Hey folks, greetings from Glasgow. Just a quick update on my last 2 weeks. It’s been really awesome (I need better adjectives as I’ve been told that Americans are so easily excitable, which is hilarious, but I’m trying to be more cognizant of my word usage…). Lots of floating around and getting to know both my new home, living companions and the people I will be working with over the course of the next year.
As previously mentioned, I will be based in Milton, which is in the northern part of Glasgow. It’s about 20 minutes away from our l flat by bus. My main hub and worshipping community will be Colston Milton Parish Church, and I will be involved in some of the live of the church and various organizations in Milton. My fearless leader in Milton will be Minister Christopher Rowe. He’s been away the past 2 weeks and some change with the Army Reserve where he serves as a chaplain. While Christopher was away, I was given a wee rota of places to visit with and get to know as a means to discern what exactly I would like to be involved in Milton. I think the best way to explain what I’ve been up to is just a short listing of the activities and things that I’ve done so far.
Wednesday September 7th
Just Like Us: Mental health drop-in. This group was created by 2 members of the Milton community who saw that members of the community needed and alternative to conventional methods of helping people maintain sobriety. Lots of amazing work seems to be happening here and basically I just get to listen, hang out and drink tea.
I also was invited to dinner at the Rowe residence to get to know Christopher’s family. Him and his wife, Angela, have 4 amazing tiny humans under the age of 7, and very impressive garden. I’m super excited that they’re in Milton, and I look forward to learning from them and being in this community with them.
Milton Arts Project: this project has many pieces. On Thursday morning there is a drop in for adults who are learning instruments (ukulele and guitar). It felt like a very chill jam session. I’m here for that.
Youth Forum: meeting of all the organizations in Milton that have programs for young people.
Love Milton: Love Milton is a community organization that kind of aggregates many of the things that are happening in the life of Milton. I did a mini walking tour of Milton, and kind of just getting to know some of the major landmarks of the [housing] scheme.
I found an African food store on my work route. They had PLANTAINS which pleased my soul very much, and were a great compliment to the rice and stew dinner I made for my YAV sisters.
Saturday (day off)
Brunch with my YAV sisters at the cutest place which is right next door. We were gifted with tickets to BBC’s Proms in the Park at Glasgow Greens. A wonderful evening of music and Britishness.
Church service in Milton. Isabella’s placement site, Castlemilk Parish Church, was hosting a delegation of Cubans. They were at the tail end of their time in Glasgow so they prepared a wonderful Cuban dinner and we spent our evening shaking our tails and learning some salsa and bachata moves. It was completely wonderful and fantastic.
“Disco Cross” at Castlemilk.
Monday (community day/ day off)
Mondays are our community days. We spend our Mondays together catching up with our site coordinator Lynn or meeting with Lynn one-on-one. We spent this Monday doing our Church of Scotland training for working with vulnerable populations.
I also will be spending my Monday afternoons in Milton at The Racket which is the youth side of the Milton Arts project. The kids are learning the guitar and working on song writing. Very cool space and very appropriately named!
Love Milton: I was able to sit in on 2 meetings involving new and existing programs in Milton.
Just Like Us
Connecting Milton Lunch: lunch meeting of Milton Organizations
I was also invited to the Rowe residence to celebrate the birthday of their oldest, Carys.
Great British Bake-Off viewing with YAV sisters. This may be a regular thing. Top 10 reality competition in the world. For my readers in the States, I believe PBS has the US license to air this show and I’d 100% recommend.
Milton Arts Project
Just Like Us
Girl’s Brigade: kind of like Scouts or Brownies, but an organization rooted in the Church of Scotland. A place for community building and activities for the young ladies of the community. Their current programming is travel around the world, and they have a USA section coming up so I’m excited to explore with them.
Love Milton: planning and meeting about goals for the year, along with other volunteers. We also mapped locations in the scheme and drank lots of tea and a wee blethering session. The weather so nice we met outside in the sun.
Saturday (day off)
I journeyed to Falkirk (45ish mins on the train, outside of Glasgow)to participate in the Scotland Recovery Walk. It was a really cool experience to celebrate live and recovery with members of Just Like Us and people from all across Scotland. This day/weekend will be better explained in my next blog post.
In the evening, we were invited to St. Matthew’s Episcopal in Possil Park (the community that Rachel is working in). St. Matthew’s feast day is this week so they had a service, which was wonderful (thanks for the invite Father David) and a wee feast afterwards.
That’s what I’ve been up to the past 2 weeks. I’ve been given this space to see what I like, and test many waters, which is much appreciated, but my inner Type A freak is like “TELL ME WHAT TO DO.” But in the bigger picture of my year and some of the adventures I will be embarking on (and being an adult in general), “living into” (key phrase) the unknown and being more creative, industrious and assertive in the spaces I inhabit are definitely on my “I should probably work on this” list.
Another thing that’s been on my mind is how I’m staying connected with the States. As I go to bed, folks back home are eating dinner and downloading their day. When I wake up, America sleeps. Working on striking a balance of being present here in Glasgow and Milton, but also nurturing existing relationships is something that has definitely been on the forefront of my mind… I’m aware of the many things that are happening all over America and some of the issues and breaking news events and how they affect my friends and family.
That’s all for this round *whew* I’ll leave you with a playlist of songs I have encountered this past fortnight. These are songs that the people I’m meeting are learning to play, and also some songs that were performed at Proms in the Park. This is such a fun one, enjoy!