Everyday Life & the Life Center

Here’s a short re-cap of my week:

I worked hard to post and edit all of the new Hands of Hope products on the website. With Antonia’s help, I finished a spreadsheet that we will give out to the producers on Monday. Each producer will have their own spreadsheet with the items that they are responsible for. Every time we get a new order or if we need more stock of an item, they can write down how many they need to make. We hope it revives everyone, as we await more orders to stream in - as well as give some accountability and ownership. We did get an order from a current customer this week, as well as some positive emails from some potential customers/markets.

Last week's activity with the youth in the Garden: bracelet-making. But really, this was the only decent-looking bracelet made!

As the new building (called the Life Center) became fully operational, we ended up with more space at Hands of Hope because the social workers and other staff headed to the new building. We moved our show room (retail shop) into the new space, and the producers helped organize it. It looks great. With this new change, I’m also processing the loss of seeing the two social workers, Guy & Gate, that I have become close to and interacted with throughout the day.

Antonia and I had a couple marketing strategy meetings, which made me feel more focused and energized. 

I also had my first overnight shift in the Life Center. Usually, I share overnight duty with John in the Care Center. But now he’s on his own there on the same night that I’m at the Life Center. I felt a little like a social worker, as lots of little questions were thrown my way and boundaries were established as the residents (formerly patients) get used to new rules and set-up.

Thankfully, one of the young adults who had been in the hospital was released this week and seems to be back to normal - and was overjoyed that John and I went with her to the market on Friday after work. 

Friday night ride home after the market.

John and I got a couple of lovely bike rides in this week. Other than that, we’re just working to manage stress, as we navigate many work tasks, the new building and all it brings, our impending visit home, and logistical things like paying off old medical bills back home and deferring John’s student loans again. 

I just started reading Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (the first husband-wife team to win the Pulitzer Prize). It’s not really uplifting to read so far, so I thought I would end with a quote from there followed by an affirmation because I needed to hear something positive afterward:

“The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century” (xvii).

Yet another reason to support Good Shepherd Sisters and Good Shepherd Volunteers - they work to end violence, poverty, and marginalization for everyone, but especially women, youth, and children.

John and his favorite tree here: Flame of the Forest

And here’s my affirmation that someone gave me years ago:

“You are so energetic and ambitious with life, so positive-natured and full of belief. People are constantly amazed at how you fly your passions like a kite, chasing the wind through fields of challenge with faith as your string. Clearly, your soul has a mission, and it soars with certainty.”

View of the Garden - up in the distance on the right.

Charcoal huts - a common sight - where charcoal is made by burning wood.