My name is Silvana Arevalo, and I am a Mercy Volunteer in Baltimore, MD, working…
Being a member of MVC has been a unique experience. To me, the best part of my service year has been living in a new city. Having grown up in a Midwestern town of three-thousand people with one stoplight, living in Baltimore has been an eye opening experience to say the least. I am living out my big-city girl dreams, but that could only be possible with the small, close-knit feel of the MVC community.
There are two volunteers in Baltimore this year, myself and Silvana. Silvana and I clicked as soon as we met at orientation. We shared a love of condiments, board games, and movies. We have enjoyed living in an intentional community too. Together, Silvana and I do yoga, work on puzzles, watch movies, throw dancing parties in the living room, and jam out to music as we carpool to our service site.
I also enjoy spending time with the Baltimore support team. Our support members have been extremely generous and thoughtful. Already, I have gone on a spectacular camping trip with one of my support member’s family, gone hiking with another member of my support team, and have been invited over for a delicious dinner party by a third member of my support team. I feel so blessed to know so many people in Baltimore who care for me and want to grow in relationship with me.
Beyond Baltimore, getting to know all of this year’s volunteers has been a blast! Despite being spread out across the country and continents, all of us have managed to stay in touch via our group chat and Zoom! I truly feel like all of us volunteers are one big family. We support one another and are always excited to hear about each other’s wins.
I have also found it very easy to make friends at my service site. My service site is Mercy Medical Center, specifically Population Health and Quality. My coworkers have been very welcoming, and I have become great friends with many of them. I have even joined a kickball league with my coworkers which is the highlight of my week every week! Not only do I enjoy my service site because of my coworkers, but I also find my work to be very fulfilling. One of my responsibilities is performing patient satisfaction rounds. During these rounds, I get to speak with patients and advocate for their needs.
Some of my favorite activities in Baltimore include walking the Inner Harbor, attending an Orioles baseball game, exploring the cuisine (crab dip is delicious!), visiting the Baltimore Basilica, examining the beautiful libraries, and touring the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum. I have also taken a quick drive down to Annapolis where I explored all the boutiques and shops downtown and toured the Maryland state capitol building! I have also taken several trips to Washington DC where I have explored many of the Smithsonian museums as well as the United States Botanic Gardens and the National Mall.
I feel absolutely blessed to be living the life I am living! Never could I have imagined that I would be living in such a hub on the east coast with all the support I need to thrive. Mercy Volunteer Corps is such a special community, and I am eternally grateful to be a part of it.
Faith Kozisek: Baltimore, Maryland