Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hi, Folks!

I'm so excited to be serving as the advisor for the Queer in the Communities Catalyst trip this spring! Between the students and me, we number a lucky 13 and are having a great start to our week in San Francisco.

After exiting the airport and setting foot outside last night, my first exclamation to everyone was, "We're OUTSIDE!  And it's not 20 below!"  Indeed, the weather here is in the 50s, and sunny...a t-shirt and jeans will suffice, which is glorious after our 150 days of below-freezing weather in Minnesota (and subsequent heavy coats, hats, mittens, scarves, long underwear, and whatever other layers) this winter.

The hostel where we're staying (a part of Hostelling International) is fantastic!  There are plenty of spaces for chilling and listening to music and guests are welcome to use the communal kitchen for any and every meal.  That said, the hostel seems to foster a great sense of community, and we're meeting people from all over the place.  I rode the old-fashioned elevator with some folks from Melbourne, Australia and made toast next to a guy visiting from Holland.

Despite some logistical snafus (a faulty BART card, learning to navigate public transit in a new city, working around the kitchen hours in the hostel, etc.), things are generally running quite smoothly.   Collectively, our group brought about 18 reusable grocery bags, and we used every single one on our excursion to the grocery store this afternoon.  We now have our food supplies for the week.  Trip leaders Jen and Ayja, among their various and sundry duties, put together a schedule for daily cooking, cleaning, and blogging.

Tomorrow is when we officially start the service portion of our trip, but even in a single day we've observed and reflected on a lot.  One example: to me, I've noticed homelessness looks different in San Francisco than it does in Minnesota.  Perhaps because of the more temperate climate, it is easier to notice homelessness here more so than at home.  I'm curious to learn more about the intersection of homelessness and the LGBTQ community this week, and our observations, service, reflections, and discussions certainly will give me a lot to think about.

More from others tomorrow!  Have a great day!


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