Staying sane

Last week, I promised that I would write more about working at the festival, and I have to admit that it’s not a very appealing subject. Because I am mostly working with people in the halfway house program, I’m experiencing a very different festival than I might if I were working for a craftsperson. A few of the people from the halfway house are there as an interim step after being homeless or in prison, but the vast majority are there to get sober, and their lives are just a series of god-awful events. One guy just got out of prison after a 12 year stint. One woman lost her business, her house and her husband due to drinking. Another guy grew up on the Hopi Reservation, and can’t live there without drinking. He left his family behind to try and escape the early death that befell so many of his family members.  A guy in JJ’s kitchen was fired this weekend when his meth pipe fell out of his pants and onto the floor.

The craziest part has been the realization of what values I hold, which I thought were universal, but most certainly are not. For example, I assume that everyone can read, and that they went to high school. One of my co-workers needs help to read the contents of the boxes in the refrigerator, and many of the folks I work with never finished high school. I’m slowly starting to feel like some kind of bourgeoisie jerk, who actually had it all, and never knew it.  The hardest thing is keeping up my value system in the face of a million coworkers who just don’t care.  I am seen as really anal and weird for wanting to do things right, and as I am asked.  I’m counting down the days we have left to work, and trying not to suck up too much of the negativity.

After 3 days of working in Crazyland, (weekend + President’s Day!) we needed some fun. On the day that we ran all our errands in town, we went out for tacos and ice cream. I loved Mucha Lucha taco shop, decorated in a Mexican wrestling motif, and for the yummiest food we’ve had in a long time. We also stopped for shaved snow, a fluffy style of ice milk that’s huge in Asian teahouses.

You could come here every day for a month and not get a repeat!

I was also seriously craving some quiet after living in the middle of constantly running generators and barking dogs. Superior, AZ is about 20 miles east of us, and surrounded by lots of mountains sprinkled with hiking trails. When we were there a few weeks ago, we picked up a map that shows lots of these hidden gems. There’s practically nothing online about many of these hikes, so we picked a likely candidate and headed for the GPS coordinates.

(Sorry that the next set of pictures is mostly the JJ show.  He’s awfully cute, and I’m just not a selfie sort of girl.)

Scenic Route 60 through the mountains:

Apache Leap trail is more like a rock hop up a small stream, ending in high bluffs overlooking the town. We saw exactly zero other people on the trail. It was just right in terms of solitude, views, and quiet.

Just that morning, I commented to JJ that I really would like to transport to the resort for a day and take a walk up to the secret ponds (which don’t exist, wink wink) above the resort.  This hike had a surprise lake that totally reminded me of what I was craving!

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3 thoughts on “Staying sane

  1. I’m afraid your work environment is not an isolated one as your experience is becoming the new normal, I’m sad to say. Hang in there and try not to lose your high values. Great photos!

    • JJ and I have been really lucky over many of our jobs to work with people who actually gave a damn. One of our favorite parts about our summer job at the resort is working with folks who are really dedicated to creating a good experience for the customers. It definitely makes us feel good to work in an environment with with people who are engaged!

  2. Wow, what a conundrum to find yourselves in with this job and the people employed there. Thank goodness you can get away to peace and quiet and regain a sense of who you are an what’s important an relevant to your values. Enjoy each blog, stay safe.

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