This weekend was packed full of fun and relaxing.
Anna, Nicole and I headed out to Valley View Hot Springs Friday evening. On the way, we dropped Calvin off in Crestone.
Calvin, Jeff and I had a meeting with Ruthie from Green Spot, a retail store in Alamosa. It was really eye-opening to hear her perspective on the seed me initiative. Being a small business owner, she is really hesitant to work with people in poverty because she finds many are choosing to live off the system and don’t have any desire or motivation to work. She explained how she’s given several people a chance to earn some money working for her to get off their feet but they’d fall back into a cycle of spending their earned cash on booze and drugs.
The bottom line was clear: we have to prove that seed me can be sustainable (without relying on grants and donations) and that the clients we are working with will have the determination and drive to become self-sufficient and build their micro-businesses. If we don’t do this, we won’t gain support from a significant portion of the community.
So many people that are less than supporters of La Puente seem to be so because they don’t believe in handing out resources to people who are in crisis. To an extent, I can completely agree with them. There are situations where that emergency assistance is needed and is so valuable, but there certainly are people who continue to go in cycles and don’t seem to want to move forward.
We will certainly be screening people in the process and working with those who do have the motivation and passion to overcome this.
Anyway, back to the weekend…
We set up camp Friday evening and hiked up to the hot springs a quarter-mile up the mountain.
Last time I was there was during my orientation week. I was incredibly sick and weak, barely able to make it through the quarter-mile hike.
This time I was able to do it with ease, and it was so beautiful.
After some soaking in the springs, we went down to the kitchen to make dinner. Veggies and quinoa, delicious.
This particular hot springs site allows nudity, and there were certainly a lot of naked butts running around. While cooking several of the guests were sitting without clothing on the couches playing guitars and singing together in the common room.
It was a really diverse atmosphere of folks and everyone was respectful and welcoming.
We ate dinner on the porch swing during a quick rush of down pouring rain, but then it cleared up pretty quickly. I learned how to play Russian Blitz cards and we spent the night playing several rounds before going to bed.
The next day was full of more hot springs and relaxing before we packed up and drove home.
I chick-sat at Alison’s again the rest of the weekend, this time 270 baby chicks! I really enjoy spending time on her land in the middle of the Valley, it really puts things into perspective.
Today at Adelante we welcomed Dores back to the office after her month in Colombia visiting her family.
We had the third session of Cooking Matters at Life Skills tonight, this time we made Chipotle Apple Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries, topped off with watermelon for desert. I took the recipe for both.
I’ve got a long day again tomorrow, so that’s all for now. Good night, good night!