Finding God
Post

Finding God

Since joining the AVs, my spirituality has grown exponentially.  From finding God in nature, priests, or just people in general my faith has been challenged and rewarded.  As I am positioned in Ventura, I knew that the surrounding area would be beautiful coming in to this year.  However, I could not have even predicted the...

You Are Exactly Where You’re Supposed To Be…
Post

You Are Exactly Where You’re Supposed To Be…

I can still remember the day my parents dropped me off for orientation, questioning if I was making the right decision by volunteering or if I was just trying to find an excuse to not join the corporate working world yet.  Then during orientation I had a God Wink and I realized I am where...

Service with a Smile
Post

Service with a Smile

I am thoroughly surprised by two things after my first few weeks in San Diego, and I couldn’t be happier.  Both of my surprises have come from my service placement in the Campus Ministry Office at Saint Augustine High School.  The first surprise came from the fact that I am enjoying my time working in...

I Have No Idea Where I am Going…
Post

I Have No Idea Where I am Going…

The title of this post is a line from a prayer written by Thomas Merton, a prayer that I prayed as I was discerning what my next step after college would be, and a prayer that I find resonates as I am at the beginning of my journey as a Augustinian Volunteer. I am slowly...

The Service of Living
Post

The Service of Living

A few times a year, groups of students from the United States visit Chulucanas for weeklong service trips. Usually, on their first night in Chulucanas my community members and I reflect with them on their initial impressions of the city. We are always eager to hear the students’ observations—after living here for almost 7 months,...

Forever Pleasantly Surprised
Post

Forever Pleasantly Surprised

Sticking my head out of Consultorio 1, a simple cinderblock room with a small wooden desk, floor lamp and bed where Doctor Tom has been seeing countless patients over the past few days, I see a scene of volunteers in green vests shuffling patients around. I see kids squealing in delight as they play with...

What I Learned During My Volunteer Year
Post

What I Learned During My Volunteer Year

It is nearly impossible to sum up ten-months of your life in one blog post, especially when those ten-months involved moving across the country, starting a new job, and meeting tons of new people. Well here is my attempt: Doing a volunteer year is unlike any other year of your life, and unlike any other...

A New Standard for Success
Post

A New Standard for Success

I have always thought of myself as being decently successful, but when you get thrown into a foreign context (literally), that standard for success kind of goes out the window.  Part of my job as the AV for the Diocese of Chulucanas Health Office is to accompany patients to the hospital, sometimes here in Chulucanas...

Little Kids, Little Things
Post

Little Kids, Little Things

“Mr. O! Mr. O! I was ra ra running to tag Sarah, and Billy pushed me!” -Johnny “Why did Billy push you, Johnny?” –Me “I don’t knowwwww” -Billy “Billy, did you push Johnny on purpose?” -Me “Noooo!” -Billy “Are you sure?” -Me “Johnny is always laughing at me in class!” –Billy “Yeah ’cause you laughed...

Freeways, Flights, Faith & Thirty Second Dance Parties
Post

Freeways, Flights, Faith & Thirty Second Dance Parties

I look like a fool here, sitting in the middle of this tucked-away coffee shop, counting upon my fingers numbers that are probably better reserved for calculators. But the final count is two-hundred and twenty eight. That is the number of days that it has been since I and my community have moved out here...