Sunday, August 12, 2012

Be Careful!

It has been over a week since I arrived in Texas and I am finally beginning to get settled in. Various errands in the heat with my mother demanded siestas in the shade and an afternoon margarita to reinvigorate. The heat has been stifling. It is a heat that envelopes you as soon as you step outside and the shock from leaving an air-conditioned room and stepping into the heat shocks my system so it feels like my insides are shriveling up like raisins. My apartment building has a small pool in the courtyard but I have yet to enjoy it.

I started my VISTA position at Community Action, Inc. of Central Texas last Monday. I could hardly believe the hospitality and kindness of the people there. Everyone there was extremely welcoming and I was thrilled to learn that I have my own office, with my own desk and my own phone with my own extension! As I walked around the office in my pencil skirt, blouse and heels I realized I had never felt so grown up.

Admittedly, the first week went by slowly. It seemed as though that beyond getting my office, e-mail and phone set up, not much else had been prepared for my arrival and so I must wait for others to compile their information before I can begin any real work.

I am beginning to learn some of the cultural norms of Texas. "Yes, Ma'ams" and "No, Sirs" appear to be a mandatory part of speech. Calling one "Miss this" or "Mister that" are also necessary. It seems as though every time I leave a place or say good-bye to someone, their parting words are "Be Careful!" or "Be Safe!" I am not really sure what that is about as I have never felt unsafe here in San Marcos so far nor have I heard of someone else getting into a position in which they would need to be careful or safe. Hopefully I won't need to find out why they say it.

All in all, it has been a great first week and I look forward to projects starting at work this coming week. I am continuing on the journey of becoming Texan. I am getting my scooter insured and registered Texas, and soon will be applying for my Texas driver's license and registering to vote. I even have the cowgirl boots now! Things are finally beginning to come  together. I just have to remember to take it one step at a time.