Monday, October 12, 2009

day +783

Where did the weekend go?

After not doing much but thinking and preparing for the week ahead since teaching, this time around the weekend was quite different. I volunteered, socialized with friends, photographed the Harlem River, hung out with my sister, and enjoyed watching both football and playoff baseball. Yet, there is still so much that I didn't get around to and I'm rushing around now trying to get some last minute things done (such as this post).

In addition to tutoring at an adult literacy center on Mondays, I'm also a volunteer at a local food rescue organization. I joined it about two months ago, but hadn't been able to volunteer until this weekend. It offers a number of ways for people to participate. One of them being a bi-monthly mobile market, where volunteers distribute salvaged fresh produce to people in need. It so happens that the Bronx mobile market is a stone's throw from where I live and it was here that I spent Saturday morning.

I'm looking forward to doing it again next month. About 400-550 people came for food, I was told. Though the types of food can vary from month to month, on this day people received apples, onions, white potatoes, and plantains. The clients made their way to the potato station, where I and about 4 others greeted them. Each came to the table with a small slip identifying how many pounds of each food they were permitted (based on family size, I assume) to receive. We then asked each person if he or she would like to fill the bag themselves or needed any help. After filling the bag, we'd weigh it on a nearby scale checking to make sure it wasn't over. And if all was good, we checked their blank for potatoes on their slip and wished them a wonderful day as they walked to the next station.

It was scheduled for 9:00 am to 12 noon, but we finished at about 11:30.

About 20 volunteers were there. Some have been doing this for 4 or 5 years.

One has to make sure the process is orderly and that clients don't cut in front of others, but by far it was a fun, exhilarating experience. Seeing the smiles of the people as they received the food felt great.

Late yesterday afternoon, I explored the newest expansion of Harlem River Park in East Harlem. Access to the latest part of this park opened several weeks ago. It's wonderful. A great deal of thought clearly went into its creation. Bursting in my mind now are a number of new vantage points from which to capture the Madison Avenue, 145th Street , and Park Avenue Bridges.

Finally, I was back at Sloan early this morning with an appointment with Dr. C-M. It went very well. I did most of the talking, which is always a good sign. My counts remain strong. I was hoping that some of my meds would be reduced or eliminated all together, but they weren't. At least for another 6 months, he told me.

I'm not due to see him til early January.

While there, I also received the seasonal flu vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine should be available in 1-2 weeks, he said.


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