Sunday, March 20, 2016

Crossing the Treacherous Tenderloin River Full of Magical Vultures and Blinding Narwhals!

We started our first day of service at GLIDE an organization dedicated to "creating a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization." Some of us were in the cafeteria serving meals to people, other people were in a smaller more accessible cafeteria, and others were doing meal prep by chopping cabbages and potatoes. Margot and I (Steven) were cabbage cutting buddies, and we managed to cut up to 7 bins full of cabbages while Genevieve and Moira cut up to 15-20 bags of potatoes. We worked with other volunteers to provide meals to 637 people! We'll also be serving at GLIDE for the dinner and breakfast shifts later this week and will provide pictures soon.

After our shift with GLIDE, we went grocery shopping in Japan Town in their Safeway. We went up the hills and saw a distinct difference between how the Tenderloin, where we're staying, and Japan Town look. This led to a conversation on gentrification in San Francisco as well as gentrification in Saint Paul.

A view while walking to Safeway
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We also did some group bonding with a blanket drop "name game" where we divided up the group and dropped a blanket and people on opposing sides needed to guess the other person's name quicker or get subsumed into the opposing group.

But the other fun part before reflection was our "River Crossing" game where the group needed to get across part of the living room in our hostel by only using six pieces of paper for ten people. But of course the river was treacherous, acidic, and also made out of lava. Group members also had to remain on the pieces of paper (rafts) or else they got swept away and melted in the river. Paul the angry Narwhal also slapped Maddie across the face, blinding her, so they needed to guide her across. A magical vulture also came and screeched at everyone deafening them so they couldn't communicate. The group managed to work together despite these odds, reaching the end of the river.

We then finished the day with reflection on GLIDE, grocery shopping, and on the difference between dialogue and debate. Overall, it was a fun day and we hope to continue with service at La Casa de Las Madres in the afternoon and then a GLIDE dinner shift tomorrow.

Stay tune for more and make sure to not get slapped by Paul the angry Narwhal.

Paul, he's quite angry

Here's where we're staying: at Hosteling International in the Tenderloin District

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