Thank you, Chloe!

The fabulous, generous, and dog-loving CPGC Associate Director Chloe Tucker hosted a dinner for all of the CPGC Post-Graduate Fellows at her home (which just so happens to be on an urban farm)! Haverford House Fellows were joined by international post-grad fellows Marcus Levy and Leah Hollander, just days before they left the country. Marcus will be working at quaker organization Casa de Los Amigos in Mexico City, and Leah will be working at the public health organization Solidarity and Action Against the HIV Infection in India (SAATHII) in Hyderbad, India. We had the most amazing time eating fresh and local food, enjoying the great outdoors and each other’s company, hanging out with some four-legged friends, and finishing the night with ice cream and brownies in the most beautiful back yard I have ever set foot in.

Thank you Chloe, and good luck Marcus and Leah as you begin your new adventures!

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Weekends in Philly!

At Haverford House we work four days a week at various fantastic organizations and one day a week on our project linking Haverford students and Philly. Obviously, this leaves the weekend for us to have fun and explore Philly. After working hard at Haverford, it feels pretty amazing to have wide open weekends to do whatever fun activities we wish. This weekend, we got to do some pretty awesome activities.

On Saturday, a few of us went kayaking on the Schuykill river at Bartram’s Gardens. It was free, and a lot of fun to be on the water.

Kayaking on the Schuylkill

Kayaking on the Schuylkill

Robin exploring

Robin exploring

Later on Saturday, Callie and I played ultimate frisbee with our team from PADA (the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance). At the fields, we ran into a few Haverford alums (including a past Haverford House fellow).

Hanging with Haverford alum and friends.

Hanging with Haverford alum and friends.

To continue enjoying the beautiful Philly summer weather, four of us headed over to Devil’s Pool at Wissahickon Creek.

Kayla watching the action

Kayla watching the action

 

Robin, myself, Kayla and Callie at Devil’s Pool

To round out the fantastic summer weekend, we had a delicious communal dinner of curry, cooked by Robin and Seema. We all have dinner together twice a week.

Another delicious communal Dinner!

 

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Intern Life at PLA

This year my fellowship is at the Medical-Legal Community Partnership (MLCP) unit at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, working to provide legal services to clients at health centers in West Philadelphia. Although I’ve been out of work recovering from a pneumothorax (more on that in a future blog post), one of the nicest things about starting was the warm welcome I got from the other paralegals and interns around the organization, including a couple from Haverford.

PLA gets a lot of volunteer workers every year, from undergrad and law students as well as members of fellowship programs such as Haverford House. However, a big portion of these workers come just for the summer. This past week was the last one for some of the MLCP interns, so we had a group meeting to reflect on the summer and celebrate their time here. People went around and shared their favorite parts of the summer and how they might change the experience for future workers over cupcakes baked by my supervisor’s daughter.

I'm the one with the beard. Directly to the right of me is Kelly Hancock '16 from Haverford

I’m the one with the beard. Directly to the right of me is Kelly Hancock ’16 from Haverford

Around the main office of Philadelphia Legal Assistance in Center City, I got to see another fellow Ford: Sydney Cone ’16. Sydney has worked in the Family Law unit at PLA for the past two summers, working alongside last year’s fellow Caya Simonsen ’14 in helping clients maintain custody of their children, receive protection from abuse court orders and other similar services. While I’m not around the center office much, it was great to see a familiar face and chat about life at Haverford and the mixed emotions surrounding senior year.

Sydney and I at PLA

Sydney and I at PLA

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Summer togetherness

It’s hard to believe we have been here a month! It feels like we have already done so much!

Here is a photo of us from week 1 – happy and excited to start this adventure!

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A few weeks ago, the Chesick Scholars for the incoming freshman class came over for a visit (of course we forgot to take a picture). We all chatted and toured the house before they took us to dinner at New Delhi. We enjoyed the Indian Buffet, and all of us Fellows got up for seconds or thirds; unlimited buffet food was a welcome alternative to cooking for ourselves. :)

Last week, the CPGC Philadelphia Interns came over for dinner.  We sampled many tasty varieties of Lebanese manakeesh and baklava as people came and went throughout the evening.  It was awesome to hear about all the great work of our peers!

 

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Nelson Mandela Day in West Philly

Before I found my true love ultimate frisbee, I was briefly a member of Haverford’s tennis team. I’ve kept in touch with the wonderful coaches, Coach Ann Koger and Coach Louis Bolling, and they invited me to volunteer at a community tennis clinic at West Philadelphia’s  Nelson Mandela Day. West Philly celebrated Nelson Mandela Day on Sunday, July 19th with a free all-day sports clinic called “A Celebration of Life, Youth Sports, Parks and Recreation.” Mandela Day encourages people around to world to participate in 67 minutes (or more) of community service to commemorate Mandela’s 67 years of working against apartheid and toward social justice, and  I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to participate here in West Philadelphia because I took part in Mandela Day while I was studying abroad in South Africa. Despite the 90 degree weather, it was wonderful to play tennis, reconnect with the Coaches, and engage with the West Philadelphia community. 

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All Settled In

We’re about to kick off our third week living at Haverford House.

The first week was an orientation, full of walking tours through South Philly, Center City (for the Mural Arts Tour), and West Philly; a bike tour through West Philly with Parker Snowe; conversations about communal living conversations, and delicious group meals.

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Robin, Chloe, and Kayla on Parker’s Bike Tour.

Our conversations about communal living had many focuses, but mostly they were to figure out how to minimize our spending (of energy and money) by helping us figure out a chore wheel and communal shopping list. We also had discussions about what sort of home we want to live in — one of the many things that came out of that discussion was a unanimous desire to have communal dinners twice a week. The past fellows (many of the communal living conversations and tours were led by past Haverford House fellows) all said that it was a good way for the six of them to get together every week, even as their professional workloads increased.

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We have a schedule for our communal dinners – the rule so far has been that two fellows cook dinner and the other four fellows clean up afterwards. So far, we’ve had two of those communal dinners. Something we wanted to make sure early on is that the communal meals would be something that everyone could enjoy. Callie is a vegetarian and Romi only eats kosher meat, so chefs try to include a vegetarian option.

This past Wednesday, Callie and Romi made Vietnamese Spring Rolls. There was grilled chicken and tofu, sliced peppers, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, noodles with peanut sauce, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.

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On Friday, Janice came over and we had a meeting about our upcoming projects over bagels and coffee. We went to the hardware store to get supplies to hang some flower baskets from our front porch and to scrape/sand/paint one of the tables on our porch. On Saturday, we went to the block clean up where we met several neighbors and learned more information about the  upcoming block party. We also had a BBQ party where the six of us worked together to make hamburgers and veggie burgers, french fries, orzo salad, and tons of dessert for our friends and guests (we even had a bonfire with some s’mores).

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Tonight, Kayla and Robin made clementine and cranberry salad with an orange vinaigrette dressing, pasta with the option of meat sauce or pesto sauce, and garlic bread.

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Later tonight we’ll have our first house meeting. Stay tuned!

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New Fellows Go On Mural Arts Tour

This week is orientation week for the new Haverford House fellows! During orientation week, the fellows do activities to get to know their neighborhood, have a facilitated workshop about communal living, and talk about their roles over the upcoming year. One of the activities we did this year was attending the guided Mural Arts Tour in Center City. This was a great opportunity to see public art in Philadelphia and learn about the Mural Arts Program. We learned that the Mural Arts Program has over 2000 existing murals in Philadelphia and their philosophy is to involve the local community in the design of the murals. The fellows were joined by Huan Huang, the CPGC intern from Amity Foundation in China, and her host Lu Chen, a current Haverford student. We ate a delicious lunch at Reading Terminal Market afterwards. Who knew that you could get mac & cheese, a triple chocolate doughnut, and a pineapple-strawberry-banana smoothie for less than nine dollars !?

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The fellows pictured in front of a mural.

Top row from left to right: Romi, Kayla

Bottom row from left to right: Huan, Lu, Callie, Dan, Robin, Seema

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Future Fellows!

This week we welcomed new Haverford House Fellows for 15-16. They paid a visit to the house to get a feel of their future home. Caya and Hiba made dinner (lovely and delicious quiches). We also celebrated Dan’s Birthday. If you can’t tell in the photo, that’s a squirrel candle. Our Haverford pride still goes strong!

As customary, the new fellows also got to meet their soon-to-be supervisors at the Haverford House Happy Hour held at Community Legal Services.

We welcome the fellows of 15-16 and we look forward to the great work they will be doing in just a few months!

The Fellows 15-16 (top right to left) Robin, Kayla, Romi, Callie, Seema. (bottom) Dan.

The Fellows 15-16 (top left to right) Robin, Kayla, Romi, Callie, Seema. (bottom) Dan.

 

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Haverford House has fun!

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Haverford House has fun! As a house, we can some fun money to spend however we choose. Recently, we got some pizza and went to the local arcade. We had lots of fun, and got a lot of tickets (see picture above with Caya, left, and Marla, right). Also, Hiba and Alexandra (right and middle, above, pictured also with Ian), pooled their tickets to trade in for a puzzle for the kids at Puentes Hacia el Futuro (the after school education program that Alexandra runs) to enjoy! Fun money well spent.

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Holidaze!

Though the season may have passed, the sentiments of the holidays remain. Holiday season was upon us at Haverford House! On Halloween we held a special haunted house for neighborhood kids, complete with cookie decorating and pin the hat on the witch! Project H.O.P.E. was in full holiday swing with Thanksgiving outreaching and Christmas decorations. And it was great to start the new year remembering the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. along with my fellow Philadelphians.

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A very spooky havhouse halloween

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I helped deliver Thanksgiving baskets to some of our patients with the outreach team at Project H.O.P.E.

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Project H.O.P.E. was ready for Christmas! Plus we had a singing snowman

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At the MLK March in Philadelphia marching for racial and social justice, greater accountability and access in education, and the right to a decent minimum wage and unions #reclaimMLKPHL

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