Seedlings and Skating: A Haverford House Update from Sara Ozawa '18
Strange to be in the midst of month 2 of 12…. This means we are one-sixth of the way through our Haverford House experience. At this point, our projects are creeping into the full swing stages, we are finding our groove at our workplaces, and we have made the house a home. The biggest news is that all six of the six fellows are officially in house now – Sabea returned from Mexico where she was working as a DocuLab fellow creating a documentary series on language and identity in San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, a Zapotec community in Oaxaca.
This month has been wonderful as we have had a medley of folks staying with us at varying points in time. Between NJ/NY fellows visiting family, hosting a couple of couchsurfing Haverford friends, and Sabea officially moving in, this month has been a wonderful whirlwind.
Indeed, we are a group of really busy, involved folks: Jason recently helped organize a rally at the capitol building in Harrisburg as part of the Shut Down Berks campaign. TJ, Claire, and Jason have each been to Harrisburg a number of times for work purposes these days, raking up PA travel points.
As far as intrastate travel goes, I recently visited Shwenksville, PA to volunteer at the 57th Philadelphia Folk Festival which was certainly a highlight of my time as a citizen of the mid-Atlantic region. More locally, a number of us supported friends involved in really amazing projects by attending film screenings and discussions as part of Black Star Film Festival and workshops through Carnival de Resistance. The House also partook in a volunteer day at Mt. Moriah Cemetery with the rest of the CPGC staff. Spending time with Paulette from Friends of Mt. Moriah is always rewarding and there’s nothing like spending a day outdoors. The house has been making sure to have fun, too. Most notably, we went roller blading at Penn’s Landing, regularly attend movies together, and had a post-work milkshake ritual going for a couple of weeks.
As for me personally, this month at work was exciting because we had a distribution day for PHS’ City Harvest program. The City Harvest program is comprised of a network of 150+ gardens/farms in the Philadelphia area who donate a portion of the produce they grow to local food pantries, shelters, etc. Distribution days are held a couple times a year at resource centers that PHS has at different locations in the city in order to provide seedlings to these remarkable gardens. It was fun and rewarding to help prepare thousands of plants for distribution and helped me to realize that the work I enjoy tends to be much more manual and hands-on, and as a result have been tailoring my schedule to involve work along these lines! I have found the flexibility and trust to curate my work days and projects to be invaluable.
Being in this house has certainly helped ground the hectic nature of life’s demands as new members of “the real world”. I am so grateful to have a supportive, compassionate environment comprised of insightful and inspiring peers. I’m excited to see what we get up to in month three! - Sara Ozawa '18, fellow at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society