Assimilation AND Adventures

My first two weeks living in Austin have been filled with assimilation (the act of assimilating, or of absorbing information, experiences, and etc.) and adventure (a chance, an exciting or unusual experience) … how fitting! I chose these words for my blog title with the intention that they would accurately depict my year and I am excited that they actually are.

During my fourteen days here I have been exposed to A LOT! The south is pretty different from the midwest, let me tell you. Here are a few funny adjustments that I have had to make while here: Who knew that you needed to bring your own grocery bags to the store? (I tend to forget to bring them a lot which leads to awkward moments at the store). Who knew that the workers at the car wash actually washed your car for you? And you got out of the car!? (Austen, my fellow YAV, had many giggles herself when witnessing my deer in the headlights facial expressions at the car wash). Also, whoever thought that placing breakfast items into a tortilla to create the famous “breakfast taco”, which is extremely popular here in Austin, was a genius! For those of you who don’t know… breakfast tacos are a big deal here! And I picked up on that pretty quickly when each morning Martha Lynn, our supervisor, offered to get us some breakfast tacos to begin our days.

Another adjustment I have had to make is going into work every day from 9am to 5pm. I have had jobs like this before but I need to get back into this routine. My job at Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) has been a huge assimilation for me this past week. I have had to absorb more information this week about immigration than I think I did during a week at school! So much goes into the process and I can’t wait to learn more and fill y’all in as best as I can. For now, I can tell you that my co-workers, three women, are very fun, honest, and passionate people who are helping my adjustment into the agency as best as they can. Piper, one of my co-workers, is even a former Austin YAV! I worked on and learned about the many forms that go into immigration this past week and even got the chance to fill out forms myself that will be very important for the Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) who are going to court in the next month or so. I also learned about the many complications, resources, and background that must go in to every case that is accepted here at JFON. Even though much of my job is at a desk, I am constantly reminded by my community and my co-workers of the importance and appreciation for what I am doing. Even though the big picture can sometimes be difficult to see, the work I do matters and I can’t wait to really jump into everything. Soon I will begin working on a fundraiser that is a dinner to support and celebrate Austin Region Justice For Our Neighbors (ARJFON) which I think will be a great way to learn more about the organization. Here is the link to their website again if you would like to check it out: JFON Austin

Now, moving on to the adventure part! Here are some photos of my time here in Austin, and these don’t even include everything! It has been a busy time but I hope you enjoy the pictures that I do have. Also, I think my mom will be quite proud that I documented as much as I did. Here ya go:

Mt. Bonnell overlooking parts of Austin- what a view!

Mt. Bonnell overlooking parts of Austin- what a view!

The steps to get to the view

The steps to get to the view

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Martha Lynn, my site coordinator, and her little boy Thomas

Martha Lynn, my site coordinator, with her little boy Thomas

Austen and I at Mt. Bonnell

Austen and I at Mt. Bonnell

Pictures of the University of Texas and the city of Austin:

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Here is some of the wonderful food!

A must go!

A must go!

Woah, some good donuts come from that food truck

Woah, some good donuts come from that food truck

And this burger... so good! Also from a food truck.

And this burger… so good! Also from a food truck.

The seminary treated students to the famous Amy's ice cream

The seminary treated students to the famous Amy’s ice creamIMG_5458

My favorite place so far… Barton Springs! Great place for catching some sun and catching up on reading.

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My roomies!

My roomies!

My desk at JFON

My desk at JFON

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I really appreciate you staying connected with what I am up to in Texas. Your support means so much and I truly mean that. Check out the right side bar to sign up for email updates and learn more about my program by clicking through the various tabs on my blog.

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