Over Memorial Day weekend, I was blessed by two days off and a visit from my boyfriend, Logan. We did many of the touristy Chicago activities and certainly enjoyed our time together.
View from the John Hancock Building
The "Bean" in Millenium Park
At the Field Museum
At Wrigley Field
We took public transit and walked a lot - much appreciated when work involves riding in a car for six or so hours a day! It was great to finally get to see the city from somewhere other than the freeway.
I have to keep counting my blessings and remembering the many benefits of this Americorps program, one of which is the opportunity to travel and visit so many places #perspective
On the 10th of May, the President signed a federal disaster declaration for several counties in the state of Illinois. Three days later, my team piled into our vans and headed north to Chicago eager to finally put all of our training to use.
During the month of April, many parts of Illinois were inundated with heavy rainfall and flooding. Our task is to canvass effected neighborhoods and help people get registered for federal assistance. The challenge is that this is a massive area with a massive number of workers employed by a massive entity. And we're implementing a new program. And Americorps hasn't worked out all the kinks yet. In a word, I've been frustrated, but I'm trying to stay positive.
Do I feel like I've helped some people? Yes. Do I feel like this is my calling? Not really.
I am confident that even challenging situations can teach a person and can be essential and beneficial. I am learning things about myself that will hopefully lead me to a calling and make me better prepared for that work once I find it.
This program is hard. It is harder than I expected in different ways than I expected. There are days when I question what good I am doing even being here, but...
There has to be a But. I would love prayers as I try to find the But during the next several weeks and months.
So I'm living in Texas now! It is hot here, but I am enjoying it. My team lives on a camp that overlooks the gorgeous (and huge) Lewisville Lake, so our evenings and weekends are thoroughly enjoyed. I'd choose sleeping in bunk beds, grilling all our meals, and running around in the outdoors over a hotel any day!
Training and work have been slow which is frustrating for me. I left Wisconsin in February hoping that I wouldn't be sitting around purposeless and bored anymore, but I don't think that I'm accomplishing much in this program either unfortunately.
During this rough patch, though, my team has been a huge encouragement as we try to keep each other sane.
Late-night, last minute photo op with the Joplin sign