Well, I've been in Tucson almost a week now. And boy, has it flown by. We arrived last Monday around 7 pm and were greeted by literally the most incredible sunset we could ask for, one of those cacophonies of color and light that just makes your heart feel like it could dance. Our site coordinator, Brandon, picked us up and took us to his home, the third floor of a multi-level community house where he lives with his wife, Jodie, and two daughters, Jakelynn and Lucia. Brandon has been down in Tucson for years now, long enough to sink his teeth into the events and efforts that are taking place here, and he will help us get involved with those efforts as much as we want.
Tuesday through Sunday has basically been an intense week-long introduction to life in Tucson. We've been biking almost everywhere, and Tucson is a WONDERFUL city for biking. With that in mind, much of our time has been spent at a local bike shop that gives us a great discount! Brandon spends our entire transportation budget to buy us bikes, and those are the way we get around! I'm pretty excited--this Friday I'll get my new Raleigh 2011 Sport road-bike...usually listed around $650, but with the discount and the money Brandon had for each of us, I'll end up paying around $35. By far the best bike I have ever owned.
We've also gotten settled into our house, a nice little 4 bedroom place pretty close to the U of A campus, and just a few blocks from a nice little downtown area called 4th Avenue. Everyone is sharing rooms, with the 4th room set aside for any guests we have come (so make plans to come visit!). I'll give a quick recap of my roomies:
Jacob: My roommate, the one other guy! Jacob is originally from Asheville and went to school at Montreat College in North Carolina. He's working here in town at Southside Presbyterian Church as an organizer for the day labor program for migrant workers.
Jill: A registered dietitian from California who just finished her masters degree at Virginia State! Jill is going to be working at the food bank in town, and is excited to put her food skills to use! She'll also get to do some farming, which will be great fun!
Meredith: Just graduated this spring from Gordon College, back north of Boston, MA. Meredith will be working at the Primavera Foundation, focusing on their homeless ministry.
Ali: A native of Virginia and recent graduate of Virginia Tech, Ali will be working with Borderlinks this year. For those who don't know, Borderlinks is an program that works with both sides of the border to educate students of all ages as to the complexity of the issues that surround the border. Check out their website at borderlinks.org
Stevie: Definitely from Texas (I've already been caught somehow emulating her nice little drawl), Stevie went to Austin College (where she knew my good friends Megan McCarty and Tad Hopp!). Stevie will also be working at Borderlinks this year.
So there you have it. There's an intro to my life here in Tucson. Now I have to go get ready to cheer Boise St. on against Ali and Virginia Tech!
I'll be back with some thoughts/reflections later!
Until then--Keep dreaming!