Investing in Chester
Flying into DC with the flu was not the most fun I have ever had. During the wait for the other Scholars to arrive, I was reflecting upon a previous layover in DC when I was on my way to Africa. I was so fortunate and had a friend living there take me out t see a bit of the area. I just remember the cupcakes were awesome! This time, however, most of what I did was sleep. I talked with several interesting people of the 100 or so Shepherd Scholars who were there but did not spend any time with them after the orientations. I was so wiped out! I’m feeling some better now. Still not 100%. Still not ready to party all night. Don’t worry, I am not staying out after dark in Chester.
The best way to describe Chester is in what my flatmate said- “It feels like I’m back in Panama.”
The first two weeks at the Boys and Girl’s Club have been reeeally sllllllooooooow. The club is closed to kids this week because they are rallying before Summer Camp starts next week. That means they have lots of organization and preparation to manage before the kiddos get here on Monday. That means we three interns have taken inventory of every closet except the one with the toilet paper. We joke that it is the intern hazing ritual- organizing the game closets, craft closets, sports closets before he kids here with the knowledge that every moment we are investing will be completely unraveled within mere moments of the kids having access to them. Oh boy!
Needless to say, we are all looking forward to having the kids here next week.
It has been really fun to be living with these other two students. One is a young girl from Lynchburg, VA and the guy is from KY. It’s so interesting to be living in community with such different people. We walk to work together every morning and have been getting to know the area. Seeing lots of people who need love. I am thankful we have a guy to walk with us for sure! After work, we sometimes cook together and have been eating pretty simple meals. Aiming to stay as far under the $14/day budget as possible, ya know?
Last weekend we all ventured out together on Saturday to check out the best affordable entertainment we could find- the state lacrosse tournament. I really enjoyed it, but I was the only one who did not come back with a severe sunburn (nothing worse than 2nd degree, but the VA girl felt terrible the rest of the day and refused to leave the house Sunday). Sunday I headed to Philadelphia to see the Odunde Festival. It had been describe to me as a celebration of traditional African culture. Sounded awesome! It was also Pride weekend, so I got to be present for both. Which also meant the bus routes were NOT at all on course, so the directions I had received at the Information Center were way off and I ended up walking ALL over town. Literally, waked for like 5 hours. It so good after being cooped up all week! I realized while being there and seeing lots of “African” goods made in China that I want to invest all of the $14/day that I have been given into the local area. That’s $14/day that I can support the Chester economy with! I’m excited about that but not as excited about the local food options. Fried chicken with chips on every menu. With little variation. No vegans here!
So, it’s almost Friday, Chester is a little scary, but not really. The Club is going to be amazing starting next week. And I am excited for this weekend and the opportunity to maybe celebrate Juneteenth? Public transportation is not as cheap as one would hope yet it is so much fun to be able to take the train to any of the big cities. Love that!! Can’t wait for Friday! I think we’re planning on heading to West Chester ( They have a gelato shop if that gives you any indication of the fact that it is a very different city…)
My current address is 1523 Upland St Apt 4, Chester, PA 19013. I will be here until the last week of June when we go to the Closing Conference. And y’all know how much I love mail! Send me a stamp if you want me to write back, eh?
Sending you all huge hugs and lots of love from PA!