I have been in Denver for almost two full weeks now. The first week was its own separate Denver orientation where we got a chance to explore the city a bit. We visited all of the agencies where YAV/Dwellers will be working this year and my housemates will be putting their capable hands to work with the Denver homeless and refugee communities. If you remember from a previous blog post, my placement is at Metro Caring.
We were shown wonderful hospitality by Antonio and Cindy, the city directors here at DOOR Denver as well as the rest of the DOOR family.
Our first weekend we escaped city life to Buena Vista for a weekend of camping and it was beautiful! I have to keep reminding myself that I live here now, this is not just an extra long trip, and that this environment and these people are my life for the next year.
After Labor Day we started at our placements where I was forced to encounter a cause of great fear and anxiety for me—public transportation. We have bikes here and Denver has wonderful bike trails that can take me right to work, but they were in need of repairs that we were unable to get done before work started so rather than avoid public transportation like I was planning, I was forced to accept the fact that my only option for getting to work would be taking the bus.
Luckily, google maps and smart phones exist which made the whole process really easy, but that did not stop the anxiety induced dream I had the night before that involved me having to take a razor scooter to work when I failed the bus system.
But I made it the first day and every day after that and grew to really love the bus. Since I took the same bus at the same time every day I almost felt like I got to know the people who had the same routine as I did. I think in the sheltered life that I have led up until now, I had this incorrect idea that people who ride the bus are not kind people. But in a lot of ways, I saw more kindness in my week on the bus than I’ve seen in a long time.
From the people who made sure that the expectant mother and her three children got a seat, to the man who helped a woman in need pay her fare, to the woman who told me exactly what to do when I eventually did mess up the bus system—all beautiful moments of kindness. I’ve seen so much kindness from others these last few weeks directed at both others and myself. It does not mean that there is not work to be done or things to be educated about, but they have all been moments when I have seen God working in this world.
Now, off to figure out how to prepare six giant zucchini before they go bad!