An experience I wouldn’t trade for anything

It’s hard to believe Ty has been with HIP for an year already! Its time to say goodbye and celebrate a wonderful year of service for Ty (while we secretly shed a few tears). Here is a reflection from Ty looking back at her experience with HIP over the last year.

The inevitable is here and my VISTA term has come to an end! I had the most magical experience at HIP and here are some of the things I’ve learned:

Loving everyone you work with….is real!
This is a tale as old as time fellow HIPsters, but it is an undeniable fact! Working with everyone at HIP is more like working with your best friends on a crusade to end hunger. Someway, somehow, Darcy and Srijan have created an office that promotes a level of teamwork that inspires AmeriCorps members from all over to become this tight unit, which then unfolds into this glossy rose of a friendship. When I was helping to find the next VISTA for HIP I had this innate feeling to tell every candidate how fortunate they would be if they ended up at HIP for their service term. It is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything (even a million dollars)!

Planning events for summer meals is the best part of my life
As usual starting a new job is full of confusion and some stumbles. But when I heard I was planning the activities for Summer Eats, my excitement went overboard! We booked live plays, a live band, skateboarding lessons, dance lessons, a clown pirate, art classes, and so many more activities. It was a summer of running around to various meal locations, soaking in sunshine, and of course, seeing a lot of kids with smiling faces and full stomachs! I couldn’t have imagined a better summer myself.

Volunteers are the type of people I love to hang out with
Our volunteers are amazing! Whether I was laughing at one of Kris’s comments at Senior Meals, or taking a pool table break with Gavin while we organized our summer storage, I was loving every second. Volunteers of HIP, I bow to you. All of you have been such an inspiration to know. How a group of people with various backgrounds, ages, and awe-inspiring life stories come together for the common good of their community is amazingly uplifting, especially in 2017, if you know what I mean!

Nature is just a little bit better than cities….sometimes
On a more personal note, as some of you might know, I grew up and have only traveled to major cities, meaning I don’t understand camping logistics, what moss feels like, or know any bird other than a pigeon, hawk, and an eagle. It was a gorgeous time this winter (I know wrong season to go) as I made my way to Snoqualmie Falls and the mountains in Skagit Valley. I can now say, the feeling you get when you are in the screensaver kind of nature in person, is completely worth any hike! I now completely understand the appeal.


Hope to See You Soon,
Ty Paialii
AmeriCorps VISTA Member

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