Taking Time to Recharge the Batteries
After working for Compass for two years, I was given the incredible opportunity to take two months off to recharge my batteries and to explore two of my greatest passions: traveling and food.
During my first year at Compass, I volunteered on the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) project. We worked with the National Arboretum, FONA and the Washington Youth Garden (WYG) and looked into how their programs could benefit from furthering partnerships in the city. Since the project, I have continued to volunteer with WYG every Saturday in the garden. This love for growing food, teaching children about nutrition and learning about our own local nature sparked inspiration in me to learn more about this field.
I began thinking about traveling and participating in World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) last year after hearing about the experiences of my friends and sister. I focused my travel bug on Italy, the birthplace of the Slow Food movement and home to some of the best food in the world. I decided that spending two months in Italy working on farms, eating, drinking and traveling around sounded pretty good to me and like a great way to feed my soul.
During these two months off, I stayed on two farms and traveled to 10 cities where I learned about making honey, olive oil, and cheese. I learned patience through weeding and gardening in the heat. I interacted with children and adults from all over Europe as we learned about farm life together. I really developed my interests and was able to relax my mind. I even had some challenging moments where I learned the value of communication and personal relationships.
Now that I am back in DC and at Compass, I couldn’t be more excited for the year to come. I am so happy to get to know our new clients and volunteers and am looking forward to volunteering on one of our project teams. I feel even more motivated to help my own local community in any way that I can. I feel energized and rejuvenated.
I hope that your summer off has given you room to breath and a spark of excitement for the fall. We hope that our volunteers will join us again for another exciting project year! We are excited to continue our work with five returning clients and start new projects with 24 other organizations!
We hope to see you at the Project Launch where potential volunteers will have a chance to meet this years’ clients and Project Leaders. We hope that our former volunteers will come back for another year of working with Compass to benefit the Greater DC area.
All the best and I hope to see you soon!
Georgia Katinas is the Associate Program Manager at Compass. She works and lives in Washington, DC and loves building connections, growing veggies and cooking and baking for volunteers! To read more about her trip to Italy, please feel free to read her blog: http://www.georgiaeden.blogspot.com