Phone calls. Before I didn’t think phone calls were that important. If someone couldn’t reach me at the time, they could text, email, or look me up on a social networking site. Now people don’t really call me much because there are so many different ways to get a hold of me. Until now, I hadn’t realized how important a phone call could be. At the Catholic Worker we get from 10 to 2 phone calls per hour. Some phone calls are for the residents or for the workers, but most of the calls are people looking for housing. It is so sad having to explain to people that “we are full, please try calling back in a couple of days again”. I wonder how people must feel. Having a lot of phone numbers in front of them, hoping that one of them will accept their request. It really sucks. The past couple of days I’ve answered the phone and there have been so many different situations. A man called and asked if we had a room for him and his wife that was expecting in August. We didn’t. A woman called asking if we had room for her brother who is a single father with three children. We didn’t. Today a woman called asking if we had a room for her since she was about to be evicted. There wasn’t. In the past month that I’ve been there, there has only been one room unoccupied. The single woman’s room has had three occupants, the rest have been there. I know everyone at the house really likes being there, if not they would have left by now. It’s so sad having to tell so many people every day though “sorry, we are all full”. But it’s a wonderful place to be in.
Monday was the 35th anniversary of the Denver Catholic Worker. Mondays are always the busiest days so we didn’t celebrate much. After dinner Anna (the sister who has been there since the beginning) talked about how it all got started and different moments there. She told of how at one point they made coffins there to get some money for the house. Eventually she pulled out one of the picture albums and explained what was happening in all of them. There were also various newspaper clippings of times she went to court and got arrested. There were also pictures of another woman, who has been involved with the Worker, of when she was arrested as well. It’s amazing how many different types of people have been involved at the house. Not everyone there is Catholic, in fact most of the people living there now aren’t. It was nice seeing how much the house has changed and how many people have been through there. I definitely want to get involved with another Catholic Worker in California once school starts. I know all the Workers are different, but I hope they have the same kind of community as they do here in Denver. I love the idea of solidarity with the poor. It’s not exactly being poor, but in some way relating. I read a chapter of Bell Hooks’ “Where We Stand” that said “If people of privilege want to help the poor, they can do so by living simply and sharing their resources”. I think that’s exactly what Catholic Workers aim to do.
The past three days I have been in Denver at the Worker. Last night one of the workers, who is now a friend, let me stay at her place since there isn’t room at the house. Thursday and Friday I will be at Loretto because I have Blog Tutorials scheduled those days. I have never done something like this before, and I never thought I would. I’m not the best person when it comes to technology, but I suppose I know some things the people at Loretto don’t. I’ve always been okay at doing a lot of things, but I’ve never been super talented at one specific thing. I still haven’t made up my mind on whether that’s good or bad. The only thing I think I can say I’m super good at is listening, but I think everyone could do that if they really tried.
This Sunday my host family left for California. They have a triathlon in Northern California this weekend that they have been training for. I’m happy they get some vacation time because they are both super busy, I’m sure they will enjoy their trip! The only thing is, it is kind of lonely at the house. I have their dog Roxy keeping me company, which is great because I feel safe, but I don’t have anyone to ask me how work was. And I miss the baby too! This is only a week..I can’t imagine after the next three weeks not seeing her for months (because they plan on going to Saint Mary’s to visit and watch a basketball game with me). I miss them just as much as I miss my real family, and that’s saying a lot!
Everyone please wish me luck on these tutorials…I hope everyone understands how to use blogs after it! And also wish me luck on finding enough loans to cover my tuition for next year. I’ve been really stressing about that.