Pirates in Portland?

(Posted September 19, 2010)

mid-september already? where has the time gone??  it was another full week here in hillsboro, especially with our JVC area director, jillian, visiting and observing for the week.  i started the week off by having a skype meeting with terry and maggie, two wonderful friends from Fairfield, who are leaders within the environmental student group LEAF there and they will be leading the trip to new orleans this january.  chatting with them brought back great memories not only from the trip i led there this past january with so many wonderful friends, but also memories of all of my trips there in the past three years and i was reminded of what a profound impact new orleans has had on my life.  i am so confident in maggie and terry as student leaders and i know that the trip will be a great success!  i’m itching to get back to NOLA myself.. perhaps that will be next year’s adventure… =]

in the midst of education meetings to discuss SOLV outreach and department meetings, part of this week was also devoted to meeting one on one with jillian to chat about how things are going in the house and how i am transitioning and my feelings about it all.  while i thought perhaps the visit was coming too early in our experience, i found that this was the perfect time to examine how we are all working together in the house and what might need some improvement.  we also met with jillian and our work supervisors to discuss our progress and our goals for our placement for the year.  the meetings were all very positive and it was nice to meet as an entire house at the end of the week and chat about all of the things we hope to accomplish through the year together, while being mindful of the intentionality of living simply and meaningfully with JVC.  we had a potluck on wednesday night and there were no less than 25 people in the house; it was an amazing reminder that we are so blessed with people in the area that are here to support us whenever we need it and are willing to help us with whatever we may need.  (we’re still trying to finish the chili from that night!)

miles and i were lucky enough to get a quick tour of clean water services, the water resource management utility company that funds many projects of SOLV’s through their mitigation plans.  it is through a clean water services (CWS) grant that SOLV was able to take me on as a volunteer so it was really fantastic to see their commitment to sustainability.  on thursday, miles, meghan and i went out to estacada to post flyers around the town to get some community interest in a tree planting event in october.  estacada is a very rural and farm based town and it can be difficult to get people to come out on weekends when they might be working on their farms.. quite a departure from the weekend plans i’m used to!  we posted flyers along the main street in town and talked to some great local business owners.. quite a different crowd than we’re used to in portland or anywhere else.  friday was the first day of watershed presentations for miles and i; we presented to five classes at west linn high school.  it was fantastic to finally get into the classroom and get a feel for what it will be like to work with students and teachers collaboratively.  while it was difficult to look past the students that were sleeping, texting or playing on their laptops, we were reminded to not dwell on the students that weren’t into it, because its about the students that take a real vested interest in the restoration we will do this year.  i will be working with some of these students as they will be the ones that might volunteer to help with our new elementary schoolers.

after an exhausting trip down the memory lane that is high school, we had a community night at home with jillian and a great meal.  i headed out saturday afternoon in the rain to represent friends of baltimore woods at the portland pirate festival. i could not have felt more underdressed or been in a better place for pirate watching, though this might not have been the perfect crowd to approach about conservation efforts and wetland restoration in the area.  nonetheless, pirates were in no short supply and i can now say that i was a part of their effort to be in the guinness book of world records to be the largest ever gathering of pirates.. slap that one on my resume!

headed home after a long afternoon and took the max into portland for the night to meet up with some housemates.  MAC house, another JVC house, was kind enough to let me sleep on their couch last night as i had to be at the susan g. komen race for the cure to check in as a volunteer bright and early!  another tiring, but great week!


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