Saturday, August 29, 2009

the hardest part of JVC is coming into an incredibly challenging year, having expectations about how you are going to deal with those challenges, and your housemates planning on dealing with it differently. simplicity is the one that my house is really struggling with. the average client of my organization makes under $15,000 a year. finding meaningful employment when HIV+ or having AIDS is very difficult. paying for health insurance is also tough. that is why my current project is working on medicaid.

but this comes back to simplicity because when i deliver food to homebound clients, most of them get 7 heat-and-serve meals and food that would last me 3 days, 5 at most. i cannot imagine how hard that must be for these people; to eat but to not be satisfied. and so my personal challenge for the year is to try to better understand our clients by trying to eat very simply. i am also trying to be aware of how i spend my time away from work. i am trying to engage primarily in activities that i could see our clients doing. it has become my goal to read 40 books over this year. everyone can go to the library, so i do. but for others their version of simplicity is drinking less or no cable or limited internet access. and for me, those were things that i had just expected, and eating simply and reading came out of trying to better understand our clients. 

and while that has been frustrating i also have been shown a lot. i have gotten the opportunity to talk with a few clients who are truly amazing, and i wish i got to talk to them more often. i get to deliver meals and groceries to the homebound for the next year. i will have the same clients every week, and some of them seem like characters.
i miss a lot of what we do when i sit in my cubicle and read about policy and then work on it. so these chances to meet with clients and see who i really am working for is a pleasure. 

last night was cousins bbq at billy and katie's house. it was nice to see so many cousins again. i think that i might call up the aunts and uncles soon to catch up with them over a meal. i think our community is at the place where they understand the importance of alone time. 

i know this sounds really whiny, so i apologize for that. i promise a really good client story next time.


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