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I cannot believe another week has passed–4 in total AKA half of my DukeEngage experience is over. Whenever I make it to the halfway point of anything, I always have difficulty coming to terms with how much time has elapsed. In May, I finished my sophomore year–the halfway mark in college. I still can’t say I am a rising junior, even though summer is already halfway over. It just feels too weird and way too surreal. So now, I have reached and subsequently passed the halfway point of my DukeEngage experience and am thus feeling a variety of mixed emotions.
Each day is filled with pockets of happiness whether I am in the office chatting with my coworkers or outdoors nibbling on peas with the kids. I manage to smile and laugh every single day. On Saturday, I went to Pike Place for the first time and experienced their famous clam chowder. My content stomach was surely smiling on the inside from the savory broth. On Sunday, I picked up my laptop after being apart from it for a week. I was beaming when I left the Sony store with it in hand. On Monday, I entered the number of pounds of produce harvested at Marra in June and July into a spreadsheet. I watched as the total numbers increased and smiled at how much fresh produce was donated to the local food banks. On Tuesday, we cooked warm chard and bean tacos with the kids at SCF. They were so pleased with their creations that their smiles made me smile. On Wednesday, I had Molly Moon’s ice cream topped with strawberries at the AmeriCorps reception, where one of our AmeriCorps volunteers recited her love poems about Lettuce Link. I was in a fit of giggles by the 3rd poem titled An Ode to Marra Farm. On Thursday, I was able to
play help out with the Pre-K class at Marra. When they were trying the beets for their post-tests, some of the girls ate so many that their mouths turned purple. They would stick their tongues out with pride. I laughed at their silliness and enthusiasm. On Friday, we had a potluck after our work party to celebrate the last day of one of the AmeriCorps volunteers. Just looking at the feast of food on the table made my mouth water and my eyes crinkle from smiling. On Saturday, a few of us DukeEngagers wandered to the “shore” (where the sidewalk met the water) in Ballard. The scene before us was so serene and beautiful; a pleasant smile swept across my face.
I feel so blessed and thankful for the opportunity to be in Seattle and working with my organization. I have learned and exercised a lot of skills that I never thought I would even develop (and have the aches and pains to prove it). And through it all, have gained a much greater appreciation for those who work in the non-profit sector and especially those who do manual labor-type work. On a more personal level, the healthy and environmentally-friendly eating habits have also rubbed off on me, and I think they will be everlasting. Previously, my diet consisted of predominantly protein (meat) and carbohydrates (grains). But within these 4 weeks, I have completely switched the 2 food groups that dominant my diet. I have had many meals that are even completely vegetarian, which was uncanny for me pre-Seattle. This change is most definitely for the best. Eating so much red meat is not beneficial for my health or the environment. So thank you to all my coworkers who unknowingly pressured me into eating more fruits and veggies and restructured my entire diet.
Anticipation & Wonder
I am excited and hopeful for the weeks to come. If these last past weeks have been any sort of indicator on the fun, joy, growth, learning, laughter, and memories that have yet to come, I will find it hard to leave this city on August 11th.