Thursday, September 29, 2011

Leaving World Relief and the Many 'What Ifs' in Life

(A picture from a field trip last year to Garfield Park Conservatory.)

It has been a few weeks now since my last day at World Relief but I still thought I should document it. All-in-all, I had a great experience working at World Relief...I learned a lot, I did a lot and I met a lot of great people along the way. And although it wasn't extremely long, I am thankful for my time there.

I had an interesting last week as it was the first week of After School Program and that kept me pretty busy. Among all the other tasks, my last responsibility was to drive all the kids home after programming. I was looking forward to it as it was my last time with the kids and a good chance to say goodbye. So the drop-offs were going well, I was having some good conversations, the kids were being really sweet and I was busy reflecting on my time when all of a of the kids threw up in the van! So then all the other kids starting freaking out, screaming and gagging which was quite the scene (and made me laugh a little). It had never happened before in all of my hours spent with kids in the van so I thought it was ironic that the absolute last thing I did was some serious cleaning.

But the circumstances just made me keep going to back to the 'what ifs' of it all. We were only about 30 seconds away from his apartment when it happened, only 30 seconds! So I'm thinking what if we had left just a bit earlier? Or what if I hadn't driven past one of the kids' apartments on accident which made me loop around and waste precious time? Or what if I had chosen to take that kid home first like I had originally planned on? Well, I guess the answer is that if one of these 'what ifs' had been reality then the dirty deed would have happened somewhere other than the van, which would have been great, and I would have never known that I had been spared from the clean-up...which makes me wonder... many times am I spared from something that I am unaware of? It's interesting if you really think about it (and some of you may disagree and say that if something never happened then it was never going to happen so it's not worth thinking about). But thinking about it made me appreciative of all the little unknown events or annoyances that I may have been spared from and never even knew about. I guess it's kind of a weird backwards way to be thankful but I was thankful none the less.

So it was an unexpected way to end my last day at World Relief but at the same time it was very fitting since every day there was filled with the unexpected.

"Finger" painting during After School Program at World Relief...the kids turned it into full hand and arm painting.

Last week I started my new job as director of the Parenting ProGRESS program at Ravenswood Covenant Church. The program serves to provide support in various ways to teenage parents whose children are enrolled in the day care at Ravenswood. I am also subbing in the day care for now (before the baby arrives). Things are going well so far, I have a lot to learn but I think I will really enjoy it!

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