We’ve been hard at work here at orientation for Holy Cross Associates. Often we go to sleep at 1:00am and breakfast is served at 7:30am. In between, we try to sleep, though the muggy South Bend summer often runs interference on that plan. During the day the 32 other associates and I listen to speakers who give us advice and tips for the next years. Some of the topics covered include conflict management, personal spirituality, and health insurance.
We also cover some of the program’s expectations for our communities. As a house (which in my case will be 3 or 4 people), we manage a unified house budget and actively try to build community. Part of the program’s challenge is forming a tight-knit community among people who were strangers to you just days/weeks/months ago. Once we arrive in Chile and establish a routine, we’ll have a community night each week where we don’t schedule outside commitments and have the chance to spend time with one another.
To practice making decisions as a house and to get to know each other, each of the 7 HCA houses has been having a house meeting nightly during orientation. In these meetings, we talk about our expectations for the coming year, logistics of operating the house, and so forth.
The days have been long, but so far the orientation has been very helpful in making the transition between leaving home and going to a new place with new people.
Fortunately, HCA orientation hasn’t been all work and no play. If you’re interested, you can read about the digital camera scavenger hunt we did today.