So it’s been another lazy week. I actually started “work”/interning at OHSU on Tuesday, so that was good, but my schedule is so flexible it hardly feels like work. I am interning with the director of the Sustainable Food Programs, and it sounds like her job description is pretty much open: do what needs to be done to improve the sustainability and environmental responsiveness of food-related activities at the institution. The OHSU farmer’s market is a big focus during the summer– to encourage and facilitate the spread of locally grown foodstuffs into the homes of downtown residents; she also works with the waste stream (garbage, recycle, compost), getting farmer’s market/local food into the hospital restaurants and cafes, and improving the labeling of organic/local/etc. food in hospital venues. I’m still learning exactly what her job entails, but that’s what I’ve gathered so far. It’s helpful to see what a sustainability position looks like; it sounds like many people in these positions are the first in the role, and have free rein to improve operations in any way fit; there is no how-to book for this stuff (which makes it both interesting and challenging!).
So, Tuesday is market day. It was exciting to see the set-up of the market and arrival of 20+ unique vendors selling everything under the sun: berries, produce, duck, freshly pressed juice, specialty nuts and granola, wood-fired pizza, spicy kale chips, homemade ice cream, and gourmet crepes were just a spattering of the diverse selection. There was even a massage therapist! It was definitely a fancy “Portland”-esque farmer’s market. My day varied between running debit card transactions, taking census counts of foot traffic, collecting vendor sales reports, coordinating the money collection/exchange with vendors, and clean-up. It was great fun to talk to the vendors– especially the crepe guy, John: he sells his crepes at 6 markets a week during the summer, plus contracts out to businesses and company parties, and then winters in France. What a deluxe life! He had an awesome custom crepe cart with piped in radio and a running-water sink (!), and he clearly did a very successful business! I also ran into a mentor/former teacher of mine from Wilsonville HS who was at OHSU for a research study event, and it was great to catch up. Crazy to think it’s already been a full year since high school; most of the times it feels like ages ago, but other times I still feel so young!
Wednesday I went in again, but this time parked at the waterfront and rode the tram up to the hospital, which was kinda fun for a first time (wearing a badge means a free ride). I worked on updating signage for the 3 cafes on campus, and then started researching plans and marketing for selling farmer’s market gift baskets in the gift store in south hospital. So far my experience at OHSU has been good but a little more lax than I was expecting; hopefully it will present some challenging projects and growing experiences in the next 2 months. My supervisor’s schedule is so open — she doesn’t work Fridays and is taking off a lot of Thursdays — which is somewhat positive, but means my days are very up in the air and I only go in a few days a week. I will try to appreciate the free time this is allowing me.. to swim, read, shop for this fall (need to start!), catch up on bills/apartment stuff, enjoy the fam. But it’s hard.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.