the homes we make, the homes we leave

Today was our final day of preparation before the opening of tomorrow’s exhibition.   I woke up to the sound of the call to prayer from the mosque next door, got chastised for biting my nails, ate oatmeal for breakfast, saw all of my favorite strays on my walk to the museum, and then got straight…

Finding a Sense of Belonging

“Do they let you take some free fruit from work?” I asked the ESL students who work at the apple and peach orchards. One student simply said, “not usually, but we were able to bring some here.” It softened my heart that those students who are orchard workers were willing to go out of their…

The Power of Community

I feel as though I must begin this blog post by acknowledging that there are still at least 700 cases of separated families. It does not escape me that my first blog post nearly two months ago discussed this very subject and, despite the administration’s promises of a timely reunification, families remain separated. I have…

Funding has to Grow

Tomorrow is our final workshop. In all, we have worked with three different schools. Two of the groups we worked with were from private schools and one was from a government (public) school. As one might expect, we experienced major differences between the two. At the private schools, classrooms were colorful: some of the desks…

Not According to Plan

I have always been one to prefer having a plan and a general idea of what to expect before jumping into something new. So, when I was told that there could possibly be between two and twelve kids ranging from ages three to ten at the first ESL class, I naturally felt a bit uneasy….

3500 Miles Away, In My Backyard

As the last week of this fellowship approaches me, I reflect on how this experienced has shaped me in ways I never imagined possible. From the very beginning of our fellowship training in March, we were encouraged to think of goals to help structure our experiences and maximize our learning potential. At this time, Cailin,…

Working Hard or Hardly Working

One of the first things I hear when I tell anyone about my fellowship is, “Wow, it’s very nice of you to give up your summer to do this.” This always leaves me a little confused and not knowing how to respond, because I don’t feel like I gave up anything. Do I miss my…