Why community matters

​Hey guys, my name is Shelby Panzarini. I go to Chico State and am double majoring in Social Work and Sociology with a Food Studies minor. Originally I am from LA. I tell you all who don’t know me this a little bit of where I’m coming from. Today is day 5 of debriefing. BayUP has gone by so fast and I have learned so much. One of the bigger take home points for me is has been how important community is. The 7 of us BayUPers lived with around 50 guys. This is a lot in comparison to me and my one very busy roommate last year. There have been many ways in which living in community has been really hard, such as never getting alone time or quiet. One of the first things we did at debriefing was spend 18 hours in silence. This was hard for some but I relished the opportunity. To get Cityteam to be quiet for 18 hours you would have to move the 12-16 guys from the rehabilitate center, close the homeless shelter, not have the soup kitchen during the day, get ride of all the mice for a 5 mile radius, and tell all the cops from the police station that they couldn’t yell or use their sirens. Needless to say this was impossible. I am used to city noise from living in LA, but the constant people noise in my building, I wasn’t. Even though there were hard parts about community, I saw the benefits to it as well. People are always there to talk and help process life in ways that I never expected. One time about half way through BayUP, I was having a bad day and I just wanted to be alone and listen to music, but neither of those could happen due to how small Cityteam is. I’m going to let you all know what I do when I feel overwhelmed, I hold onto the facts of my life. In this case it was how much my friends and relatives paid for me to go to BayUP ($1,690) and the amount of bad days I had had (5 days) and how long BayUP is (44 days). That means every day it costs $38.40. So I felt like I wasted $200 of my friends and families money. That is more money than I spend on food for 2 months. I was just really hurt and one of the guys walks up and simply asks how I am and I tell him my whole wasting money idea. He kindly explained to me how crazy my idea was and how I can still learn on days that are hard for me. Since I came to BayUP to learn, bad days didn’t mean that. Since I was living in such a small place, I couldn’t go anywhere private when I was hurt, but it ended up helping me later. Through all the hard moments of missing LA and Chico, I still value the community I had a Cityteam. When I go back to Chico, my roommate wants to have tons of friends over everyday. Now I want to be surrounded by community more in Chico. Thanks for all the prayers and love sent our way. If anyone wants to hang out and talk about BayUP let me know. -Shelby

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