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Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Nursing Home Visit part deaux

Does anyone watch VH1's "I love the 90's part deaux"? That's why I thought of "part deaux" with that dumb guys' voice.


Well, I told you I'd report back on how the visit went.
It went very very well.

But my day was insane!

I began the day early, packing up the boxes so that I could deliver them to the coordinators. One of my coordinators called me Tuesday night and said that she couldn't do it, so I had to find someone very quickly. Called one of the 7th grade catechists-no problem, she said. They have a family friend at that home that they can visit. Phew! Said I, I'll get you the materials and such.

So, Wednesday we had staff lunch together. I still needed to pick up a few more things because I was afraid I'd have to few things to do. I had lunch from 12 to 1, went out getting things from 1-2, drove out to the next town where one of the coordinators worked to give her the supplies. From there I thought I knew how to get to the next work place of the other coordinator.

Oh no. I did not. And his directions were not very good.

So I'm driving around this town, driving around my town, looking at the map-can't find it. One of the problems is that streets around here have this nasty habit of changing names as you are driving down the street. Really! You could think you are in "a" boulevard when suddenly you look at a sign and it is "yellow" street. Same street! No curves, no turns. Just a new street name.

So I end up back at the parish around 3. Call this person. Get directions again. Zip over to the next town to deliver the package. Realize that I've told the girl who has asked me to be her sponsor that we could meet for dinner that day before RelEd. *sigh*.

Haul it back to the parish. BEGIN packing my own supplies-which means dividing all the supplies again into 4 parts and putting them in 4 bins because the place I'm meeting the 8th graders at has 4 buildings that we can go to. So, dividing and supplying I'm hurrying.

At 4, I call girl that I"m sponsoring. "You live on this street? Ok, I'll be there at 5" By 4:40 I know I'm not going to make it. Call again "Be there soon". Ok, she says.

So, in this farming community, I drive off down the road towards her home. I get there and dad is just pulling in the driveway. He gives me a funny look, so I ask "Am I in your way" He says " Uh, no, but I just dropped her off at Religious Ed, thought you were there?". Not sure how that happened, but I said "uh-ok, I'll go get her" He said "ok, I'll go call her".

It is now 5:15 and I need to be at the nursing home by 6. Race to get girl, head off to Mc'D's, chat a bit, drive her back to RelEd (in a school 7 miles from Church that is shared with other parishes), race to nursing home by 6:10. Find 8th grade catechist wandering around, not sure where to go.

We go inside the building marked "office" (the one that I had emailed everyone we would meet in) and set supplies down. Talk to on-duty nurse. "You're coming to visit?" she asks quizzically "Really? No one told us about it." We call the Activities Director line, no one there, so I run to another building where her office is. "No, she has gone, want me to call her house?" Yes, I say. So we call her house.

Ring Ring
"Hello, Is ____ ______ there? ...oh...oh really...oh, well, Ok, thanks. Bye!"
"Um, she's not home. I guess she's in Chicago".
Oh. really.

So I ask "Well, do you think anyone here wants to do fun crafts with us?"
No, most everyone here is asleep already. (Asleep? Really? At 6:20pm? ok, that's fine)

Jump over to two other buildings, finally rustle up a few residents that wouldn't mind the company.

Meanwhile, the kids are gathering and I look like a ninny who hasn't gotten her act together.

I arrive back at the "office" we circle up and I tell them all what is going on. Only half of the two classes came, so we divided between the two buildings and began our craft fun.

My group went to the other building and met 5 lovely residents. None of them wanted to do anything, they wanted to watch us do it. But we chatted, made cards and flowers for them and had fun.

At the end we joined the other half, did Mad, Sad, Glad and ended in prayer. Nearly every student said that they were glad that they had come-and the catechists said that it turned out very very well, that they were impressed with their students for being so friendly and helpful.

I talked to the other two coordinators for the 6th and 7th grade classes and they both said that it went very well. All in all it sounds like a success!

(I must admit, a part of me said "nyeah, you who think I am not good at administration. This came off very well!" oh, my pride! )

BTW-went home tired and delighted. For an exhausing day, it all turned out right!


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