I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since we all moved to Atlanta to start QVS. In some ways, it feels like we’ve been here forever–we have routines in place for cooking and cleaning, we’ve figured out how to get to work on time, we know which days to gather for house events–but at the same time we’re still learning how we fit into our new lives here. I don’t have a car, so I’m definitely still working out how to get around Atlanta.
At work, I am also starting to settle into a routine. I love my work at theFrazer Center, a community for adults and young children at all levels of ability and disability to “gather, learn, and flourish.” I spend my time in the children’s program as a floating assistant teacher. That means that every day, I show up to work and find out which classroom I’ll be assisting in. Classrooms are grouped by age, not ability, and we have multiple classrooms at each age level. On any given day, I could be working with infants (the youngest at the Center are six weeks old) to five-year-olds in Pre-K. It’s a great experience to get to know so many children and teachers and begin to develop relationships with them.
Just because I have routines established doesn’t mean that life is getting easy. I’m definitely starting to feel the physical and emotional strain of working a 40-hour week with young children who are sick with lots of different kid germs, while still trying to stay connected and engaged with the community that’s forming here as well as the community I left at home.
I was talking with Becca after work today about the kinds of challenges we’re starting to feel in a very real way now, and I remembered saying–before I started QVS, as I was thinking about the program from my home in Philadelphia–that this would all be an adventure. Moving far away
from my family would be hard, and living in community would be a rewarding but time- and energy-intensive process, and I just wasn’t going to know in advance everything that would happen.
I think of adventures in the abstract as exciting times of growth and change and discovery, and I had to some extent forgotten that my adventure wasn’t just going to be the highlight reel. Still, I feel like QVS was set up well to help us work through our challenges. There are a number of people who I think to talk to immediately–Christina, my spiritual nurturer, QVS Board members, my supervisors at work–but something that’s unexpectedly wonderful is the support of Atlanta Friends Meeting. Every time I come home, I see a physical reminder of the love and care with which they set up this beautiful space for us. Every time I go to Meeting, I talk with Friends who care about this project. I feel like I have a lot to grow into, but I am as excited as everyone else in our extended community to see how the adventure unfolds.