09 August 2012

Coming Home

It's been about a month since I've posted anything on my blog.  I'm still here on the internet, and for 5 more days I am still in San Francisco.  It has been a busy summer.  I worked for 8 weeks at the Randall Museum summer camp with groups of up to 17 children at a time taking classes like Inventions, where the campers made musical instruments and automatons out of woodscraps and junk, clay monster making, which is exactly what it sounds like, and a class where they wrote and performed their own opera.  Being in kid space all summer was truly wonderful.  Summer camp, otherwise known as getting to play all day, always does something good for my spirit.  One session there was an 8 year old in my group who was (like me) a brain injury survivor.  Quite an outgoing and friendly lad, it brought me a special sense of fulfillment adapting certain activities for him.  It's a really nice thing to wake up at 5:45 in the morning everyday and think "Yes! I'm going to work!"  It's weird that this is probably the last time I work with large groups of kids, at least at the Randall.  I'll miss it.  But I did not move halfway across the world to work with kids.  I did it to explore other avenues.  I did it to get more serious about being an artist.
The Randall Museum is next to Corona Heights Park, whose rockface is made out of Radiolarian Chert

Rescued Barn Owl, Randall Museum

Don't know what it is, but I worked in a beautiful place all summer

Moon Over Randall

Randall Museum

View of Market Street from Randal Museum

Hitomi (Camp Counselor) With Stella the Chicken, Randall Museum

Rosemary Bush, Randall Museum

Rescued Great Horned Owl, Randall Museum

I got paid to make these!  Part of my job at the Randall Museum

I've lived two blocks away from an Asian Supermarket for the past month and a half.  The place is so cheap that the prices are almost Berlin-style.  This had led to several culinary adventures, including the creation of many amazing smoothies, my favorite being either the kale-mint-basil-grape-pear-banana or the strawberry-peach-yogurt.  Also, I discovered Banana sauce, also known as Banana ketchup, which has a TON of sodium in it but goes really well with pork.  And having Ben and Jerry's available for less the 8€ a pint has been- well, I may have gained a little weight, but nothing the constant stair climbing in Berlin won't burn off.

From the Sunset Super, where you can buy frozen alligator feet and live fish

Delivery at the Sunset Super

This past week, I took Violet and Helena, who I started babysitting at the ages of 2 and 5 (they are 6 and 9 now!) to the San Fransisco Zoo.  I think it was the best day I had all summer!  Seriously, those girls are magic.  Unbeknownst to them, over the 4 years I have known them, they have pulled me out of deep depression quite a few times!
Helena, Me, Violet (from right to left)

It's been really spectacular to live by the ocean again as well.  There is something so magical about the Pacific, even if the temperature is similar to the Baltic Sea in winter.  I've enjoyed having sand in between my toes.  I interesting that the home I have found for myself halfway across the world is next to a  moving body of water as well, albeit the much smaller Panke River.
I have sold or given away so many things that have meant something to me.  Books, a jacket I bought when I was 15, my burlesque trunk.  Now, with 5 days left here, I am vacuum packing bags of clothes and fabric, trying to make it all fit in my three bags, carry-on and personal item.  Luggage fees will cost around $225, which is a bummer, but hey, moving is expensive.
Every couple of hours I get overwhelmed and have a small breakdown.  Leaving one home for another, letting go of comfort, a language I know, my legal right to apply for any job I want to, and a sort of stagnation that goes with the immobility I experience in a car-based culture; I'm trading it for discovery, a leap into the unknown, amazing public transit, hustling all the time, and a language I must learn.  Language is maybe the most terrifying part.  The inability to talk to people is hard.  But I will struggle through.  I will work hard and I will learn.  I will be fluent in a few years, I hope.  And the other thing I get when I move back is Robert.  And that alone makes it all worth it.  Still, it's frightening, not having any concrete plans to return to the US.  What if something catastrophic happens to someone in my family, or one of my friends, and I can't afford to come home?  What if, what if, what if.  Fear is never a good adviser.  My mother is still youngish.  Maybe I can get financially comfortable enough in the next few years to come spend quality time with her and her partner when she hits 75 or 80.
So these are all the excited, nervous, happy, sad, scared and courageous thoughts and hopes and dreams that go through my head while I pack and repack my bags over and over again, trying to make it all fit.
Berlin, I'm coming home...

Outer Sunset, San Francisco

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