Sunday, May 31, 2009

theres one thing you need to know and thats that you cant count on me

My calgary community stay was way more intense then I expected, Im extremely appreciative of the uncomfortable feeling its stirred up in me, im just waiting for whats next...

It started out with a prayer outside a church, Tim and I each had a blanket it tow, I also had my journal, we slowly started walking towards princess island park, at first it just seems like any average night, there are limos because its grad season and small groups of laughing people walking around, as we get into the park, there are smaller quiter groups of people who stare as we walk by, we go down to the river to find Adrian, we greet him and then continue on our way to find a place to sleep...we dont even really know what we are looking for
"um do we want to sleep in darkness or light? under something or just on the grass?" we dont really know, we come across a small bridge with rocks and grass under, we can see everything around us but it is dark under the bridge so we are harder to see, this is a good spot, at 1:00 am when the sprinklers turn on we are especially happy about where we have chosen.

We lay down and make a joke about being like jacob because we have both selected rocks to use as head rests, the parkcade lights are our constant companions. We talk for an hour, starting to get used to the sounds of people walking around us and all the other noise the park offers. I didnt fall asleep once, for a few hours it was paranioa but around 3 i got up to just walk around and i knew i wasnt scared to be there my mind was just moving to fast. Tim woke up around 5, I still hadnt fallen asleep, we decieded to build a 12 stone alter (like Jacob again) to remember what we learned as we slept under this bridge, then we headed down to the river to hang out, we couldnt start panhandling till 8 am.

After we left, we started walking towards the core to hit up some public washrooms, we got stopped by an animated yet down Ricardo Farara, "are you homeless?" he askes us "no, we where spending a night in the park to understand what people go through and to make some friends" "why would you do that?" "we love Jesus...He loves people...we want to follow that example" i was suprized by how humbled and excited he seemed about that "you are christians? will you pray for me?" absolutely! (if you guys also think of it pray for Ricardo Farara)
we arrive near the public washrooms and the park is completely trashed, we sit down and wait, there is a custodian who walks by mumbling resentments at us about the mess he must clean...he wont unlock the bathrooms...its okay though cause we find some friends and have a prime time for breakfast.

william and shena are both on the street due to medical reason, their stories of being so mistreated by "the system" and by people really confuse and upset me. After having a morning primetime with them we head over to a busier street to see if we can panhandle breakfast, the "busy" street was actually mostly unsheltered friends, so we deciede that sitting down with a hat really wasnt going to work, so we deiceded to ask people as we walked by them...I know this could seem aggresive and silly because i could have gone home to get some food but it was something we felt we should do...
I think this is the part that really stood out to me, i have never felt so hated...i can so perfectly see the looks we got from some people...and what for? $2.35 enough for us to each get a ice tea for breakfast.
William gave us each a orange with a smile...he has nothing...he is also hated by people, people like me who have anything...yet he gave so freely...

Im still kind of processing what went on...i am a little overwhelmed but im ready to move to go to do...i have a idea for my first plan of action, which i will blog about in the future.

I also have plans to stay in the drop in center...we will see what that does...

I just want to feel like feel like im really trying like i really put my life on the line for something that matters, just like my best friend did.
doing stuff that involves this and hanging out with "youth" that are around me seems so much more important then getting a job...i just dont know what to do...


  1. hey! I was going to ask you about how this went but I didn't think text messaging would be very insightful, I'm very glad that you blogged about it! why did Ricardo Farara ask you to pray for him? was he homeless? and do you think that you will stay in touch with him?

    "like i really put my life on the line for something that matters, just like my best friend did." which friend are you talking about? I'm confused about that.. but if it's personal that's ok!

    also if you are ever doing this again I think I would like to join you... though I'm obviously going to panic and not be good in that type of situation, I'm very curious about it and as you say, follow your whims haha. love you!! and congratulations on doing this all the way, you are wonderful.

  2. Hey Leanna

    so Ricardo Farara we didnt get into to much detail but he is homeless...i am planning on going down to where we met him this week to see if i can find him and hang out.

    the stuff about the best friend, I am talking about Jesus, who set a example of sacrafice for friends.

    also you are totally coming with me next time, i think i am going to look into staying in the drop in center this week or next, i will contact you.

  3. I'm glad to hear your experience was.. well I don't know if positive is the right word, but I'm glad you came out with good experiences.

    I find your interaction with the homeless community quite fascinating. I remember a girl I had a few classes with was also meaning to do this, but I think she backed out.
    You have to be very strong to do this!