10. Forced Family Fun

By Daynuh

During orientation we were introduced to the idea of Forced Family Fun i.e. intentional time with the each other doing non work related things. In our case, it wasn’t so forced, but lots of fun.

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13. Mother Martha

By Janet

The best thing about our program has been the truly spectacular Martha Macgill.  She led us through self expression and discovery as we shared our journeys, and delighted in her spectacular journey to her calling.  She led us through the uncovering of our deep questions and though the steps of discernment.  And she welcomed us to Baltimore… with food.  She truly made us feel at home in a new place.

Martha is the rector of Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Her website is Mother Martha. This website is the culmination of Mother Martha’s work and a lifetime of healing. It contains not only Mother Martha’s writing in her meditations and sermons but also lecture and retreat opportunities with her.

14. The Cosbys come to Baltimore

By Janet

The Cosbys come to Baltimore

Bill Cosby. I grew up with this guy. He was always on my Grandma’s TV when I was growing up. And I got the chance, not only to meet him and his lovely and extraordinary wife, but to be a part of the planning and preparation for their visit.

Now the back story of how my little community center scored such celebrities really speaks to the generosity of the Cosbys and their recognition of where their roots are. Camille Cosby, Bill’s radiant wife, was educated by aCatholicSchoolin DC, which was run by the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first order of African American nuns. They have a huge focus on education as a means for young, inner-city African American youth to discover God and reach equality through literacy. That school in DC has since been closed, but Camille Cosby and her husband still give generously to our school inBaltimorerun by the same amazing women, one of whom taught at her school before coming to Baltimore.

The day was in two parts. The first part (which was where most of my involvement was) was a free and open to all outdoor community event. It had been in the works for years, but I got to be there for the home stretch. We taught the kids in the community center a cute song to present, rounded up the usual politicians (Mayor, City Council President, Congressmen), got the media on board, designed a program for the day, put our new sign on the front of the building (The Drs. Camille and Bill Cosby Community Center), devised an unveiling method, designed and purchased cute t-shirts for those involved (we wannabe Cosby kids), acquired food, decorated, and spread the word that all were invited. And then the moment was upon us, and all of our planning paid off. The event was a huge success. The mood was light and jocular. Bill Cosby remains a very funny guy. The kids were as cute as all get out. And then it was over and we were racing to get ready for the evening affair.

The evening affair was a much fancier shindig. I was able to get some ticket for my housemates thanks to some very generous friends and supervisors. We got to get fancy and eat THE BEST CRABCAKES EVER!! Plus we watched Bill Cosby Dance as only he can. Epic. There was great food, great friends, and a great time. Another plus, at this lovely evening event, I did not have any work to do and could just sit back and enjoy. Overall, a phenomenal day.

-Janet

 

15. Pirate Roller Derby!

In November we all went to Carroll County and saw our first roller derby.  The night we went was pirate themed and we had a blast.  We had a great time hearing all of the names the skaters give themselves – Scary Poppins was our favorite – apparently once a name is used in roller derby it is registered and no one else in the country is allowed to use it.  Pretty cool.  If any of you have never been to a roller derby I would suggest finding one close by, it is tons of fun for everyone!

16. Urban Mulberry Foraging

In the first week of June I started noticing the purple spots on the ground that are the dead giveaway for ripe Mullberries.  One day (between big work events) I walked all over Baltimore and found several trees and picked berries.  It was really an incredible expirence.  The trees I was foraging from were right next to a fairly well trafficed sidewalk so I had many conversations with passing pedestrians.  Nearly everyone had something to say from people being concerned that the berries were poisinous to hearing stories of lazy childhood summer days spend sitting in Mulberry trees to recipies I heard it all.

What was so amazing to me was how people really responded, it gave me a deep sence of place and community.  I felt a connection to humanity as I talked with these people – offering them my sweet treasures, and shaking their hands (hoping that not too much purple juice rubbed off on them).

The next day I baked the mulberries into a pie and served it to my housemates and the mulberries again brought together a community.

17. Our Very First Encounters with Baltimore Public Transit

When we arrived at the Gilead House in August last year none of us knew where our internship placements were going to be – it was the program’s first year and they were still getting a lot of logistical stuff worked out.  So during that week we had 2 group interviews with two of the different worksites.  For some reason (I’m pretty sure I was the main person behind insisting we do it this way) when we went to these interviews we decided to take public transportation.  I guess the thought was that we could learn how to do it so it wouldn’t be so difficult on our first day, but now I cannot believe we did it.  Not only was in at least 100 degrees both days but we soon discovored that when Google Maps says it will take 45 minutes to get somewhere they mean if everything is running on schedule, which in Baltimore is NEVER the case.

It took at least two hours for us to get to both interviews and we were dreadfully late.  We were all glad that our interviewers understood the perils of transportaion in Baltimore and were more than understanding.  And we were glad that they were group interviews so at least we were all late together!

24. Exploring Suburban Living

As most of you know our house is in Baltimore County, in a mostly commercial section of the suburb.  The town where we live also has a high concentration of orthodox jews.  I have never really lived in a suburb, and I have definatley never lived (for any lenght of time) in a place where Christianity or “Christianity” (as in that is just the default answer people give) was not in the majority.

On one of our first Friday nights as interns a few of us decided to go out to dinner at the little resturant a block away.  It was only about 6pm, but when we got there the resturant was closed, it had closed at 5.  I was so confused as to why a resturant would be closed at 5pm on a Friday.  I always thought Fridays were the busiest nights!  It wasn’t until months later that I realized the owners were probably observing Shabbot.

But that evening was beautiful, and we were not going to let one closes resturant deter us, so we decided to walk down the road until we found some place sutable.  The sidewalk would end on one side of the road and so we would have to cross the road, then it would end on the side of the road we were on and we would have to cross again, until eventually the sidewalk just ended.  Without finding any place to eat we tuyrned around to go home.

Happily we saw a frozn yogurt place on the way home so everything turned out alright, but living where we do was certinaly an adjustment in the early days.

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