I am back to being a NYC Civic Corps member. I was a member last year but only for a short time. Once I became ill and found out I needed hip surgery, I had to exit from the program. Disappointed, I collected my things and signed the exit form. I shook hands with my coordinator and the director of Civic Corps thanking them for the opportunity. Since then, I've kept Civic Corps in mind and knew I wanted to reapply. And so I did and thankfully was accepted. The first day of orientation was on Monday and before the day was over I hugged my former teammate (who is also my friend) and thanked the director and chief officer of the Corps. I told them I am humbled by this "second chance," and appreciate them for accepting me again.Their smiles told me they were happy too. I liked the vibe from this group, because everyone seemed friendly and welcoming. The following days were fun and interesting.
Wednesday was our neighborhood walk where we explored a neighborhood in one of the five boroughs. In my team, we explored the Lower East Side (and some of lower Manhattan). I had a chance to meet my new partner at our work site, as well as, other teammates. Everyone was so friendly. I had great conversations with them all, and of course took pictures (which was also part of our assignment). Some of my teammates are new to New York, and since I was familiar with the area I had a chance to share some of my experiences there. I showed them where I used to teach at, and recommended a restaurant for lunch. They loved it and I spoke some Cantonese. I've been practicing or should I say, "Gnaw yut yut leen-jop gong Guang Dung Wah" (I practice speaking Cantonese everyday). A teammate told me, "You have a nice personality. I can tell you're a genuine person." I felt honored. It was a nice day.
Thursday was our last day of orientation. We were in the Bronx, which is a borough I rarely get a chance to visit. There were workshops and valuable information shared from Civic Corps alum and guest speakers. I really dig that kind of stuff. During lunch and break times, I went around the room meeting people and exchanging contact information from my teammates. Networking is so important and a great way to get to know people. Eventually, we will all be working together. I stepped out of my comfort zone by taking the lead on getting to know people. It felt great and allowed my personality to shine.
Did I mention that I drank the best latte at Starbucks? You guessed it, their pumpkin spice latte is not only popular but super yummy!