My first impressions of the space and place that I am in, specifically Alameda Point Collaborative, is that there is far more to it then I have ever imagined. I have been to APC multiple times for volunteering but each day I learn something new about how the Farm2Market program works, administrative aspects of APC, and other programs that APC offers. It is a never ending wealth of new knowledge. My first impression of the home space and place I am in is that I am learning very fast that it is not where you live but who you live with that makes a space. Our physical accommodations are modest and comfortable but we all are probably use to living with much more. This space is one of the most comfortable spaces to be in because of the ladies that occupy the space. All of the interns are so positive and we all share the values of inclusion, acceptance, and kindness. This warm atmosphere has extended to everyone we have met in Alameda. Everyone from the staff to the residents of APC have been the most friendly people. From little children saying they like Emily’s green hair to Vincent sharing his life story with me while we work on the farm, the people have been open and inviting.
Just in this half week, I have learned so much about myself and others. I have learned from others that it is extremely important to share as much as you can with others. So many of the people we have met have been so open about their experiences and open up to helping we with anything. From Vincent in the farm opening up his home to us, Marsha in the office helping us with everything that they need, the trainees sharing parts of their lives with me, and all the neighborhood kids smiling and saying hi to us. Too often I have closed up around others but more and more, and I am on my way to making this experience the perfect example, of how opening up to others is such a great assets. Within the coming weeks and as I establish stronger connections with other people I hope to learn more about others and myself. Though my short time at APC, I have learned from others that the actions individuals take can and do affect change.
I feel like I have so much to learn in these 8 weeks. I hope to learn more about my role in my organization and how I can benefit APC the best that I can. Since it is such a short amount of time that we are here, I want to make every moment that I am here count and aid ACP in anyway that I can. I have already learned so much about the structure of APC and I really want to learn all that I can about what it takes to run a non-profit which I am sure I will know plenty about in these 8 weeks. I think learning about this aspect of APC may open up my understanding of other non-profits and how they function. I also hope I can learn how to apply what I am learning through the readings and through my experience with APC and the Farm2Market program to my daily life when I return to school. I really think- and hope- that through this program I will learn a lot more about myself and the kind of role I want to play as an advocate for social change not only now and at Saint Mary’s but further into the future.
When reading the two articles about the value of simplicity, I found myself making a lot of connections with the various aspects of my life. My family has always instilled in me a questioning of my choices and how they positively and negatively affect not only me but the community and the world around me. As I have grown older, I have taken this mindset and applied it to things like taking a conscious effort to watch what I consume, what I choose to spend my time doing, how I spend my time interacting with others. The way we are living during the program I feel in a way exemplifies the ideas of simplicity and has added to this mindset that I came into the program with. When packing, we all had to contemplate what items were truly necessary for us to live comfortably. There was a lot of human interaction when planning the move in because we all had to coordinate who was bringing what. We all are spending more time, at least in my experience it is more time, actually taking the time to share details about our day, the good and the bad, instead of offering up the obligatory “good, thanks” when asked how our day was. I think this idea of simplicity also connects to APC and what I am learning about the organization. I feel that the simplicity of the organization as a whole is the fact that APC’s focus is on only providing what the residents want. They see a need or a want and they fill it. I feel like all of these organizations that we are working at go along with this idea of simplicity because they are all local programs that address unique concerns of the cities they serve in. The article discusses scaling back economic, political, and social constructions to make them more people focused and morally rather than economically centered. I will definitely keep these ideas of simplicity in mind as I continue on the eight week journey and after it is over.