My Experience at Bethlehem Inn

My senior capstone project this term involved community based learning. I spent my Saturday mornings at Bend’s only emergency homeless shelter – Bethlehem Inn. I loved it. When I come in at six a.m. there is already a buzz in the air. The place is alive. People are out and about. Most of the residents smoke cigarettes and they are huddled around a picnic table and chatting. A stray bunny runs by in the parking lot. It’s usually a beautiful morning here in Bend. The residents walk past me smiling.

My responsibilities at the Inn are minimal. I check the residents in and out when they leave the premises. I distribute toiletries and find staff members when the need arises. It’s not taxing work, so I enjoy having the opportunity to chat with the residents when they come in the front office.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started volunteering. Growing up in Portland, homelessness was something that was very visible. Living in downtown Portland you see homeless people on an hourly basis. Here in Bend, a resort town, you don’t see as much homelessness. What I quickly learned at the Inn was that these residents were NOT the people you see on the street. They are NOT the ones begging for money. I was surprised at just how many residents held jobs. They held jobs in retail, fast food, house cleaning, etc. The residents I got to know were just like you and me.

Yes, some of the people were recovering from addiction problems and yes some of them had been at the Inn before, but that is what I loved so much about it: Bethlehem Inn is a safe place. When these people needed shelter, the Inn was there. There is no judgment. There are no spiritual requirements. It is a welcoming place that provides resources to residents on how to receive government benefits, how to find steady work and stable housing, etc. No, the Inn won’t be able to end homelessness and not every person will take the opportunities offered but I was really impressed with how much was offered by the Inn. I was also impressed by how much was given to the Inn.

The Inn doesn’t have it’s own kitchen so it relies on the help and donations of the community to feed the residents (which can top up to 100). I personally took the opportunity to make breakfast burritos for the residents (as of this writing I have completed 60). Because the Inn doesn’t have it’s own kitchen the weekday breakfasts are cold, but Saturday mornings involve a hot breakfast and plenty of chatter. I love overhearing the conversations from the dining area. They are some of the most “unedited” and fun conversations I hear.

Bethlehem Inn is an amazing place that allows for personal growth and development for both residents and volunteers. I’ve learned a lot while volunteering there. I know that I am deeply blessed to have employment and housing. I know that I am blessed for having a support system around me, and that not everybody has that. We need places like the Inn to exist to be an alternative support system for those who so desperately need it.

A Quick and Fun Trip to Ashland

This week my husband spent the week in Ashland for work. I got to join him for the last couple of days and it was a total blast. A total hot and humid blast but still a blast.

We checked out an old ghost town south of Jacksonville called Buncom and here are some photos:
Buncom Sign

Buncom Post Office

This is the original post office of Buncom Oregon.

 

Country Store Buncom

This was the local Country Store.

Church Buncom

It appears that this might have been a church? There are pews inside the building.

 

We also had the privilege of visiting an old cemetery. Here are some pictures of that fun adventure. We were careful not to walk on anyone. Full cemetery respect was given. Unless you aren’t supposed to take pictures. In which case, I’m sunk.

Sterlingville Cemetery Sign

I loved this simple grave with two hearts.

I loved this simple grave with two hearts.

This was a very touching headstone with one side being the wife and the other side being the husband. "Together Forever" Also, If my headstone could sound half as inspiring as this one...I'd consider myself lucky.

This was a very touching headstone with one side being the wife and the other side being the husband. “Together Forever” Also, If my headstone could sound half as inspiring as this one…I’d consider myself lucky.

And here is the husband's side. It was neat to see that he invented something that my husband deals with everyday in his job.

And here is the husband’s side. It was neat to see that he invented something that my husband deals with everyday in his job.

We also got to watch the World Cup in historic Jacksonville which was fun! Go Germany! All in all, it was a fantastic trip. We checked out two local breweries (and therefore I bought two new t-shirts…for my server job of course) was serenaded by classical guitar and all of this in less than 72 hours. We made the most of it folks!

Serah

My Favorite 30 Minute Yoga Routine

I’ve been in a funk lately and I know it’s because I’ve slacked in the yoga area of my life. So, in hopes of reviving my yoga passion I decided to share my favorite routine with you. Try it, you’ll like it!

Three rounds of Sun Salutations

sun

Chair Pose for (5-10 breaths)

chair pose

Triangle Pose (20 seconds on each side)

triangle pose

Warrior 1 (5-10 breaths)

warrior 1

Warrior II (5-10 breaths)

warrior 2

Tree Pose (5-10 breaths)

tree-pose

Bridge Pose (5-10 breaths)

bridge pose

Boat Pose (5-10 breaths)

boat pose

Pigeon Pose (for 10 breaths, repeated on other side)

pigeon pose

Seated Forward Bend (5-10 breaths)

seated forward bend

Corpse Pose (2-5 minutes)

corpse pose

Podcasts That Make me Giggle

headphones

While working in data entry at MODA I was allowed to wear headphones while I worked. LOVED IT! But what do you listen to for 8 hours a day? 5 days a week. That’s a lot of time to fill. I got a good amount of romance novels in via audiobooks. Holla to my lady Robyn Carr and the Virgin River Series. You kept me entertained and dissatisfied with my marriage all at once. Hooray for romance novels and their unrealistic relationships!

That’s the secret folks…the ladies are listening to 50 Shades of Grey while at work. I never got my hands on it though…too popular. So I quickly found podcasts that met my fancy and I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you folks. Here we go…

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This is Aaron and my favorite podcast. It is great for a long drive or with a glass of wine on the couch. Jeff Garlin is such a gem and his guests are always funny. If you want to pee your pants laughing I highly recommend downloading the Tig Notaro episode. Pure gold. Pure gold!

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The Josh and Ross podcast is no longer creating new episodes because Ross has a new show on E! and doesn’t have the time but it is completely worth going back and listening to these babies. H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S. For adults!

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This UK podcast has a wonderful question and answer format that guarantees quick and funny responses. Great chemistry between the hosts. This podcast is a real original.

Well those are some very funny podcasts for you to check out. Laughter is important folks!

The Daleks Have Arrived! Exterminate…

Check out what I passed on my way to work! I have some creative neighbors…

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