May 30, 2012 at 01:06pm
We have just five weeks left in the service term for our current Franciscsan Community Volunteers. The time is flying quickly! Each week, during these last five weeks we will feature a closing reflection from each of our volunteers. You will also be able to find these reflections in our June newsletter. Enjoy this reflection from Anna Konopacky:
My ten months of volunteering have been filled with all varieties of emotions and experiences that would be difficult to fit into one article. When I first entered the program, it was a spur of the moment decision and happened so quickly I had no time to develop expectations. I really had no idea what being an FCV might be like. I think this helped me as I adjusted to a new lifestyle, new people, and the new challenges of my work site.
My work with refugees has presented several unique challenges that I had to navigate and overcome. One is the often-significant language barrier between the caseworkers and clients. We work around this by using our very limited Somali vocabulary and volunteer interpreters and, sometimes, clients’ English-speaking neighbors. Another difficulty for me initially was the unpredictability of the job. As a serious planner, it was at first challenging for me to adjust to plans consistently going awry. After several months, I discovered I am more adaptable than I believed.
Overall, through my work and the life in our intentional community, I feel that I have gained skills and stories that will carry me through whatever entails the next stage of my life.