The Beauty of Chaos

Photo of Cristo Castillo in front of his service site, CYO

I wake up in the morning, and then I get ready and prepare my bag for CYO with my planner, lunch, and other materials that I will need for the day. I finally head out to my service site and take Savannah along for her day too! Once at CYO, we go to our respective departments where I go head down to the Employment Office and prepare for what the day might throw.

Now what happens next isn’t really something I can explain. When I first started volunteering, one of my coworkers mentioned that I would learn to love CYO and its chaos, which at the time I didn’t believe because I like having a TO-DO list and a schedule to follow throughout my day. But while serving the refugees, I have learned to embrace whatever chaos the day might throw at me. This doesn’t mean I don’t prepare a list of things to do, but it just means I just have a weekly checklist instead of a daily one. I have had days where I arrive and a line is waiting to be attended to. This could be refugees waiting for a check from a grant program, refugees waiting for jobs, someone wanting an ID, or now that everyone knows I speak Spanish, one of the Latino refugees coming and asking for help. At which point, I have to just handle everything as it comes and learn to go along with the flow of things. A lot of improving and prioritizing is required, but eventually everyone’s needs are met. Even with scheduled appointments and everything else, it still is difficult when those appointments don’t go through and I have to improvise. The amount of times I have reserved a company vehicle to transport a group to the DMV or a job interview, and a Case Manager has it for an airport pick up or a house visit and now I have to improvise halfway through the appointment, either pushing back appointments or having to ask coworkers to go along with me to provide transportation.

Community will also have its moments of chaos and impromptu meals and prayers, especially while I am leading. The amount of times I have placed a grocery order and realized that I either did not buy enough food or don’t have enough ingredients, and have to just throw something together to make it through the night. Prayer is another big example of learning to embrace the chaos, especially since there have been moments when I forget it’s my turn to prepare prayer. In this case, I have to improvise because someone has already prayed a rosary as their night of leading and I don’t just want to reuse a prayer, so I have to pull out my prayer books and allow the Holy Spirt to guide me in selecting a Litany or something to provide a good communal prayer for the community.

Categories: General

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