On Wednesday I had arranged to join the Residents Association and volunteer to work with Habitat LA for Humanities. I was a bit daunted as what to expect but with free breakfast, lunch and tea throw in, nothing else to do why not. The group was driven to some location in LA where they are renovating houses that have been foreclosed and rehousing people.
Anyway it was a great experience and working with others, also what a way to learn DIY without damaging your own house. I managed to learn how to do dry walling (plaster board). I would never have done this at home and was pretty good at it although took me awhile got some tricky pieces in – another thing to be proud of.
Volunteer work is also good to add to your résumé or CV, so the more you do the better you look – employers love this sort of thing.
If in doubt, give it a go. I was a bit sceptical about it but I felt good when I left, and that feel good factor made me want to do it again.
I was interested to find that Habitat is worldwide and have provided homes for many underprivileged people, so check it out. Maybe you can set up your own group and arrange something.
On Thursday I did what Californians seem to do best and went shopping with a new friend. I enjoyed looking at bargains at Irvine Spectrum Centre and enjoyed a nice pizza for lunch. I got some great clothes in Macy’s sale, even better with coupons. It is so much easier if you have a car and someone who knows where to go. My advice is to get out there and make friends – even better if they have transport.
So after all that I was glad to rest, although still a ghost town even the Gastrome was also closed except for late night café. So I took myself off to Knott’s Berry Farm theme park to get some adrenalin thrills and blow them cobwebs away. Gosh it does make you feel better, thought I may as well have bought that season ticket considering how often I’ve been.
Managed to get my hair cut too, a simple task but where do you go when you’re limited to buses? Anyway a nice Vietnamese lady cut it with a razor blade and was very quick like Edward Scissorhands, so I felt better after that. Not sure if that is normal but who am I to argue? She did the job and was quick, I had a bus to catch!
On Sunday, after putting my washing in I watched the back end of a baseball game in the Goodwill Field, Titans stadium, and had a wander round the Arboretum watching turtles swimming the ponds and butterflies fluttering from plant to plant. I also looked round the old Doctor’s house they have lovingly restored. It is beautiful here right on my doorstep. Plenty of nature for nature lovers, rabbits, lizards, squirrels, ducks, birds, butterflies, turtles and probably lots more, they are just the ones I saw today in the gardens.
One thing I have noticed here in Orange County is that as there is a large Mexican population it would be helpful if you came here that you could speak Spanish or at least a little so you do not feel left out of conversations or you have a general understanding. Vietnamese is also on the increase here too. Both are very nice friendly people and make you welcome.
Out in the community it seems a lot like Bradford, English is their second language so it is more natural for them to speak their first language which does isolate you if you only speak English. Though there is always some way around it but it was not something expected when I came to America. It’s bad enough I’m from Bradford with my Yorkshire dialect and accent so the ones who do understand English have trouble understanding me!
The world is such a diverse global entity now that it is important we try to communicate at all levels so we can live together in harmony. If you do have someone in your group who does not speak your language or has trouble understanding you please take time to explain what you are talking about so they feel like they are involved.
End of Spring Break, another month gone, and life is coming back to the dorms, Gastrome back open, people moving back in all ready for school. Well almost ready I knew I should have done some reading and revision two more exams this week and a paper to hand in. Oh dear.
Bring on the stress!