Apologies for the delay on this update, but I’ve only been online once since last Tuesday. We won’t be getting internet in our house and the closest location for free internet is the Johns Hopkins Library, a seven-block walk. Beginning Monday, I’ll have access to the internet on a more regular basis at school.
And now, on to my regularly scheduled blog post.
Last Thursday, after moving my things into the Baltimore JV House in Charles Village, getting a tour of Cristo Rey Jesuit, and riding a Duck Boat around Baltimore, I hugged my family goodbye at BWI Airport and joined 90 other JVC East JV’s and staff at Bellarmine Retreat Center in Blue Ridge Summit, PA for Orientation. The picturesque, rural Pennsylvania setting was a perfect meeting place for such a vibrant, excited, and nervous group of young people beginning a year of service promising to “ruin” us “for life”.
As I met the different people there, it became apparent that, though we were all from different places in the US and beyond, attended colleges in different locales, and came from differing backgrounds, we were all good people with a real sense of purpose and love for what we were doing.
We introduced ourselves to one another and learned about our different placements. There were nine Gonzaga graduates from the west coast, a few Holy Cross graduates familiar with Worcester, a Providence graduate from New Jersey who knew some friends from home and Villanova, a communication major working in legal services, and, in my case, a Villanova graduate rooming with a St. Joseph’s University (PA) graduate (*GASP!*). The retreat was a truly amazing way for so many selfless, energetic, and absolutely amazing people to come together.
During Orientation, in both large and small groups, we talked about our upcoming year, what it meant to be “Ignatian”, our spirituality, and our passions. I met my housemates and learned more about my community in Baltimore. We spoke about simple living, social justice, how to survive on $75 per month for food, and living in a community. We played water football and Apples to Apples, hiked the Appalachian Trail, competed in an epic North vs. South mini-Olympics, and laughed and danced at a team-talent show (which the Baltimore House won, hands-down with a Top Ten (Plus Five) Ways You Know Your at JVC East Orientation comedy skit).
All this in five gloriously exciting days.
We’re embarking on something special this year and continuing the tradition of great JV’s across the country. We’re off to a running start!
My next updates will be about our Local Orientation in Baltimore and my first days at Cristo Rey Jesuit! Stay tuned!