What to say, what to say? Well, this is my last blog for my VISTA year. It’s quite bittersweet actually. Not to get too cheeseball on you guys but I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year and what I am capable of. Now I didn’t save the world or anything, yet I feel that I have done my part to help a fantastic museum grow with educational programming about healthy food and continue their mission of preserving the heritage of Southern cuisine.
Along the VISTA path I have made wonderful friends both at CPS and at the museum. Fellow VISTAs were my family away from family. They understood the rough patches, the confusion, the frustration, the triumph, the happy moments and the celebration. Whether it was sharing a moment on the bayou planting trees or impersonating Barrack Obama while installing light bulbs, it was always fun with them. My museum family is just that- an extended family of sorts. When you spend eight hours a day with people they become close, whether you want to admit it or not. We have shared so many laughs and many frustrating moments, but we did it together. I’ll always remember the insightful advice from Liz, the jokes/life talks with Kelsey and the random and hilarious stories from Joe. These 3 people were my every day and I will miss them. They can’t get rid of me too easily though- I know where they work.
I have learned exactly what I am capable of and how to functionally work with a variety of projects. I say functionally because you can’t run around work like a chicken with its head cut off- you have to be efficient, smart and responsible. I’ve learned you have to plan far in advance for successful events. Kids’ cooking classes, exhibit openings and fundraisers take a lot of work to plan. I’ve learned that I am capable of more than I ever thought I would be. I would like to say that I did a small part with the country’s battle with unhealthy eating. Hearing kids say that they love to cook healthy foods and want to become chefs is awesome. I am very proud of the many types of work that I have done here.
Where to go from here? Well, I’m going to take November off for my birthday (because everyone needs a birthday month) and then December off for Christmas. During those fun two months of festivities I will think about what I want to be when I grow up. Life is too short to do something that you hate, so if something comes up that pays next to nothing but I love it- then I’m happy. That’s what counts in life. Love your job and be happy. So I’m excited to see what is ahead of me. I do know that I would like to pursue my travel writing hobby. I will be putting up a blog soon of travels and hopefully pitching some ideas to travel magazines. Who knows where I’ll be going?! Spain, India or as far as Grand Isle, LA. Oh, the possibilities.
Bye Bye, VISTA year…it’s been great fun.
-Meaghan Reid Li, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA. For more information on history, exhibits, and volunteer opportunities, please visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’ s website.