This last week has been a really good one for me. I just got hired on at Tri-Cities Community Health (formerly Community Health Center La Clinca) as a case manager, which should be really fun. I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing, but I'm assuming it will be a great learning experience.
The other thing that is very cool is that I just got a car. I've been looking at apartments, and I came across a really interesting website (Walk Score). The website lets you enter an address and it rates how walkable that address is (i.e. closeness of stores, entertainment, public transportation... etc). It's a really interesting concept and something which is very on my mind since coming back from Peru.
Since coming back from Peru, one thing that has been hard to get used to is how much space / how spread out everything is in the US and especially in Tri-Cities. The neighbor hood that my mom lives in is not very walkable, scoring just a 30. I can believe this. The other day, my mom asked me if I could get some bread. I ended up walking to the nearest Albertsons, it only took me about 2 hours to go there and back. I think that this idea of a walk score is also important because of it's effect on the climate and feel of a city.
If things are more walkable in a city I believe that people are more likely to walk. It's healthier for the people in the community. It's healthier for the environment. And it's healthier for the community. It would make sense that if you are walking to various locations in your community you are more likely to know / meet people who live around you. Knowing your neighbors builds community solidarity and makes it a safer place to live.
I bring this up because of my other piece of cool news. I was going to go and buy a car. I figured with the income that I would be making and spreading it out over three years (normal car payment) I could easily afford a car payment for a $10,000 car. I found some really great cars. I found a 2001 Mercedes (fully loaded) that was super sexy that was under $10,000. Pretty amazing. While I would be able to afford the loan, and it would be a really fun car to own, one of my mom's friends offered to give me a car for FREE. So amazing. While it's not as sexy as a Mercedes, being a 1993 Mercury Sable Wagon, it is amazing to receive it for free... such a blessing. It does have some problems with it, and I need to get it in somewhere so it can get looked at, it is a free car. It will allow me to save up some money until I can have a better down payment (or pay cash) for a new car. The car doesn't have AC, but during the winter that shouldn't be a problem so maybe next summer I'll look into getting a new car. I was just so excited, that I wanted to share with everyone.