Conflict resolution, cultural assumptions and navigating the vasty deep of the community resources database

Today’s morning training was based on the basics of conflict resolution and how cultural differences (and the usually inaccurate assumptions based on them) can cause real problems. Afternoon training was computer-based (ah, native soil) where we learned how to access this awesome regional resources database so we can help our clients get the help they need (and for our own use, too). So, if you need to know the hours to apply for utility assistance with a local church group, or who’s in charge of the food pantry that takes food stamps in payment, I’m your girl!

Today’s main gripe is my standard veggie rant – lunch was tuna croissants, with the veggie alternative being salad. Hardly a hearty mid-day energy sustainer, even if it was a diverse-greens melange with a scrumptious curry dressing. I ended up scrounging in the breakfast tins for the last cold leftover egg croissant. Ugh.

Tomorrow we get to listen to the presentations from all the partner orgs/programs vying for our skills and warm bodies. i’m leaning toward something like the resource center, where I’d be hooking up folks in need with people and resources that can help them, or some sort of literacy program/homework club. We’ll get to list our top 5 and write up a brief synopsis of what we want to be doing, why, how and with what type of people. Then Ginny and Tammy will spend all day Thursday mixing and matching ‘corps members to partner positions that meet everyone’s needs (while keeping oil-and-water pairings to a minimum), and we’ll know on Friday who’s going to be doing what (and get our first paychecks). So, it’s a big week all around.

The more I hear about all the stuff we’re likely to run into, the more I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. I mean, I grew up on the street, as it were, but it was a mostly white and mostly no-one-shooting-at-people kinda street. We had drugs, thieves, hoods and even the odd murder, but it was nothing like today’s kids go through. I’m getting all scaredy-cat, but I’ll get over it. I always do this just before a big cliff-dive event and I’m always fine. I just wish they didn’t make it sound like I’m walking into the Watts remix of Apocalypse Now!

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