Mount St. Helens forest – Lava Canyon Hike on Oct. 4, 2015
So far, my job and life in Washington have been quite surreal. My job is busy enough to keep me grounded, yet it is truly a dream come true to be working as a Nutrition Educator at the food bank. In my last post I reflected on my worries of whether my coworkers would like me and accept me for who I am. Since then, I have had a full month of working with them and I can say that we have jelled quite nicely. Each of us have our unique backgrounds, experiences, and interests, which I have found, makes for interesting conversations and experiences.
Before coming to Washington, I thought I was a physically active person. However, since being here I can say now that I am an active person. (Well, maybe I couldn’t say so before because I always let school take priority over activity…) I love that I am surrounded with places and people to hike with and be outside. Since being in Washington I have hiked in the Columbia Gorge, Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier, along the Oregon coast, and at Mount St. Helens. Almost every weekend me and the girls (the girls I work with that is) plan a trip to somewhere nearby to be outside. It has been the most perfect weather to not enjoy everything that the mountains have to offer! I am so appreciative of the people I have been hiking with and the great expertise they bring along the trails!
Left: Olympic National Park nature trail; Right: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
While I have not been writing a lot on the blog, I have been writing some in a “Journey Journal” of my hikes and other adventures in the Pacific Northwest. I also have been trying to do Bible Studies and reflection through journaling. While my personal Bible study has not been the most consistent, I have definitely felt my relationship with God strengthen since I have been here. It is impossible for me to not marvel in God’s glory when I see a canyon full of waterfalls that was carved from lava or the endless Pacific Ocean from atop a hill. It blows my mind how each small detail of this world was thought out by God and then created! While we strive to understand how everything in this world works, we will never get close to how much God understands it all.
I have also been praying for my relationships. Being on the opposite side of the country or the world is tough on relationships. It seems that my lack of being good at staying in contact with friends and family in normal situations also translates to when I am even further apart. While life currently is quite busy with trying to learn to balance my work, (a little bit of) school, and personal time, I hope that soon the “personal time” involves me doing a better job of staying in touch with my close friends and family.
Honestly, moving out to Washington was a no brainer for me. While I did give my job serious consideration when I was offered it, it felt completely natural and right for me to accept and to be away from everyone and everything I knew. Since being here I have found a little family with my coworkers, especially the other AmeriCorps Nutrition Educators. Soon, I hope to find another little family within a church. As the year progresses I am sure I will meet more people who I will be able to call my friends (and then later be really bad at staying in touch with, as per usual).
Soon (hopefully) I will write another post which will describe in more detail about what my job is and what I am doing (and why I love it so much!). In the meantime, if you are interested you can go check out the couple blog posts that I have wrote on our blog for the food bank which introduces my coworkers and I and why we look forward to serving for a year at the Clark County Food Bank!
The lovely ladies I get to work with on the Nutrition Education team. Clockwise from top left: Shaelie H., Christina, Shaili P., and Blair.