Monday, November 27, 2006

I want to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's volunteering, preferable out of the country, preferably at an orphanage, but if I can't do that on such short notice, then Habitat for Humanity or something.

I've been thinking about this for awhile, but haven't made any plans, other than to google, "Volunteer Orphanage." Plenty of stuff comes up, too much of it connected to evangelical Christian organizations, but enough not. It's almost an embarrassment of riches; I don't know where to begin.

Christmas has always been a tricky holiday for me--I don't want to go back East and watch y nephews and nieces open presents, I don't have memories of a tradition around it, I dislike being cold, in the snow, etc. My best Christmases have been very low-key--a Chinese restaurant and a movie, the classic Jewish Christmas. My Dad and I joke about it on the phone.

This year I'd like to get out of town, go somewhere other than the East Coast, have an adventure. With any luck, G will be in Atlanta with his mother and brother and sister...leaving me really to my own devices. New Year's I usually spendon an Interplay retreat, which is usually in Santa Rosa. This year they are doing it in Sedona, Arizona. I could go alng on that, but honestly, it would be laziness on my part. I want to do the volunteer thing, it's just challenging to find the right organization and do all the hooking up, especially when everything is on-line these days.

I remember when I filled out the application to be a VISTA volunteer way back in 1981. In the olden days, before the Internet. I'd found a brochure somewhere on my college campus, filled it out, attended one informational meeting, and then they called me, last minute, to say I was in. I had two days to pack up all my stuff and fly to Florida. Since I was 22 years old and my stuff was some clothes, a manual typewriter, and a yellow backpack, it was a relatively easy proposition. And the year was life-changing. In fact, every time I've volunteered I've always gotten back way more than I could have dreamed. It's a cliche but it's true.

Now, to find a place that will take a last-minute procrastinator...

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