Not only is there a full moon (which I never realized had so much of an impact on the moods of the guests and the Team), but it is coming at the end of the month, a time when the Inn is bustling with higher numbers and more need.
I went to the Women's Center yesterday for only the second time since I've been here. The night before I spent a lot of time complaining about the Women's Center because I don't feel like I do anything there, but was surprised when I got to spend the day there yesterday and really enjoyed it! Before even getting into Sr. Xavier's car, my day began by picking up a 20-year-old girl who was "dope-sick" and was cold and hungry. If you can call to mind what you'd picture a young drug addict, you've got Brittany. She was scared and has little use of her right hand because it was recently stabbed and is now swollen and infected. Her hair was matted to her head and looked like a big dreadlock, her pants were stained and all she had on was a rain coat and a tshirt. We got to take her with us to the WC and she was able to eat breakfast, shower and participate in some of the activities the women do (group meeting, "flea market", eating lunch). After showering Brittany was transformed. Her hair was still a mess but she looked almost refreshed (aside from being high) and she was given dry warm clothes and a bathrobe to keep warm.
Jan, one of the other women who lives at the WC, helped me while I spent an hour and a half trying to untangle the mess on Brittany's head. Fortunately she was high and could barely feel us tugging at her head, but we made some progress and I'm hoping that Jan was able to finish up last night. Brittany ended up staying at the WC for the night and Sr. Xavier is trying to get her into a detox clinic at Kensington Hospital.
I got to spend time talking to Brittany and another woman at the Center, Bridget, who is just a firecracker! She was telling me that she has HIV, emphysema, bronchitis and perhaps hepatitis and that she's just ready to die. Brittany and I both assured her that despite her many attempts, God still has lots in store for her here... I just hope she realizes it.
After the Women's Center, I came back and worked the evening meal. I was handing out tickets and gave one to a man I've never seen before and legitimately, not having passed me about 20 seconds and only about 10 feet, the man turns around and says, "Ma'am, I lost my ticket, give me another one." We're generally hesitant to give out more than one ticket and this man didn't go very far and hadn't spent any time looking for the ticket I gave him so I told him that he couldn't have another but needed to at least spend some time looking for the ticket I'd given him. I know I'm pretty naive and don't really pick up on a lot of stuff, but the ridiculousness of the situation just made me laugh! I just didn't see how he lost it in the brief time after I'd given it to him... I eventually gave him another and told the maitre'd and the line-up person to keep an eye on him. While that whole ordeal was happening, another man, Zach, was kind of shadowing what I was doing. After the dust settled, Zach informed me that he was just hanging around to make sure that I was okay and that he "had my back" if I needed it. It's such a blessing to have even the guests looking out for us! It was a hectic meal, but in the end, everyone was served and that's what we can ask for the day.
My trip to Siena was wonderful!!! I really enjoyed talking to college students and trying to recruit them to this program that I love already! It was also really great to spend time with Katie and Joanne apart from my community here and in a different setting altogether. It was a fun road trip and I'm really looking forward to our retreat next weekend!
I am spending my second free day this week going into Center City to Barnes and Noble and taking care of some things around the house. Have a great weekend!!!