this past weekend was CAT. Community Awareness Training. its where, at the camp i am working at, we as the summer staff live in a house/apartment in one of the under-resourced communities that we serve in the summer. now there are many twists to this set up. we have no furnishing. meaning we sleep on the tile floor [i slept in a closet] which after three nights does some damage. my butt cheeks and hips are bruised and it hurts to sit on anything hard. anyways, not only no beds but also a limited amount of food - for 23 people [half the staff] we were given 94 dollars to buy food for the entire weekend, limited amount of clothing/supplies [two shirts, two bottoms, two underwear, toothbrush and NO toothpaste, two blankets, no pillow and so on] and did i mention we werent allowed to take any showers either?
granted this wasnt an exact replica of what the kids we are going to be serving live like but CAT was designed to give a feel for how it is like to live with limited resources or much less then what we are used to.
being a returning staff member might have been more difficult then being there for the first time but i was happy to find out i got to go back to Eastwood which i was at the previous summer. i must say that i learned alot about people the past weekend. like who i want to get to know, who i know i will have issues with, who might very well be really good friends of mine in the future, etc.
this weekend has also emphasized my need to hold my tongue. i did alot of that this weekend. there were just some people that i wanted to give a piece of my mind to but i had to bite my tongue since i knew it would just make the situation worse.
we had alot of things go wrong for us at our house. friday night my group had a huge argument that stressed me out so much that i started to cry. it was a blood bath. saturday morning the toilet clogged and overflew which in turn took from having to two toilets to none for a few hours [the toilets were connected so when the working toilet flushed it would back up into the clogged one which then made the septic tank back up and rank up the whole house]. sunday was actually a good day. church was fantastic - we went to a very outgoing church that was mostly if not an all black church and they did a phenomenal dance that was so intense and expressive you couldnt not watch them. and monday we left early so it was awesome - though not everyone was in a great mood [including me =P].
food....oh food. how much more i appreciate it now. ill just give you one example of a days meals. breakfast was oatmeal, plain and not very much. lunch was a pb&j. dinner was ramen noodles. no sides. no drink [besides water out of the faucet]. and definitely no dessert.
yeah. so that was my weekend - we got today off though so we basically raided the showers and scarfed down the food they prepared for us. then the majority of us dashed off camp and went shopping and got dinner at BWs.
now it is time for bed. im tired. and i know i will sleep like a baby since i am in a bed and get to sleep in till 820 instead of 7. goodnight and goodbye.