As you may or may not know, I spent the last four days at Pre-Service Orientation (PSO, one of way too many acronyms to come) in Portland, Oregon. Portland is one of my favorite places in the world, so of course I was absolutely thrilled to go, excited to learn more about what it means to be part of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) with Americorps and to gain some tangible skills that will help me with the challenging year ahead.
Just so you don't end up reading a ridiculously long blog about all that stuff, I will include Portland information in a blog to come. Keep your eyes peeled, people.
Our training consisted of a series of workshops led by our facilitator, S, centered on poverty, resource development, and facilitation so that we would all have the tools to address Americorps' mission of eradicating poverty in America. S was very forward-thinking in her approaches, allowing us to doodle, play with clay and pipe-cleaners, and using a variety of different learning methods to keep us all engaged.
I learned a lot during my four days there and the feeling I had was indescribable. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time, doing what I was meant to do. I became really close with my orientation group, learning from each of them.
One of the girls in the group had a really good analogy about poverty. She said:
"Poverty is like a cage. Whether you are inside or outside of that cage, you are affected by that cage."
This is just one of many things I took away from this orientation that changed my perspective on the world in a way that I hope I can remember forever.