stress out so much.